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  • kjoannerixon

Story Genius

I have moderated a high quality writers' critique group for half a decade, written several novels and developmentally edited at least a dozen more; I've read and discussed and recommended and dissected books on craft for years, recreationally and professionally. And this is the book I recommend to people, whether they're new to writing or have been publishing for decades. I myself use Cron's method for outlining as you write, and have since the first time I read this book.

The brain science stuff is poorly cited and may or may not be true; I don't actually care. What matters, to me, is Cron's extremely practical advice for developing your story's motive force and keeping that motion central to your plot and to your characters' heart(s). Failing to do this is the most common flaw I see in the completed novels that go through my critique group, and fixing it is the hardest part of the craft to teach or to learn. Cron's step-by-step process is the closest I've seen to cracking that cipher.

I re-read this book this summer in order to follow Cron's method exactly as I developed the novel I'm currently working on. I felt like I learned from it even on the second read. There may be better books on how to write a great story out there, but I haven't seen them!


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