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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

5.0 out of 5 stars

Every Author Should Own This Book

This is a book every author should own. Grant P. Hudson does an outstanding job explaining story structure and the mechanics involved in creating a story or novel that readers will love. His examples are explained in an engaging manner so this book doesn't seem like reading a text book. I have already implemented many of his ideas in building a novel. This book contains great advice and I highly recommend it to all authors.

By Christina Steele

February 4, 2019

5.0 out of 5 stars

A True Breakthrough

I've read this book twice. Once , cursory in curiosity about a person who has beta read my w oi r, published my work and is a consistent favored friend of mine on Facebook. It was a unique read. But this second time I read the book for me. As I studied the power of vacuums in the making of great literature and examined my own methodology and beliefs about the power of the written word I became convinced that Grant Hudson has created a new truth in literature and creatve writing. The survey was particularly enlightening to my personal attributes and flaws in writing. It also shows t gf e care and dedication Mr. Hudson has to the field he has studied for forty years and to the writers who has and will help on their journeys. This work of nonfiction helped me immensely. I see the fiction writing world with the clarity of a microscope and a telescope through the physics Grant Hudson has applied to the art of storytelling. I am changed for the better as a writer and I particularly love the science application. I highly recommend How Stories Really Work. Destined to be a classic.

CL Steele, Author & Poet

By Eddie C. Hartshorn

June 6, 2018

5.0 out of 5 stars

Do You Have a Story to Tell? This Book Will Show You How!

I have been writing off and on since the fifth grade. That was 54 years ago. I thought I knew what I was doing. After reading this book, I understand more about the what, why, when, who for, and the structure of doing each. Mr. Hudson has enlightened a great deal in this book. He has taken classics and broken them down into easy to understand five important steps. He speaks of vacuums and their need while creating vacuums of his own. I highly recommend this book for anyone who wants to write or has been writing a lifetime. One is never too old to learn more!

By Dr. Trekker

March 31, 2018

5.0 out of 5 stars

Read this if you're a writer

After reading this book, I'll never look at stories the same way. This step-by-step how-to book is full of wisdom about how classic stories are structured. You will see how to apply these principles to your own stories and novels, converting them to page-turners.

By Christopher J. Steine

May 26, 2018

5.0 out of 5 stars

Great for the academic readers out there

I received this book as a gift so I am not sure how Amazon will treat this review but I felt it was important to review Grant's book. I know some folks might think this review has something to do with a gift but that is not true as you can tell by the star ratings others have provided. I probably won't be adding much to what has already been said but, Grant's book is an in-depth look at creating and arranging your story. He is academic in his approach and uses metaphors that are easy to understand and implement.

If you don't have this book, you might think about getting it.

By Steve Carr

October 24, 2017

5.0 out of 5 stars

An invaluable tool to understanding how to write fiction

I have had nearly 100 short stories published and thought I knew about writing. This book taught me new ways to look at my own writing as well as other writing. Grant Hudson doesn't recycle old ways to look at the writing process, he invents new ways for a writer to examine almost every aspect of writing fiction, and provides a new vocabulary for how to do it. Very highly recommended for anyone who writes or wants to write fiction.

By Patt O’Neil

August 1, 2019

5.0 out of 5 stars

Mr. Hudson Takes Writing From an Art to a Science

If your story just doesn’t seem to have a decent hook in the plot, or the characters seem flat, this book was written for you. Breaking down the common factors of all good stories, Grant Hudson, uses examples of modern and classic literature/films to show how good writing can be as much of a science as it is an art. There are times when it seems he is repeating himself, but he is demonstrating how his “formula” can be applied to every successful story, over and again. So, if you want to improve your writing skills, or just want to understand an author’s message clearer, this is the book for you.

It's beautiful, informative, essential reading for anyone who wants to write fiction. It’s almost a responsibility point, you’re committing a crime if you don’t get it into peoples’ hands!!!

-B.R. (Author)

Your book is teaching me all the stuff that the other books don’t! I can learn all about three-act structures and all that stuff elsewhere -this book is telling me exactly what to put INTO the structure! It makes writing so easy and you can immediately spot where you’re going wrong! Excellent!

-L.J. (Professional)

This is an absolutely amazing achievement! I highly recommend it to anyone interested in writing fiction.

-T.R. (Student)

I was extremely impressed. This is not idle flattery. You’ve done a superb job in uncovering the factors that go into making a great piece of literature.

-B.R. (Executive)

I'm reading through "How Stories Really Work." I've studied writing books for years but I've never seen anything like this!

I learned about your work after reading an article you wrote. I was intrigued by the premise, but at the time, there wasn't an Amazon review (something I must rectify when I'm finished). I decided it wouldn't hurt to read the preview. . .And promptly bought it.

This book is REVOLUTIONARY. Everything is made so simple and precise that other methods of writing seem clumsy by comparison. It's not just a way of writing, but a way of seeing.

-A. P. (Author)


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