27 Essential Principles of Story: Master the Secrets of Great Storytelling, from Shakespeare to South Park (Paperback)
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“So often people ask me if there’s a book on story I can recommend. This is the one. I can’t recommend it highly enough.”––Alexa Junge, writer/producer, Friends, Sex and the City, The West Wing
A master class of 27 lessons, drawn from 27 diverse narratives, for novelists, storytellers, filmmakers, graphic designers, and more. Author Daniel Joshua Rubin unlocks the secrets of what makes a story work, and then shows how to understand and use these principles in your own writing. The result is “an invaluable resource” (Publishers Weekly, starred review), offering priceless advice like escalate risk, with an example from Pulp Fiction. Write characters to the top of their intelligence, from the Eminem song “Stan.” Earn transformations, from Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home. Attack your theme, from The Brothers Karamazov. Insightful, encouraging, filled with attitude, and, as Booklist puts it, “perfect for any writer looking to ensure their stories operate and resonate at the top of their potential,” this book gives contemporary storytellers of all kinds a lifeline of inspiration and relatable instruction.
“[The] new bible of lessons and practices for creators.”––Library Journal
“Not a ‘how-to,’ thank God, but a ‘here’s why.’ Writers of all levels of experience will benefit from reading––and then rereading––this elegant exploration of the principles of storytelling.”––Traci Letts, Pulitzer and Tony Award-winning playwright
“A godsend for storytellers in all media. It will help you decide what to write and then show you, step by step, how to tackle virtually any problem you face.”––Anna D. Shapiro, Tony Award-winning director, August: Osage County
About the Author
Daniel Joshua Rubin is a multimedia writer and founder of Story 27 in Evanston, Illinois, a writing studio that provides consulting and education to storytellers in all media. He has taught dramatic writing at Loyola University in Chicago, and at the University of California, San Diego, and has written for television (NBC, the WB); new media (The Motley Fool, National Lampoon); and theater (with plays produced at Steppenwolf in Chicago, off-Broadway in NYC, and on the West End of London). He is a dedicated story scholar with a deep interest the role narrative plays in personal development, business, investing and politics. Rubin has an MFA in Playwriting from the Yale School of Drama, and a BS in Drama Studies from the State University of New York at Purchase. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now lives in Evanston, IL.
"This is the straight dope—all the tools you need to craft a hell of a great story." —Paul Giamatti, actor
"Rubin, a playwright and TV scriptwriter, aims with this manual to give writers “enough direction to avoid getting lost, but not so much that it strangles your creativity,” and succeeds in creating an invaluable resource... This is a no-brainer for both pro and would-be novelists."
—Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
"Seasoned multimedia writer Rubin (NBC, the WB) injects the traditional writing manual with an overdue fix of dash and utility... This new bible of lessons and practices for creators across media will likely appeal to readers curious about behind-the-scenes realities of those who bring to life today’s most popular and intelligent entertainment."
"Perfect for any writer looking to ensure their stories operate and resonate at the top of their potential."