What the reviewers say:
I first discovered Grant Hudson when I read a blog post he wrote and was impressed enough to investigate his books. They were new and lacked reviews. They were also expensive. But the premise of "How Stories Really Work" was singularly unique and made bold claims. I looked at a digital preview and quickly realized that I was reading a writing book unlike any I had ever seen. And I've read quite a few! What Mr. Hudson offers is fundamentally a different way of seeing. He strips bare classic novels and blockbuster movies to expose the nuts and bolts driving the machine and explains in detail how and why it works.
Hudson lays out how these mechanics work with clear and concise definitions and then plunges presents detailed analyses of well-known stories, showing they work in action. Hudson also categorizes all fiction into four genres: epic, tragedy, irony, and comedy/romance and lists the ingredients for each. Once again, vacuums play a basic role in determining a story's genre based on the nature of the vacuums and whether or not they are fulfilled.
After reading, you may find traditional writing advice feels incomplete. That's because Hudson teaches us to see more basic parts beneath the hood. This knowledge was worth every dollar I paid. Ebook readers should note that the book lacks a hyperlinked table of contents. My advice would be to bookmark places of interest, especially the genre lists. There's a nice glossary of terms in the back that helps having to avoid finding them in the body text again.