Tuesday 2 February 2016

Book Review: Finding the Core of Your Story

It's only the beginning of February and I've already spent more money on books that I did last year. I bought three books on writing.

  • The Irresistible Novel by Jeff Gerke
  • Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne and Dave King
  • Finding the Core of Your Story by Jordan Smith
The last one arrived yesterday and I've already read through it once. It's an amazing book, all about writing what is called a log-line in the film industry. I've heard it called the elevator pitch. Basically it's the gist of your story in one sentence.

In his very enjoyable writing style Jordan explains what a log-line is and why you need one. He goes on to explain in detail how get to the core concept of your story and various ways to make your log-line more compelling.

I've already gotten a better idea of what my story is really about and I'm going to keep working through until I have a log-line I can share with you all.

I'm also going to use it when I start working on my next book. A log line can help your story keep going in the direction you intended and makes sure you do actually have a story. You can even write one from the point of view from each of your main characters to keep them on track. 

I wish I'd owned this when I started writing, but there is a chance that it wouldn't have helped me much as my story has changed dramatically. I'll never know though and it's certainly going to help now.

I highly recommend this book for all fiction writers. (Including screen writers of course, though I doubt any of you are reading my review.) It talks about more than I've mentioned, yet it's not a book that will take you too long to read. 

And something that's a little plus for me: Jordan Smith is a Christian which means all of his examples are clean. That's something that I find a problem with many writing books. And he happens to have a website: fixmystory.com I've looked at it a little bit and there's some good stuff on there, mostly on marketing.


  1. Well here's one (aspiring) screenwriter reading your review. :) Being able to tell your story in one sentence is the greatest test of whether you actually have a story, isn't it? The next most helpful thing I've found is plotting out a story using a beat sheet (most movies follow the same pattern of 15 or so beats or events). This method is taught in Blake Snyder's "Save The Cat" screenwriting book - unfortunately he's not a Christian and it shows. :( I'll definitely be checking out Jordan Smith's website.

    1. Well, I was wrong wasn't I? I've read articles about plotting based off 'Save the Cat'.


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