Publisher: Ten Speed Press
Source: Blogging for Books for review
Story Genius is a foolproof program that saves writers from penning hundreds of pages only to realize that something's not working and they have to start again. Informed by story consultant Lisa Cron's science-based insights into how story structure is built into the architecture of the brain, this guide shows writers how to plumb the nitty-gritty details of their raw idea to organically generate a story scene by scene. Once writers reach the end of Cron's program, they will have both a blueprint that works and plenty of compelling writing suitable for their finished novel--allowing them to write forward with confidence.My thoughts:
While I don't think there is a lot of "brain science" (aka neuroscience) within the book, it does give a small introduction to the concept. This was the main reason I picked it up, but I was still not disappointed. I think she would have lost people with more science, but I still feel there needed to be a bit more.
I did like how she took a look at your average creative writing class and took apart what we have all been taught. She states that we are taught language but not storytelling. I have to say she is not wrong on that aspect. For example, story prompts are often "what if" examples (I remember these in grade school and high school) but the story doesn't often start there. With no background, no knowledge of what is motivating the character the story often lags and goes nowhere. In fact, it often skips the point of the story. As I was reading this section I saw that in reviewing books I do look for the point and not the "what if" aspect of the story. So, I think she was right on in this emphasis.
She did provide several story examples of what she was teaching but I found myself skimming these. They were often boring and just belabored the point rather than emphasized it. Still, I did like that she gave examples within the book.
I give this book 4 stars. While I wouldn't say it fixes the problems people have with writing a novel, it does fix some elements in creative writing that doesn't work. I think it really helps someone with an idea to start in developing a story. I highly recommend it to those that want to write or, like me, wanted a greater understanding of the process.