Back when I began to struggle to write scripts, I tried books. (Not much help.) I tried classes. (I hated Robert Mckee's class) and I took an online class which made me even more confused. Then a student in one of my UCLA novel writing classes told me about this class she was taking with John Truby and she offered to share her notes.
John Truby is a premiere story consultant and the founder of Truby's Writer Studio. He has worked as a story consultant and script doctor for Disney Studios, Sony Pictures, FOX, HBO, and more, and he's taught his 22 Step Great Screenwriting and Genre classes to over 20,000 students worldwide.
I didn't expect much, but those notes were a revelation. Truby eschewed the classic three act structure, instead going for reveals, beats, and character arcs. His insights were so on target that I found I could use many of them in writing novels, too.
Of course, I tracked him down. I begged him to come to my class, and while he hesitated, his now-wife, the writer Leslie Lehr (thank you, Leslie!) insisted that he come to answer questions. Since then, I've returned time and time again to his website just to read his input on various movies and why a particular story worked, or why it did not. When his book came out, The Anatomy of Story Structure, it became my Bible.
Yes, I'm a Trubyite. I know many writers who insist on "following where their pen takes them," who feel that inspiration is everything, and while those factors are important, good, solid structure can actually jump start that creativity.
So now, he's bringing his classes to LA and NYC and I'm going to the NYC one, the weekend of March 23rd. To see the incredible syllables, get more information, or sign up, go here.