Learn what a story really is...
• what a story really is
• what it is actually doing to and for you and other readers
• the magnetic power that attracts readers even before the introduction of any character
• what the thing called a ‘character’ actually is, and how to rapidly build a convincing one
• the things called ‘plots’, what they are and how they are actually made
• what ‘protagonists’ and ‘antagonists’ really are, and what the connection between them consists of
• the four categories of the powerful force that compels readers to turn pages
• the ‘nuclear reactor’ that drives all successful stories through to their conclusion
• how the four basic genres -Epic, Tragedy, Irony and Comedy- are composed and how they work to create different effects
and much, much more.
What the experts say:
As with all professionals, I too read craft books every day, to stay on top of my game.
Over the last thirty years, I’ve read (literally) hundreds of writing books. And, lemme tell ya, the VAST majority of them are garbage.
The relative few that are decent still aren’t great. Writing instructors usually spend 60,000 words saying what could’ve been said in 60.
EXCEPT for yours, Grant. Your books are hands down, bar none, exceptional. You get down into the nitty gritty and talk about real stuff that’s immediately useful.
I especially like How Stories Really Work. You really nailed it with that one.
And, Grant... it’s REALLY hard to impress me. But, you had me hooked from the very first sentence.
In fact, I’ve already turned a number of my past clients onto it.
So... thank you for giving the writing world something of merit. Your book is a breath of invigorating fresh air.
May it breathe new life into this great industry of ours so that writers may once again set the world on fire.
-J. C. Admore, Professional Writing Expert
An amazing book. Fascinating application of physics theory to the art of fiction writing.
Presents new ways of understanding how stories work.
I now look for"vacuums" everywhere. Excellent case studies covering all genres. Thought-provoking and inspiring. I highly recommend this book to all readers and writers of fiction.
- G. Leyland (B Social Work, Grad Dip Writing, MA Creative Writing)
What the readers say:
By Julie C. Eger
Story ideas come into my mind, usually as a first line that grabs my interest. I jot the idea in a notebook, along with a short note of where the idea came from or where I think it will lead. I have a dozen notebooks filled with story ideas. But my stories had no momentum, no end. It was just pretty prose. Norbert Blei, one of my mentor’s, (God rest his soul) told me once, “You’re good out of the gate but your cake falls flat 3/4 of the way around the track.” Norb purposefully mixed those metaphors to identify where I was struggling. I knew he was right but I didn’t know how to fix it. I kept searching for some kind of recipe that would add the right ingredient to get to a successful story-ending. That was back in 2012. In 2018 (maybe my lucky year?) I was introduced to Grant Hudson’s book, How Stories Really Work - Exploring the Physics of Fiction. And just like that, everything changed. I felt like I was in Home Economics class where the teacher had us gather all the ingredients before we started making the cake. “One missing ingredient will ruin your recipe.” I realized I’d only been gathering ‘beginnings’ to stories without giving much thought to the endings. Grant’s book showed me how to think to get to the kind of endings I had been searching for. Ones that made the reader ponder. I admit I’m a slow learner but I have been able to use the strategies in Grant’s book to find the endings that feel right in my stories. For me, reading How Stories Really Work really was a happy ending.
By Holly Peterson
How Stories Really Work is a fascinating read and so helpful. You get to see, sort of Matrix style, what is really going on that makes good stories draw you in, and how to create your own stories with power to hold reader attention and give them something wonderful. I definitely recommend it!
By Mia Warren-Brown
Loved the book. Have used the principles in many a story. It all makes so much sense. If you want help in drawing readers in - this is the book to get..
By Charles Freedom Long
December 17, 2018
5.0 out of 5 stars
One of only two books on writing I consider indispensable
This book, aimed for writers, will change the way you look at fiction. Hudson explores the idea of “vacuums” in fiction, what effect they have on the reader of a story, and how they are and can be created and used by great writers to create great literature.
He lays bare the vacuums—the needs underneath the attraction of characters and plots to a reader and explains—with examples from great writing—how “vacuums attract emotional commitment” from the reader, and how lack thereof produces dull, wearying, “author centered,” ineffective writing, as opposed to “reader-centered” writing. The book is brilliant, mechanical in a similar way to the way Jack Bickham deals with the interplay of scene and structure in “Scene and Structure.” Both books have won a place on my shelf as profoundly important—indeed, indispensable writing aids. I cannot recommend them more highly.
By Dawn Taylor
February 21, 2018