Into the Woods: A Five Act Journey Into Story

Into the Woods: A Five Act Journey Into Story

John Yorke / Feb 26, 2021

Into the Woods A Five Act Journey Into Story None

  • Title: Into the Woods: A Five Act Journey Into Story
  • Author: John Yorke
  • ISBN: 9781846146435
  • Page: 335
  • Format: Paperback
  • None

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      Published :2020-08-07T07:06:59+00:00

    About "John Yorke"

      • John Yorke

        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.


    1. 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 ho [...]

    2. 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 ou [...]

    3. 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 more 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 [...]

    4. 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 more useful but all of it is clear and interesting. The later third of the book, particularly the summing up is more about defending the theory pro [...]

    5. 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.

    6. 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 [...]

    7. 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 "ru [...]

    8. 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.)

    9. 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 nov [...]

    10. 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 helpf [...]

    11. 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 níét had gelezen (althans nog nooit zo concreet), [...]

    12. 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 e [...]

    13. 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 shif [...]

    14. 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.

    15. 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.

    16. 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.

    17. dopecleverfor those who like to dig to the rootsneat beautiful argumentscreates lots of read- and watch-lists

    18. 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 [...]

    19. 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- [...]

    20. 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 t [...]

    21. 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 [...]

    22. 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 (may [...]

    23. 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 th [...]

    24. 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 f [...]

    25. 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 more 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 [...]

    26. 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 every [...]

    27. 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 [...]

    28. 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 D&D 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.R [...]

    29. 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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