Rapid Story Development Description

Every story has a structure; every story must have a structure. This book teaches story development tools that can guide participants through the intricate process of developing any story idea into its right, true, and natural structure. The key to success lies in understanding the dynamic and intimate relationship between story structure principles and the Enneagram system. This one-of-a-kind manual reveals how any story’s structure is related to, and determined by, the Enneagram types of the characters that populate any story. Story structure and the Enneagram are must-have tools every writer needs in their writing toolbox. The Enneagram is the most powerful system available today that describes the nine-core personality drives underlying all human behavior. Each of the nine drives is rooted in thoughts, feelings, and actions that largely determine how we interact with the world, for good or ill. The Enneagram is not your personality, but it is the crankshaft of your personality; it is the thing that drives us through our personhood and through our lives. Everyone has an Enneagram type, including fictional characters and even stories themselves! In addition to gaining an understanding of the Enneagram, you’ll also learn Jeff’s insightful approach to premise line development and how it integrates with the Enneagram and story structure. For more details on this unique approach, check out Jeff's other book, Anatomy of a Premise Line: How to Master Premise and Story Development for Story Success," now available through Focal Press.

What You Will Discover

  • The basics of the Enneagram system -- a powerful system for understanding human drives and motivations -- and how it works to build better characters and stories, including hands-on exercises to illustrate how each Enneagram style operates and is motivated.
  • Deeper insights into the specifics of the Enneagram that inform how to establish authentic conflict at the both story level and the scene-level — no more grasping at straws for reversals, complications, and raising stakes.
  • How to translate nebulous story ideas into a compelling narrative throughline that works from start to finish -- everything naturally intertwined to create a story that feels right to both you and your audience.
  • An understanding of premise line development and how that connects and relates to both invisible and visible story structure.
  • How to discover and design the key "moral component" for your main character, something most writers and storytellers overlook, and their stories suffer from weak character arcs and story structure as a result.
  • How to create antagonists that are perfectly designed to challenge your protagonist in a way that goes beyond surface action and reveals the core of the story -- no more cookie-cutter "bad guys"! (And yes, this is valuable for non-fiction writers too.)
  • Understanding not only how to design your antagonist as a natural "opposition reflection" of your protagonist, but how far to take your antagonist into that opposition. This is where true storytelling subtleties can come into play.
  • How to design and understand your character's natural motivations, communication styles, and conflict styles so that each character has a unique and identifiable voice — the end of characters all sounding and acting the same!
  • How to land on the underpinnings for key story beats, like your inciting incidents, turning points, midpoint stakes, etc., so that your story’s action moves forward naturally without feeling forced.
  • How the Enneagram influences all the main literary genres and how you can use this to help figure out your best protagonist, moral component, and other story structure elements.
  • And Much More ...


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