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  • By Andrew Dustin Poole
    Jul 4, 2017
    I first discovered Grant Hudson when I read a blog post he wrote and was impressed enough to investigate his books. They were new and lacked reviews. They were also expensive. But the premise of "How Stories Really Work" was singularly unique and made bold claims. I looked at a digital preview and quickly realized that I was reading a writing book unlike any I had ever seen. And I've read quite a few! What Mr. Hudson offers is fundamentally a different way of seeing. He strips bare classic novels and blockbuster movies to expose the nuts and bolts driving the machine and explains in detail how and why it works. The most foundational element of Hudson's work is the physics concept of vacuums. Once you read "How Stories Really Work," you see them everywhere--gaping holes pulling at everything in their path to fill the void. In fiction, vacuums are a way of understanding human needs, desires, and their fulfillment or lack of fulfillment. The writer has a desire to... More > write a certain story (a vacuum!), the reader has certain needs he or she is consciously or unconsciously trying to fill by reading the story (a vacuum!), characters have wants and needs that drive the plot (more vacuums!), and authors create suspense (linear) and mystery vacuums with events in the story and strategic word choice, pulling the readers in. Hudson lays out how these mechanics work with clear and concise definitions and then plunges presents detailed analyses of well-known stories, showing they work in action. Hudson also categorizes all fiction into four genres: epic, tragedy, irony, and comedy/romance and lists the ingredients for each. Once again, vacuums play a basic role in determining a story's genre based on the nature of the vacuums and whether or not they are fulfilled. After reading, you may find traditional writing advice feels incomplete. That's because Hudson teaches us to see more basic parts beneath the hood. This knowledge was worth every dollar I paid. Ebook readers should note that the book lacks a hyperlinked table of contents. My advice would be to bookmark places of interest, especially the genre lists. There's a nice glossary of terms in the back that helps having to avoid finding them in the body text again.< Less
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Product Details

ISBN
9781326507268
Publisher
Clarendon House Publications
Published
September 8, 2016
Language
English
Pages
276
Binding
Perfect-bound Paperback
Interior Ink
Black & white
Weight
1.04 lbs.
Dimensions (inches)
5.83 wide x 8.26 tall
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