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Saturday, May 27, 2017

The Story Cure

The Story Cure: A Book Doctor's Pain-Free Guide to Finishing Your Novel or Memoir by Dinty W. Moore is a fun and useful guide to getting your story right. This unique handbook focuses on the integral aspects of story, including plot, setting, and character, but really deals more with the details that make a story good:

“…how well we understand it, how well we tell it, and how well we enable it to come alive in the reader’s mind” (p. 2).

Using the theme of a diagnosis and cure, Moore’s conversational style and humorous, friendly tone encourage writers to dig in and create. The prompts and worksheets are helpful in getting organized and getting past writer’s block, but they are also fun and much different from the average writing prompt. (I am gathering lots of ideas to share with my summer workshop students.)

“IS YOUR WRITING OUT OF TOUCH? Fine, that happens, but perhaps what you need to do is immediately step away from the keyboard and go touch some things. I mean this literally. Remind yourself of the tactile world you inhabit” (p. 92).

I like the format of this guide and the way Moore uses examples from popular authors to prescribe improvements and fixes to common hurdles, such as:

lack of inspiration
flat plot
weak characterization
invisible setting
silent voice
wobbly structure      
too many words      
too few words

It would be an awesome experience to be a student in one of Dinty Moore’s classes if his book is any indication. 

The publisher provided a review copy of The Story Cure.