Into the Woods: A Five-Act Journey Into Story

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Kindle Into the Woods: A Five-Act Journey Into Story John Yorke is a British TV producer. His book is in the same vein as Syd Field's Screenplay, McKee's Story, Vogler's The Writer's Journey or Snyder's Save the Cat!. These books are essentially screenwriting handbooks, which try to surface and elucidate the hidden structure of storytelling. This sort of research however can be traced back to Campbell's studies on myth, The Hero with a Thousand Faces, Propp's Morphology of the Folktale and first and foremost to Aristotle's attempt at describing how tragedies (should) work in his Poetics.Yorke's book is yet another attempt at understanding how storytelling works. While doing so he criticises his predecessors for their lack of depth of view (rather unsurprisingly: it's a typical way of justifying one's own work). His ambition in this book is to give some "scientific" (he talks about the "physics of storytelling") or at least explanatory arguments to the structural patterns of storytelling.His enquiry contains a few very interesting elaborations on structure symmetry: stories often can be split in the middle and the two segments (from beginning to midpoint and from midpoint to end) present symmetrical patterns. He also expands on the idea that story shapes have a fractal design: each scene in a play displaying the same pattern as the acts or as the whole play, etc. Too, he makes a few interesting comments about characters and characterisation: the conflict between their “want” and their “need”, between their “facade” and their “flaw”, and so on. He finally insists on explaining why we tell stories, and gives a few possible reasons, the most convincing one being that they are essential to our cognitive process and to our need to instil an orderly pattern into the frightening and ever changing chaos of reality.When talking about actual storytelling structure, things get a bit muddy however. As it is known, the fundamental structure that is advocated by most former screenwriting "gurus" since at least Syd Field is that of the three acts (exposition - complication - resolution). York, however, starts out trying to vindicate the old Roman convention of a five acts structure. To support this argument, he borrows examples from Shakespeare, oddly forgetting that the divisions of Shakespeare's plays in five acts are the doing of posthumous (sometimes ill fitting) editorial decisions. And, in conclusion, he concedes that the five acts division equates the three acts division, the essential aspect being that they both have an exposition, a mid-point, a crisis, a climax, a denouement. Better still, the three acts division borrows from the waltzed mouvement of Hegelian dialectics, founding principle of the way we structure the world (perhaps even principle of how the world is structured?). Nothing new under the moon…Yorke finally implies that these “physics of storytelling” can be applied universally to all stories… I wish! This idea clearly comes from the fact that almost all his examples are from movies, TV dramas and performing arts, which in many cases are, indeed, conventionally (explicitly or implicitly) broken into three or five parts (sometimes with a couple of intervals for the audience and the performers to rest). It could well be the case that the structural “iron laws” of storytelling expounded by Yorke and a few of his predecessors apply to mainstream cinema and TV serials. But they sound a bit too prescriptive to be true, and they would have needed to be crash-tested against a wider corpus of literary examples, especially from poetry, novels, even history.. Into the Woods: A Five-Act Journey Into Story Viral Kindle The idea of Into the Woods is not to supplant works by Aristotle, Lajos Egri, Robert McKee, David Mamet, or any other writers of guides for screenwriters and playwrights, but to pick up on their cues and take the reader on a historical, philosophical, scientific, and psychological journey to the heart of all storytelling.In this exciting and wholly original book, John YorkThe idea of Into the Woods is not to supplant works by Aristotle, Lajos Egri, Robert McKee, David Mamet, or any other writers of guides for screenwriters and playwrights, but to pick up on their cues and take the reader on a historical, philosophical, scientific, and psychological journey to the heart of all storytelling.In this exciting and wholly original book, John Yorke not only shows that there is truly a unifying shape to narrative one that echoes the great fairytale journey into the woods, and one, like any great art, that comes from deep within he explains why, too With examples ranging from The Godfather to True Detective, Mad Men to Macbeth, and fairy tales to Forbrydelsen The Killing , Yorke utilizes Shakespearean five act structure as a key to analyzing all storytelling in all narrative forms, from film and television to theatre and novel writing a big step from the usual three act approach Into the Woods A Five Act Journey Into Story is destined to sit alongside David Mamet s Three Uses of the Knife, Robert McKee s Story, Syd Field s Screenplay, and Lajos Egri s The Art of Dramatic Writing as one of the most original, useful, and inspiring books ever on dramatic writing.. John Yorke Is a well-known author, some of his books are a fascination for readers like in the Into the Woods: A Five-Act Journey Into Story book, this is one of the most wanted John Yorke author readers around the world. . Bestseller Ebook Into the Woods: A Five-Act Journey Into Story John Yorke is a British TV producer. His book is in the same vein as Syd Field's Screenplay, McKee's Story, Vogler's The Writer's Journey or Snyder's Save the Cat!. These books are essentially screenwriting handbooks, which try to surface and elucidate the hidden structure of storytelling. This sort of research however can be traced back to Campbell's studies on myth, The Hero with a Thousand Faces, Propp's Morphology of the Folktale and first and foremost to Aristotle's attempt at describing how tragedies (should) work in his Poetics.Yorke's book is yet another attempt at understanding how storytelling works. While doing so he criticises his predecessors for their lack of depth of view (rather unsurprisingly: it's a typical way of justifying one's own work). His ambition in this book is to give some "scientific" (he talks about the "physics of storytelling") or at least explanatory arguments to the structural patterns of storytelling.His enquiry contains a few very interesting elaborations on structure symmetry: stories often can be split in the middle and the two segments (from beginning to midpoint and from midpoint to end) present symmetrical patterns. He also expands on the idea that story shapes have a fractal design: each scene in a play displaying the same pattern as the acts or as the whole play, etc. Too, he makes a few interesting comments about characters and characterisation: the conflict between their “want” and their “need”, between their “facade” and their “flaw”, and so on. He finally insists on explaining why we tell stories, and gives a few possible reasons, the most convincing one being that they are essential to our cognitive process and to our need to instil an orderly pattern into the frightening and ever changing chaos of reality.When talking about actual storytelling structure, things get a bit muddy however. As it is known, the fundamental structure that is advocated by most former screenwriting "gurus" since at least Syd Field is that of the three acts (exposition - complication - resolution). York, however, starts out trying to vindicate the old Roman convention of a five acts structure. To support this argument, he borrows examples from Shakespeare, oddly forgetting that the divisions of Shakespeare's plays in five acts are the doing of posthumous (sometimes ill fitting) editorial decisions. And, in conclusion, he concedes that the five acts division equates the three acts division, the essential aspect being that they both have an exposition, a mid-point, a crisis, a climax, a denouement. Better still, the three acts division borrows from the waltzed mouvement of Hegelian dialectics, founding principle of the way we structure the world (perhaps even principle of how the world is structured?). Nothing new under the moon…Yorke finally implies that these “physics of storytelling” can be applied universally to all stories… I wish! This idea clearly comes from the fact that almost all his examples are from movies, TV dramas and performing arts, which in many cases are, indeed, conventionally (explicitly or implicitly) broken into three or five parts (sometimes with a couple of intervals for the audience and the performers to rest). It could well be the case that the structural “iron laws” of storytelling expounded by Yorke and a few of his predecessors apply to mainstream cinema and TV serials. But they sound a bit too prescriptive to be true, and they would have needed to be crash-tested against a wider corpus of literary examples, especially from poetry, novels, even history.

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    John Yorke Is a well-known author, some of his books are a fascination for readers like in the Into the Woods: A Five-Act Journey Into Story book, this is one of the most wanted John Yorke author readers around the world.

One thought on “Into the Woods: A Five-Act Journey Into Story

  • John Yorke is a British TV producer His book is in the same vein as Syd Field s Screenplay, McKee s Story, Vogler s The Writer s Journey or Snyder s Save the Cat These books are essentially screenwriting handbooks, which try to surface and elucidate the hidden structure of storytelling This sort of research however can be traced back to Campbell s studies on myth, The Hero with a Thousand Faces, Propp s Morphology of the Folktale and first and foremost to Aristotle s attempt at describing how tr [...]


  • With Into the Woods, Yorke has performed a service to every writer on the planet.Personally, I found it uplifting and liberating because it encouraged me to do what has always worked best following my own quiet, but deeply held instincts about what and how to write.It s so easy to be swept away by creative self doubt and the fear that, just because you re not a big name in fiction or film, your work isn t good enough That insecurity sells every how to manual ever written and makes gurus out of t [...]


  • It is fascinating to read John Yorke break down story to its core elements stripping away plot, dialogue and motivation and all other artifice and decoration to really examine what makes stories work Yorke pulls away at the very concept working out how one particular component functions then yanking away some and examining another aspect before holding it up to the light again and so on Some of what he comes up with I already knew as, I think, would most consumers of books, TV and films but the [...]


  • I have said before that the right writing craft book has a way of falling into your hands when you need it I bought Into the Woods two years ago and it has sat on the shelf Last week I picked it up and each page has provided me with clear insight in the story writing process For the novel writer I would say that the first 2 3s of the book is the useful but all of it is clear and interesting The later third of the book, particularly the summing up is about defending the theory proposed interest [...]


  • Like many such books that seek to provide a universal theory of narrative, Into The Woods is only able to do so by proposing one so abstract that almost any story can, when tortured enough, be said to fit within it The author then has little left to do but repeat the same points over and over, until the reader is hypnotised into accepting the supposed genius of this system, or gives up I chose the latter.


  • Most people should be aware that, as humans, we love a good story the success of W.H Smiths, champions of the yellow backs , and attest to that fact and what the author has done here, is to trace the development of the story through history from Aristotle to the present day He is an experienced TV producer and should know his subject inside out He illustrates his thesis, which, basically is that all stories conform to a three act structure even those written in five acts with examples, from all [...]


  • For a book partly about how to write, this is very poorly written There are far too many grammatical and other errors, including sometimes simply the wrong word used There are some interesting points but some of them are very obvious eg you need conflict for a dramatic scene to work, well yes Some of the points don t work at all, especially the analysis of Waiting for Godot and the film No Country for Old Men Both these two works are ground breaking precisely because they DON T fit the rules And [...]


  • Meh Much filler Wow Very reachings Such vapid And I like JY s actual stories, too And the overall learning your craft won t kill your yoonique special snowflake genius, honestly direction is one I m totally behind But lord what a philosophically hollow, cobbled together disappointment of a book.


  • As former Controller of BBC Drama and head of Channel Four Drama, John Yorke knows his stuff, and he makes a great case for thinking of narrative in Shakespeare s five rather than the currently almost ubiquitous three act structure He sold me on the concept it s radically altered the way I think about the way stories work.This is, as you d expect, a very well written, highly readable, academic book about creative writing and story structure that reads as easily and entertainingly, as a novel Yor [...]


  • This is hands down the best book I ve ever read on story and structure The guy is a maniac with encyclopedic knowledges of where structure comes from, how it s evolved, what that means, how it can be used He s absorbed McKee and Murdock and Field and Campell and pretty much every other writing guru you can name for anyone who also consumes that stuff, it s fun on that level alone, his insights into these various schools of though, and playing them off each other This book was majorly helpful for [...]



  • Shit, zo n wijs boek.Waarom heb ik nooit zoiets gelezen toen ik nog Germaanse studeerde Daar leerde ik wel over de opsmuk of symboliek in verhalen, maar weinig over de dieper liggende structuren die opduiken in ieder goed verteld verhaal.John Yorke vertrekt vanuit films en tv series, maar ge ziet dezelfde mechanismen opduiken in romans en korte verhalen.Ik las al redelijk wat boeken met analyses die grotendeels gelijk lopen, maar wat ik nog n t had gelezen althans nog nooit zo concreet , is hoe [...]


  • Into The Woods, subtitled A Five Act Journey into Story is a book about story telling We all know what a story is, and books that tell us how to write the supposedly perfect novel screen play short story etc are everywhere But what these books never address is just why we tell stories What is it about humanity that insists on the need to tell a story and why is there a unifying narrative structure to all of our stories From the X Factor to films and novels to an episode of Eastenders, Yorke exam [...]


  • This is an interesting look at story structure the best of the ones I ve read, because it gets into the human psychological reasons behind it I also appreciated that the author is UK based, and considered a few different examples of story telling than usual, including TV series though the main examples are the usual filmic suspects I very much appreciated the protagonist and antagonist being referred to throughout with they their pronouns, and thereby finally providing a significant shift away f [...]


  • Pretty much any of the blurbs can tell you what sets this book apart I m not normally one for screenwriting how to manuals, but Yorke does something different by asking, Why Why do we have story structures Why do they come so naturally to us Why do those that shun structure end up using it Parts of this book are really helpful, is all I m going to say He breaks down classic films into Act structures, too, which always serves to inform.


  • Staat een mooie tip in Zorg ervoor dat je hoofdpersoon een flaw foutje heeft In tvseries doen ze dat tegenwoordig heel goed Frank Underwood is latent homo, de vrouwelijke inspecteur in The Bridge is autistisch, de verzekeringsman in Fargo is onberekenbaar en vermoordt in zo n bui zijn eigen vrouw en zo verder.


  • I wasn t sure I would be able to find a screenwriting book better than Robert McKee s Story but this is pretty close Looking at structure and the basic outline of the archetypal story, my copy now has lots of scribbles all over it that I keep going back to That has to be the biggest compliment for a writing book.



  • This won t be the first book to tell you that all stories have a fundamental shape even stories that seek to break from convention Nor is this the first book to claim that humans are pattern seeking creatures we strive to impose order on the random chaos around us, lest we go insane But I don t know whether many books though there are several that John Yorke cites link the two.Yorke, in characteristic maudlin British fashion, states quite bluntly that the universe is indeed random, and it is in [...]


  • Back in May 2017 I heard the Marks on the Best seller experiment podcast raving about this book when they interviewed the author, so I added it to my wishliststsellerexperiment ep34 It is totally worth a listen if you can t afford the book.John Yorke has written for a long time He s worked on BBC, various soap operas and helped set up the BBC Writers Academy a training scheme for writers of television drama, run by the British Broadcasting Corporation from 2005 to 2013 It s about 400 900 for his [...]


  • Everyone has their favourite storytelling guru right Mine is John Truby I had read Christopher Vogler and Robert McKee before I happened to find Anatomy Of Story NEXT to the book I was ostensibly looking for in the library and suddenly it all made sense Reading the first part of Yorke s book is a refresher of Truby This is reassuring As Yorke writes himself in the final chapter, every guru is basically saying thee same thing Yorke later on presents a theory on why archetypal stories have the sam [...]


  • How to structure a story is a topic that s pretty much been covered It s all just footnotes to Aristotle, right In fact, it s been so covered that there are a great many writers who indignantly swear that they won t be constrained by stuffy old prescriptions on how to structure You ll notice those writers are still writing pretty well structured stories almost as if it were an inevitable consequence of how humans understand the world and not just a bunch of arbitrary rules So Yorke does a pretty [...]


  • There are some good points about writing great stories in this book I especially liked the ideas about acts and even scenes acting as fractals of the structure for the whole piece And I think that the concept of the first and last acts functioning well as mirrors for each other is good too The phrases rubber ducky moment and jumping the shark are fun and these concepts are, clearly, to be avoided.The graphs though add nothing other than, perhaps, some impression of pseudo science maybe they re e [...]


  • It s always entertaining to read the comments for books about creative craft for the angry or disappointed comments of those who had hoped to have found the solution to the perfect screenplay and the fame that comes with it Naturally the best way to learn is to read broadly and cherry pick the ideas that appeal to you But with this book that realisation was implicit from the start, that no such book does or can ever exist John Yorke presents here an incredibly honest, thorough appraisal of the p [...]


  • The book starts off strong but the conclusion is really lackluster His analysis of how the five act structure works is unique to storytelling literature and definitely worth reading, but his thesis is that he s going to explore why stories universally follow this five act structure and his final conclusion is, because it makes sense Not exactly groundbreaking He also goes on this weird spiel about how Joseph Campbell s monomyth was only kind of right because everyone tells stories using the five [...]


  • There are lots of books about the how of story This book is about the why of story Humans learn through stories You will always remember a story easily than a fact, which is why the earliest lessons we learn are through fables and cautionary tales John Yorke looks at the way stories are structured and draws parallels between the structure of popular successful stories and the human learning process It s reasonably academic in tone and it won t teach you how to write but if you re already some w [...]


  • This was so great It made me thinks lots about the way that stories work and why they work I don t watch much movies or TV though so I wish I could have understood the examples a little better Theres so much information in this book that it s a little overwhelming I think I d like to reread it, perhaps while I am editing a novel or something But overall, the analysis is good I m certain that there s a way to write this exact same book without making it so full on, but that could have everything [...]


  • One of the things that I think satisfied me the most in this book was the way that it used seemingly disparate examples to demonstrate its thesis of a central soul in storytelling Even reality TV is not left unturned by this examination of narrative structure Another of its strengths lies in its secondary premise about the necessity of resolving binaries through the protagonist internalizing the antagonist.This has been one of my favorite texts on narrative structure I wish Yorke had included or [...]


  • A good book on story structure and how stories work from a psychological point of view Covers character, plot, dialogue It also explains why series either get flat or jump the shark or both, and by extension why reboots of movie franchises happen.I personally bought this book to help with writing DD adventures It will be very useful Nothing in it contradicts what I have learned that works over decades of roleplaying and reading about RPGs, and I got many new insights as well.Recommended.


  • This book sets to lay out the basic premise of how a story should be constructed It offers a number of interesting insights, but I couldn t help feeling that this necessity is a wider format We are told, for example, to give interview questions in star format and the ST can be equated to the first act, the A the second and R the third Still there s a lot of valuable stuff in here, even if I ended up skimming the ending when it went in depth about the structure of TV series.


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