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Publisher's Summary

“Writing is structure,” William Goldman said, but too often aspiring writers plunge into their work without grasping this fundamental principle. Story structure is one of the most important concepts for a writer to understand - and ironically, one of the least frequently taught. In this book, New York Times best-selling author William Bernhardt explains the elements that make stories work, using examples spanning from Gilgamesh to The Hunger Games. In each chapter, he introduces essential concepts in a direct and easily comprehended manner. Most importantly, Bernhardt demonstrates how you can apply these ideas to improve your own writing.
William Bernhardt is the author of more than 30 books, including the blockbuster Ben Kincaid series of legal thrillers. Bernhardt is also one of the most sought-after writing instructors in the nation. His programs have educated many authors now published by major houses. He is the only person to have received the Southern Writers Gold Medal Award, the Royden B. Davis Distinguished Author Award (U Penn), and the H. Louise Cobb Distinguished Author Award (OSU), which is given "in recognition of an outstanding body of work that has profoundly influenced the way in which we understand ourselves and American society at large."
The Red Sneaker Writing Center is dedicated to helping writers achieve their literary goals. What is a red sneaker writer? A committed writer seeking useful instruction and guidance rather than obfuscation and attitude. Red sneakers get the job done, and so do red sneaker writers, by paying close attention to their art and craft, committing to hard work, and never quitting. Are you a red sneaker writer? If so, this book is for you.
©2013 William Bernhardt Writing Programs (P)2014 Babylon Books
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
1 out of 5 stars
By Crystal W. Rast on 03-11-15

Book is an Infomercial

What disappointed you about Story Structure: The Key to Successful Fiction?

I've read several books on story structure, most notably _Story_ by Mckee (which I've read several times). The synopsis of this book mentioned several books that I've enjoyed, so I purchased it. When the author began the book by excusing the brevity of the audiobook (which I hadn't realized was so short until that point), and then launched into a pitch for his seminars, I was fine. But, when every example of actual story structure came from one of his books (one of which he even stated that the reader might want to buy MULTIPLE copies in order to take notes), then I got fed up. This is not an instructional book so much as an infomercial meant to draw up sales for his books. Rather than using this as a platform from which to try to foist his books off on readers, he should have actually offered instructional content, taking examples from noteworthy works (as McKee does), and impressed the listener with his knowledge of the craft. That would have made me want to read his books. That would have made me want to consider attending one of his seminars. And that would have definitely made me more likely to purchase more audiobooks.

I have only left one other negative book review in my life, but I felt compelled to warn potential buyers not to waste their money or time.

Would you ever listen to anything by William Bernhardt again?


What three words best describe William Bernhardt’s voice?

relaxing, clear, precise

What character would you cut from Story Structure: The Key to Successful Fiction?

The salesman who happens to be the author.

Any additional comments?

Just hoping I can get a refund on this.

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20 of 22 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By SydSavvy on 02-29-16

Addicted to Series

I started at the beginning. This one was good - I learned several new tips and heard many others reiterated. Since listening to this offering, I've almost listened to them all and I find they are quite good. To be taken in bits and gentle reminders while you are plodding away at your craft.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
2 out of 5 stars
By Amazon Customer on 05-31-17

Warning! Forces you to buy the ebook!

If this book wasn’t for you, who do you think might enjoy it more?

Those OK with getting half a book.

What was most disappointing about William Bernhardt’s story?

Throughout his books, the author refers to apendixes, diagrams, and other material included in the ebook but not in or with the audiobook! The author advises that if you contact him, he will send a free copy of the ebooks. Well, I've contacted him multiple times in many forms over the last year and haven't received a reply.

What three words best describe William Bernhardt’s performance?

Useful but Commercialized

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Story Structure: The Key to Successful Fiction?

I would have added the appendixes available for download.

Any additional comments?


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5 out of 5 stars
By mark on 05-03-17

Great book

Really good book, it gave me lots of information on how to structure my story, highly recommend.

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