The Heart of Story Structure

Last year I told Steve Niederhauser about Jim Bonnet’s excellent Storymaking Seminar here in Los Angeles – I also wrote a post about Jim’s work here in "Storymaking vs. Storytelling".

Well it looks like Steve made it to Jim’s workshop last month. Here’s some of what he had to say:

"During the seminar, we learned how to artistically treat metaphors so they become relevant and real. We learned how to create a story by looking at story through the eyes of the problem. And we learned that the problem is the heart of a great story’s structure.

"Along with Jim’s storywheel (a global positioning system for writers), these techniques assure that your story structure is based on the story problem.

"If a writer bases her story on an invalid structure she will probably find her story in trouble. So when she tries to fix the story, it falls apart because the story is built on a foundation of sand. A foundation that shifts with each change, creating a flaw in another room of the story."

Reading Steve’s writeup reminds me of how influential Jim’s screenwriting ideas were on BBP – I continue to highly recommend his screenwriting book.

Jim Bonnet and I have stayed in touch since last year. If his workshop sounds interesting to you and you’re thinking about attending the next one, let me know and maybe Jim & I can talk about doing some sort of storymaking session together.

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One Response to “The Heart of Story Structure”

  1. Hi Cliff,

    Thanks so much for recommending Jim’s book and seminar a year ago.

    I’ve taken a wide variety of classes over the years; Jim’s class is one of the best I’ve attended. I didn’t realize how good the class was until it was over and his concepts started to reshape the way I think about solving problems.

    At work, where I’m involved with business and technology problems, people tried to figure out why I’d fly form Dallas to LA to take a storymaking seminar. Well, powerful creative techniques are included in Jim’s seminar. And with just a little imagination you can use these techniques to create value for your company. As you know, Jim’s storymaking methods are especially suited to presentations.

    I think Beyond Bullets and Stealing Fire would be a powerful combination — especially for people who create presentations. Many of the students in Jim’s seminar were working on a story, so as they learned Jim’s story structures and patterns, they’d apply them to their story.

    Steve

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