Hello from the writing studio!
This week I'm doing a book review of Invisible Ink, by Brian Mcdonald, because if you're anything like me, you didn't pay much attention to your teachers when they were teaching structure and craft. In fact, I belong to the "pantser" group that enjoys diving into a project without planning and seeing where the journey leads. Unfortunately, as I'm now in my 30s without having any books on any bestseller lists, and several stuck in my head waiting their turn to come out, I realized that it may be time to revisit the writing basics.
Cue Brian McDonald.
I first heard him speak in a series of Storyteller podcasts. He was so eloquent and used such simple examples to illustrate his points that even I, Queen Blockhead, felt it all sink in. Nothing he said was new to me (I'm sure all my teachers had told me about it before), but he was able to distill the ether of structure and craft into concrete processes for success.
So when he mentioned his book, I immediately purchased it, delving into the numbered and bulleted lists, furiously coping them into my own notebooks.
I did this for three-fourths of the book. But in the last fourth, it seemed to slowly vaporize back into the ether of story building, the land of the divine, incomprehensible muse. I couldn't help but feel that I had missed the ship. I went back over my notes looking for the ticket or the last call or even a timetable to catch the next departure. But there was only fog.
Would I recommend this book? Absolutely. I already have. Definitely buy it and then (if you need to) replace with the word "story" with whatever industry you call home, and proceed onward. It's equally applicable across business, media, and creative fields. (And maybe the ending won't be as nebulous for you.)
I treasure my bullet-pointed notebook with my blueprints for structure and craft. I have done the exercises with all my stories, and they have all improved dramatically.
So buy Invisible Ink. Then maybe look into his next books, Golden Theme and Ink Spots.
(wait... that progression seems deliberate...)