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The Anatomy of Story


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About the Author

John Truby is the founder and director of Truby's Writers Studio. Over the past thirty years, he has taught more than fifty thousand students worldwide, including novelists, screenwriters, and TV writers. Together, these writers have generated more than fifteen billion dollars at the box office. Truby has an ongoing program where he works with students who are actively creating shows, movies, and novel series. He regularly applies his genre techniques in story consulting work with major studios including Disney, Sony Pictures, Fox, HBO, the BBC, Canal Plus, Globo, and AMC. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Leslie, and their two cats, Tink and Peanut.


Though they could not be more different in tone and approach, these two screenwriting manuals share a similar goal: to break up the formulaic screenwriting process and make it less mechanical. Though both finally end up replacing a set of rules and constructs with their own formulas, however distinctive, both are valuable tools for would-be screenwriters. A working screenwriter and author of the popular Save the Cat! screenwriting guide, Snyder teaches screenwriting by closely parsing screenplays that have been successful in the past. He argues that there are only ten stories out there and that every movie is a variation on one of them. If his light, fun style occasionally veers too far into jokey, palsy hipsterdom, Snyder can be forgiven because the tone does the heavy lifting of deconstructing complex story arcs. One of the leading story consultants and script doctors working in Hollywood, Truby presents a much denser and more theoretical and comprehensive take. While Snyder focuses on structure and pacing, Truby attempts to inform the entire story, addressing plot, character, tone, symbolism, and dialog. The key here is to grow a script organically rather than force the story into preexisting mechanics. Despite its heavy nature, Truby's book retains a practical edge through the exercises that close each chapter. Although neither book should be considered a replacement for Syd Field's classic Screenplay: The Foundations of Screenwriting, both are worthwhile additions to collections that feature writing advice and how-to guides. Both are recommended for large public libraries; The Anatomy of Story is highly recommended for academic libraries as well.-Christian Zabriskie, Queens P.L., NY Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

"Truby attempts to inform the entire story, addressing plot, character, tone, symbolism, and dialog. The key here is to grow a script organically rather than force the story into preexisting mechanics . . . Highly recommended." --Library Journal "A comprehensive guide to writing stories of all kinds, Truby's tome is invaluable to any writer looking to put an idea to paper." --Booklist "The Anatomy Of Story is concrete and practical without resorting to simplistic 'Three Act Structure' screenwriting cliches. It will be an indispensable guide to writing your first great script. Then, the perfect survival manual to help you negotiate the often confusing, contradictory and cutthroat world of professional screenwriting." --Larry Wilson, co-writer /co-producer of BEETLEJUICE and co-writer of THE ADDAMS FAMILY "A veritable bible for screenwriters." --Backstage "If you're ready to graduate from the boy-meets-girl league of screenwriting, meet John Truby . . . [His lessons draw] epiphanies that make you see the contours of your psyche as sharply as your script." --LA Weekly

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