Into the Woods (Kobo eBook)
An analysis of the fundamental narrative structure, why it works, the meanings of stories, and why we tell them in the first place.
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 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.
Praise for Into the Woods
“Love storytelling? You need this inspiring book. John Yorke dissects the structure of stories with a joyous enthusiasm allied to precise, encyclopedic knowledge. Guaranteed to send you back to your writing desk with newfound excitement and drive.” —Chris Chibnall, creator/writer, Broadchurch and Gracepoint
“Outrageously good and by far and away the best book of its kind I’ve ever read. I recognized so much truth in it. But more than that, I learned a great deal. Time and again, Yorke articulates things I’ve always felt but have never been able to describe. . . . This is a love story to story—erudite, witty and full of practical magic. I struggle to think of the writer who wouldn’t benefit from reading it—even if they don’t notice because they’re too busy enjoying every page.” —Neil Cross, creator/writer, Luther and Crossbones
“Part ‘how-to’ manual, part ‘why-to’ celebration, Into the Woods is a wide-reaching and infectiously passionate exploration of storytelling in all its guises . . . exciting and thought-provoking.” —Emma Frost, screenwriter, The White Queen and Shameless