Book Review: Story Trumps Structure

Story Trumps Structure: How to Write Unforgettable Fiction by Breaking the RulesStory Trumps Structure: How to Write Unforgettable Fiction by Breaking the Rules by Steven James
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book was such a delightful gem, a relief in fact. I have to admit that I am not a planner when it comes to writing. I try to behave. I read the recommended books on “how” to write, how to plan, how to organize plot points and turning points and denouements and where things should fall to make it all work out. But they don’t really thrill me. As I’m reading them, part of me is snarkily resistant. My inner muse rebels at the thought of ‘rules’. Still, I want to further my craft and so I try to tame the inner unease and take notes and follow the steps – until now.

This book showed me that I don’t need permission to write however it is I write. Everyone does it differently and we can all succeed. This book gives good advice for maintaining quality even if you don’t plot and plan every move. Down-to-earth, logical, realistic and forgiving, this book made me smile. But what’s more, it made me want to write something every time I read a chapter. So thank you, Mr. James, from me and my rebellious muse!

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A Review of Orison by Daniel Swensen

Orison transports you another world, but be careful – here there be dragons.


I don’t like to write reviews, partially because I don’t know what will spoil the read for someone else.  So I will tread carefully here.  I really enjoyed reading Daniel Swensen’s Orison, finishing it in one sitting on a lovely snowy Saturday.

Orison is the tale of Story, a sort-of female Oliver Twist, and her drunken ex-sorcerer friend named Wrynn who unwittingly become embroiled in a complicated plot to start a war. She just wants to get the heck out of Calushain and he would like not to die. But really, it’s about more than just the two of them. Well-told in multiple perspectives, it’s a tapestry of intertwined lives at the mercy of complex coincidences that are really the whims of the cold dragon-gods. Continue reading “A Review of Orison by Daniel Swensen”