THE STORY SOLUTION is a powerful new book on screenwriting by Eric Edson that will help make your screenplay writing more enjoyable, effective and successful. This book offers a completely unique approach to writing a movie script that will keep producers, agents and audiences glued to their chairs. If you are seeking advice on writing a screenplay or looking for screenwriting tips, Eric Edson’s THE STORY SOLUTION is one of the best screenwriting books to consider for your library. Accomplished screenplay writer and university professor Eric Edson reveals the 23 actions used in every successful movie to create dynamic, three-dimensional heroes while linking together all parts of a captivating screenplay from first page to last. This book offers both new screenplay writers and scriptwriting professionals the tools necessary to construct a forceful emotional ride in their storytelling. Writing screenplays is not easy. Eric’s paradigm of HERO GOAL SEQUENCES has raised his book into Amazon’s top list of the best books on screenwriting. Clear and fun to read, THE STORY SOLUTION brings to light an innovative way to insure effective plotlines for both screenplays and novels.

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Based on 242 Reviews

I have a vast array of books on screenwriting... everyone offers the slightly different solution to the three act structure. Each lends a helping hand to lift me out of the hole I've dug for myself. Story Solution is another rung in my story structure library... enjoy

Never before have I read a book about story structure that is THIS BRILLIANT. I've read books that encourage authors to write down a character's likes and dislikes, behavioural nuances, as well as other such hogwash. These books fail to realise that a character liking the colour blue and who flicks their hair when they're nervous DOES NOT make for a compelling character. Advice like this has lead to an abundance of hair-flicking Mary Sue characters who passively wade through their story until they accidentally stumble across The End. Eric distills characters down to their most important function. Reality is, stories shouldn't happen DESPITE the characters- stories should happen BECAUSE of the characters. Eric shows us how to do things right. "23 Actions"... although this book does detail these 23 actions in the latter part of the book, everything before this is also gold. I could never figure out why my dialogue was always so weak. Now I know. If you've ever suffered from a plot that flounders and sags half-way through, or had trouble bringing stories to a proper resolution, or had difficulty writing characters who make things happen, or if you've even suffered from writer's block, I recommend reading this book. The only writers I WOULDN'T recommend this book for are those who 1) are half-way through a book already (because reading this book will make you want to scrap everything and start over again, or 2) are greatly opposed to the idea of planning out your story in advance. This book still leaves the hard work up to the writer. But Eric sets the writer on the correct path. Needless to say, I've applied Eric's advice to my own work, and it's already 100 times stronger for it. I can't believe that following the advice of one book has had such a dramatic effect on the quality of my storytelling.

As an aspiring screenwriter, I've struggled with two aspects of the craft most, why do some characters engage us and other don't? Once you have your catalyst and act breaks, where do you go from there? Eric Edson's book is an invaluable solution to get you through the "fog" of figuring these things out for your story. While most screenwriting books only concentrate on the act breaks, Eric covers this and also guides you through everything that happens in between. Learning and knowing these steps really frees one up to concentrate on the story they actually want to tell. In addition, Eric demonstrates character traits all compelling characters exhibit, a great asset to keep your audience or reader engaged in your story. While many screenwriting books give you a compass of sorts, Eric provides a map that will help you avoid the swamps and pitfalls of the dreaded second act. In addition, he'll help you build your protagonist in a way that will keep him/her in the audience's hearts. I had the privilege of learning from some of Eric's graduate classes and The Story Solution in book form is the next best thing. With both classic and contemporary examples to illustrate the solution, I heartily recommend this book for any writer's tool box.

This book will change the way you view character, action, and theme. It's clear, precise, and easy to follow. The elements shared within the pages of this book are priceless - if applied correctly, you'll be well on your way to becoming an excellent screenwriter. I have used his paradigm, applied it to a script I'm currently working on, and have seen the difference -- it's night and day. I suggest you purchase this book straightaway - don't think about it, don't pass go, just buy it. Study it. Apply it.

I've had the honor of being taught in person by this man, and I'm so happy that this book has finally been released. The techniques and lessons that you will learn from this book are very valuable to any writer. Whether you're trying to break on the scene or you're an already established writer, I will guarantee that you'll learn something that you didn't know before. GREAT READ!!!

This amazing book is exactly what its title promises. It details plot twists, or pivotal moments, specifically when and where they must be placed in order to drive the story. Mr. Edson does this by analyzing the plotting of a thousand successful movies and he succeeds in uncovering the crucial element build for a compelling narrative. It"s an exhaustive piece of work that can save any fiction writer from going down that long, wrong, road toward a dead end.

This is one of the best screenwriting books I own, (and I own a lot of them). It gives you an in depth understanding of the necessary story elements to write a successful script. If you are a movie goer, you will find yourself nodding your head, as you recognize the ideas, elements and devices that each good movie you have seen possesses, but is somehow hard to recognize as you sit down at to write yourself. I highly recommend this book.

This is both a how-to guide and an I depth analysis of many blockbuster motion pictures. The 23 steps still follows classic 3 act structure with buildup to the midpoint and climax, so if you've read a lot of writing guides you may find there's not a whole lot that's new. But I've gotten a lot out of the simplistic way of looking at plot and logic in story telling. Eric Edson is an academic but doesn't write in academese or metaphor, just simple and clear descriptions and examples right out of mainstream movies.

Eric Edson was my professor, and I can testify first hand, because I received notes from this book before it was published. I sat in his classroom and couldn't believe this innovative information that I knew was going to become monstrous once it was revealed to all. He has researched films throughout the years and has found a method in understanding what makes a box office hit, structurally tells you how to do this, in a way that no one yet, even the greats, have fully tapped into. My screenwriting approach will never be the same again. It allows you to find an incredible answer to structure, character, story, everything that makes a script wow the reader, and frees you all at the same time. This book is for all writers, veteran, newcomer, and in between. I personally have benefited in the industry as I have put my projects out there, and I can tell you, this works. It wows. And if you truly follow it, and let it liberate you as a writer, you will fly to places you never thought possible. BUY THIS BOOK!

As an aspiring screenwriter I found "THE STORY SOLUTION" by Eric Edson an amazing resource. This book is an easy read and very helpful. I'm going back to my first three screenplays and applying what I learned from, Eric to improve my stories.

This is the best book on story writing I found. I've bought and read about 50 or so. THis is so precise in it's advice. The examples are so clear as well. It can be used almost like a checklist to see if you have all the elements you need to lift your story up and make people lean forward and want to know what happens next.

Excellent book for keeping your story moving forward and not going off track. Highly recommend this book.

I just finished writing a screenplay using Eric Edson's Story Solution method. It is the best one I've turned out yet! My hero is active and the story really moves well. This book is a must read for the novice and experienced writer or reviewer who can't figure out what's wrong with a movie that they should love but don't. I highly recommend it.

It has always been for me that by reading books such as "Story Solution" I gain a better understanding of myself and others. This book, more than any other, is helping me to write my screenplay. It is definitely required reading if your going to write any story.

I'm a professional screenwriter and took Eric Edson's class at UCLA several times when I was working towards my certificate in screenwriting because it was simply the best class in structure I'd ever taken. Each semester we analyzed new movies according to his breakdown and it really clicked for me more than just hearing about 3 acts, or 8 sequences that others teach. Eric Edson's breakdown is precise, accurate, and helped me rewrite every one of my scripts. I've used my notes from his classes all those years ago, and was thrilled to find his book at the UCLA bookstore the other day as it contains all the same class information plus much more. Once again, it is helping me figure out what I need to do to fix my latest scripts. Thank you Professor Edson. One of these days I'll owe you a shout out from the Academy Awards!

I have been writing using Prof. Edson's theories (as contained in this long-awaited book) for the past 3 years. I can honestly say that it brought my writing to an entirely new level. I used his methodology to craft the story for my recently-released feature film, "

In The Story Solution, Eric Edson presents a clear, concise, step-by-step manual that will help you to craft your best screenplay yet. There are A LOT of books out there that claim to make you a better screenwriter. This one actually lives up to its promise. It is a fantastic guide to help you through the herculean task of creating a page-turning, commercially viable screenplay. I highly recommend that you purchase it. You will be thrilled with the results you get.

Eric Edson has written seventeen feature screenplays on assignment for companies such as Sony, Warner Brothers, Disney, 20th Century-Fox, ABC Motion Pictures, Lifetime, Showtime, NBC, and TNT. He's also written episodic television. He is Professor of Screenwriting and Director of the Graduate Program in Screenwriting at California State University, Northridge. In his new book, The Story Solution: 23 Steps All Great Heroes Must Take (Michael Wiese Productions 2011), he illuminates new passageways in the story creation process through his unique perspective and opens more doors of opportunity for writers to explore. He shares his secret recipe for creating character sympathy; nine key ingredients that are sure to foster audience identification with your hero or heroine and build an instant, emotional bond between them. As Eric states, "we go to the movies to feel deeply", but before the audience can do that, they must first "care deeply" about the protagonist. He has a simple and effective technique for helping you to create character conflict between the protagonist and antagonist. Eric also guides you through the major-supporting character categories, so you know exactly what each speaking character's function is and whether their purpose is to help or obstruct your heroine or hero. Weaved within Eric's 23 Hero Goal Sequences, which create the Action Storyline, is a three-step, Emotional Storyline; this makes the process of showing your Character Growth Arc much easier. In doing so, your audience can experience a sense of completion as the Heroine/Hero finally lays down their shield of emotional self-protection and achieves emotional freedom, allowing them to connect with others again on a personal level; a life process we all go through, when healing old wounds. In feature films as in life, people need not only a long-term goal, but short-term goals as well to keep them moving forward. The Story Solution provides screenwriters with the necessary steps their protagonists can take to make their journey active, emotionally fulfilling, and complete. I recommend The Story Solution for all screenwriters looking for a fresh, new approach to writing a great story.

Excellent book for writers.

Eric Edson has uncovered a remarkable truth. His book is fresh, exciting, and groundbreaking. The concept of "Hero Goal Sequences" is incredibly insightful, and presents a process which must change the way screenwriters, agents, producers, and executives conduct business. His observations demystify the essence of successful film, and provide a common language whereby those involved in both the creative and business aspects of film-making may finally understand each another. This is a must read. I am convinced that it is to modern storytelling what Joseph Campbell's "The Hero with a Thousand Faces" was to his time. It will be studied for years to come. Bravo, Mr. Edson. The crowds cheer a shiny, new chariot in what used to be a tired, dusty arena.

I've read a lot of books on writing. Story Solution is definitely one you want to consider adding to your library. While, yes, it might lead you into the dangerous realms of formulaic writing; it is packed full of integral writing advice. All the points you need to consider, as a writer of novels or screenplays. Story Solution is easy to understand. It delivers on its promise of offering a solution to any writing problem by showing you how to structure a story that works. All the necessary parts of a story you NEED to consider are touched upon here. Dozens of movie plots are used as examples. If nothing, the book is an interesting examination of movie plots. Put it this way: if you follow this book's advice, you'll probably start pumping out stories people would want to read pretty quickly. Stories that make sense, follow a cohesive structure, and present interesting characters. Whether you read this book or not, check out these excellent guides for writers: 1) Lessons from a Lifetime of Writing by David Morrell (Newest edition has a slightly different title.) 2) On Writing by Stephen King 3) Self-Editing for Fiction Writers 3) Outlining Your Novel by Weiland 4) Scene & Structure by Bickham 5) Any of Chuck Weltig's books on writing 6) Anne Rice's advice on writing from her Youtube page These should get your brain-engine overheating. Enjoy. 🙂

I've never reviewed anything on Amazon, but after reading this book, I felt compelled to do so. As an aspiring screenwriter, I searched high and low for the perfect book to guide me on my artistic journey. Needless to say, my shelves are full of numerous screenwriting books and materials. Although there are a few good books out there, most of them say the same thing... write in a three act structure, develop meaningful characters, and keep the audience entertained. Of course, all of this information is useful, but no other book will break down your story into 23 specific parts and walk you through each part in complete clarity like "The Story Solution" by Eric Edson. The good news is that my sense of story dramatically improved after reading this book. The bad news is that I wasted a lot of time and money searching for it. Save yourself the hassle and don't waste money on other screenwriting books (unless you're rich and can afford it). This is the only book you'll need!

I have read over 200+ books on screenwriting, a most difficult craft to master (I am still on this long journey's path!), most such books rehash the same old same old. Regardless of whatever how-to book(s) on screenwriting you have read so far, get a copy of this book as soon as you can and read it cover to cover. Twice. Three times. Aristotle's three acts, and the typical 8 or so plot points one learns from Syd Field, Michael Hauge, and others is fine for some fundamentals. Then there are a few books that even teach structuring a film minute by minute (literally, as in 120 story beats, a book I read recently). This approach, 23 sequences or beats, seems like the best yet. I already created a template with the 23 actions each hero must take, plugged in my outlined beats for a supernatural thriller I am currently writing, and it worked perfectly. Kudos to the author, Eric Edson, who obviously knows the craft-- he has written many feature screenplays, and also is a professor of screenwriting at UCLA-- who better to get down to business and share wisdom on the craft of proper story development.

I've been working on the first draft of a novel. The scenes have been planned out (and replanned and replanned) and I've been working my way through them, considering the first draft a big brainstorm. I knew there were still structural problems. For example, the events seemed to be out of order as far as their impact and the heroine has been passive. By the time I finished reading this book on structure, the structure of my novel was completely replanned. Now the heroine drives the story rather than reacting to it and the story drives hard toward the climax just like it should. All the hills and valleys are there now. The part about characters was really great, too. This book provides a lot of examples of roles that characters should play, and this part really brought my novel to life. It had people in it, of course, but they weren't assigned specific roles that I understood very well. This book really pushed my WIP to the next level.


There are so many screenwriting books on the market, but there are few that bring a new approach to storytelling. This book will make you look at movies in a whole new way and give you the key understanding to help bring your ideas to life. If you know anything about screenplay writing, you're probably already aware of the 3 Act structure, blah, blah, blah...this book dives into the nuts and bolts as to the "how" and the "why". The author introduces us to Hero Goal Sequences, an approach I have found to be extremely helpful. Now, my piles and piles of notes of my scattered ideas now have the tools to become a successful screenplay.

Whether you're a novice, or seasoned professional, "The Story Solution: 23 Actions All Great Heroes Must Take" is a must have in your arsenal. Easy to understand, full of examples, and guidance from an established juggernaut in the industry. I highly recommend this, this treasure.

This is a book every screenwriter should keep nearby when working on a script. The analogy of screenplay to myth is both helpful and illuminating; it reminds me of Neil Gaiman's illustrated children's book, Instructions, which symbolizes through mythical figures the journey every hero must take in a well-told story. It also echoes Joseph Campbell's Hero of a Thousand Faces, but gives closer inspection to the individual steps of the hero's journey in a contemporary context. It's impossible to look at movies the same way now; I see these 23 steps in all sorts of films (and not just the ones covered in the book). Already I've started incorporating this paradigm into my own writing process; not only have I seen improvements in the strength of my story structure, but all of my characters (let alone the heroes) have more depth. My writing looks and feels more professional, and I'm more confident about achieving success as a screenwriter and bringing evocative, compelling stories to the screen.

I have learned new tricks for screenwriting. The formula for 23 actions for heroes are spot on. Attended a seminar but only had time to run through a few of these actions. This is why I bought the book.

Wonderful, helpful book on screenwriting. This book has helped me immensely in writing my own screenplay, which I quickly realized I was lost in and I needed some education on it. I took a lot of notes while reading The Story Solution, which is so practical in its guide for writing. It doesn't teach a formula for stories, but it very plainly says, "A hero must have this goal, then another, then these complications must happen," etc., and there are virtually infinite variations for that to keep the audience's interest. That to me makes it more helpful than more abstract books about screenwriting (though those can be very helpful, too). And it's a fun and exciting read. I loved it and will probably re-read it several times.

I had a lot of material to somehow shoehorn into an action plot with multiple subplots. External and internal journies with character growth. This book enabled me to break the story down to hero sequences that generated action and emotional character arcs. A big help

The Story Solution shines a light on a formula hidden within Hollywood blockbusters and lays it out in a neat and simple way. Anyone from the beginners to professionals will walk away with great insight into what captivates an audience on screen and how to make sure that you don't forget to include it in your own work. There is no Ultimate Formula to writing Blockbusters but this is certainly a leap in the right direction.

This book starts off some great how-tos I found very useful, and then it goes into structure, and I made notes on the entire book. I first read it, and then went back and wrote up notes on what I was learning. Wonderful book.

Eric Edson has unlocked a formula any aspiring/professional screenwriter or revisionist must have in their skill set. Many screenplays have great stories, but lack the pacing required to become a major Hollywood film. These proven 23 actions are seen time and time again throughout many major box office hits such as Die Hard and Collateral (to name a few). By using this method, any story will keep the viewer/reader on the edge of their seat wanting to know what will happen next. Hats off to Eric Edison for discovering a beautiful solution to one of the most common problems for any major Hollywood screenplay.

As screenwriters, we often start with a great premise or an unforgetable hero. We know some of the conflicts our character must endure in his goal pursuit and the perfect climax. Often though, we are lost in Act II as we work out all the series of events that must take this character through his or her trials. This book will help screenwriters find their second act, and furthermore, help writers avoid passive heroes (a common problem). Are the steps easy to learn? As with anything, it requires a little dedication and effort. You have to approach the book with a sincere desire to learn why other screenplays have been successful. The book breaks down the individual hero goal sequences from numerous films. Edson shows how an active hero goes through phases in his journey, but never ceases to employ some type of effort to attain the goal. Once you analyze the pattern, easily found in many major films, you can see why a book like this was an essential addition to any discussion of film structure. Also, it's a good troubleshooting guide for rewriting a script. Edson's section on character will help you find the missing link between your character arc and his goal pursuit. Or perhaps you're having trouble establishing a midpoint, leading up to the finals strive towards your Act II turning point. Use the sequences to decipher where your screenplay leads your character and how. Then you'll be able to isolate how certain scenes might not build to this midpoint or the turning point in a dramatic way. Thus, this book proves an important text for any serious screenwriter looking for a solidly structured screenplay with active heroes and a high stakes, engaging goal pursuit.

Another helpful angle on screenwriting. I found it helpful for focusing what happens between the well-known way stations. Worth the read.

An incredible help in crafting stories. I have just been using this book for a few weeks and it is transforming my book in progress already. Thank you for the inspiration and support this gives. I recommend it highly! J Frost

I held off writing a review of this book for some time. It's take on how to craft a screenplay is new and I didn't want to rush to judgement. Having read the book and worked with it's paradigm, I can say it is perhaps the most effective tool for crafting a focused, hero-driven script I've seen to date. At first glance, this book appears deceptively simple. It's contents and ideas are communicated cleanly and without excess. There's none of the asides I've seen in so many other writing books, asides which usually end up being nothing more that trips down memory lane for a writer trying to highlight moments in their own career. None of that. It's all about communicating Edson's ideas and his remarkable new paradigm. Do not be confused as others who've reviewed the book seem to be. This is not a formula for writing the perfect script. The screenwriting marketplace is full of books that say "you must do this" or "you must do that" by "X" page to create a successful script. This is, as I've said, a paradigm. It takes into account that there must be wiggle room on where certain elements of a story should appear to make a story work. Formulas tend to be far more rigged. I suggest people take time to try to work with the idea of Hero Goals for a while before they rush to judgement. If you really work at it, you'll see this is no simple tool. The idea of Hero Goals forces you to create a logical, connected stream of events that lead the Hero from one task to another in pursuit of a goal. Used wisely, this can be shaped to take any story to a deeper place than one might expect. The idea of Hero Goals forces you to think your story through in ways no other concept has put forth, at least in my opinion. If you use this concept wisely, there will be no floundering around as you muddle your way through Act II. How many times have we all suffered through that torture in the past? Most screen writing books seem to accept the mire that Act II becomes. Not this one. It begs you to spend the time plotting everything out before you put pen to paper. More importantly, applied well, it almost guarantees your hero will not be passive, the curse of so many first drafts. I've always been told, once you've done your homework, writing the script is the fun part. That has rarely been the case before. Using Hero Goals can make for some frustrating days, even weeks, as you do your homework and find the simple, connecting logic between each goal sequence, but once done, writing the script is truly easier and far more enjoyable.

I don't like reading, but I love writing... Yes I know, those two don't typically work that way. However, I have read this book twice and review my notes in it every time I'm about to start working on a new idea for a screenplay.

I have been exposed to THE STORY SOLUTION both as a graduate student at California State University Northridge and as adjunct faculty at Boston College. In both cases, I have seen the books influence on the story process. As a screenwriter, I have long struggled with building rising plot actionlines that create powerful script conflict - especially in Act Two. Eric Edson's new "Hero Goal Sequences" story paradigm provides me with a powerful tool to bridge that long - and sometimes lonely - seventy page gap between a solid Act One and a great ending. As an educator responsible for guiding students through their first attempt at writing a feature-length script, I witnessed the students' educational arc go from initial Hero Goal Sequence skepticism to copies of their STORY SOLUTION books highlighted and dog-eared and in constant use as a reference source. The end result has been enormously improved student screenplays. THE STORY SOLUTION is now required reading for the Boston College Film Studies program. It's a valuable tool, and the students are both delighted and grateful to have it. Ned O'Neill Screenwriter/Educator/Story Analyst

Excellent. Every writer should have this book in his/her how-to library, preferably close by on his writing desk..

Eric Edson's book does a masterful job of taking a difficult and complex subject like story structure and breaks it down into an easy to comprehend rubric. I especially love the plethora of examples from past films showing his "Hero Goal Sequences" at work. Sure, Syd Field can tell you roughly where your act breaks could be in your script, but Edson's book delves deeper into the nitty-gritty of the path your hero needs to take to achieve their goal, and he does it wonderfully.

Eric Edson backs up his Story Solution with deep and wide research of all the movies you've seen and many others. If you want to understand what makes a box office hit, read this book. I read it twice and took notes and it changed everything. Now I know why I enjoy some movies and could care less about others.

Extremely helpful, in all regards and at all stages.

I've read about a dozen books like this over the years but this one is the one that has helped me the most. Most books books cover plot, characters, scenes, etc. But no one talk about the order and placement and how you know when you are ready to move on to the next scene. The way Professor Edson writes it-gives you concrete things to work with. I remember when I took a cooking class the chef was very specific on the order to place the ingredigents and the grouping of certain ingredients together. The chef told us to watch for a certain texture in the food. That was signal that it was ready to add more ingredients. This book is the same way. No more driving around in the dark trying out this or that. I love how the Professor says if you your hero doesn't have 4 out of the 6 character traits. Go back and try again. I love that. Its like if you are going to bake bread and you don't put the right amount of yeast along with just the right around of moisture in the bread-it won't come out right and you can't blame the oven! Professor Ed edson is the William Vennard of screen writing! He teaches you the fundamentals so that you have a solid foundation to stand on. The brilliant soprano Renee Fleming always stressed the importance of knowing the fundamentals of how the voice produces sound so that you aren't a victim to the whims of your body, mental stress or environment. The same here-knowing the fundamentals of story telling and all the ingredients that goes into making a great story will give you the freedom and confidence to create your own original story regardless of the whims of the the studio executives or market. Solid story telling will stand time and time again. Thanks professor for this wonderful and much needed book! I am now ready to pull those dusty unfinished screenplays and novels out of the drawers! I feel less frustrated because now I know all the ingredients to the recipes and know when to add them in the pot and how long to cook it!! Run don't walk to get this book. You will be thanking me!

"Solution" alright ... for writers! Finally there's a book that provides essential tools for both beginner and expert writers alike. There are scores of screenwriting books out there (I've read most of them) but this one's approach should be read first before all of them. A cinematographer achieves focus via complex optics, lighting and lenses. For a writer to achieve focus, Mr. Edson explains how to critically focus on your hero's specific goals and purpose. To take your hero on an 'emotional' journey will definitely give you the writer (and reader/viewer) clarity like never before. "The Story Solution" has helped me to achieve better focus and structure with my screenwriting. I recommend that you read it, read it again and use it as a guide for all of your writing endeavors. Plus, it's fun!

This book is ment to be APPLIED. While some books you can simply absorb the necessary information and move on, here it is not the case. The template in Eric's paradigm is ment to be studied and mulled over. Mastery of its content applied to the vast quantities of scripts in identifying there story structure elements. Even if you've already bought into another system of screenwriting structure (a.k.a, John Truby) I would still strongly recommend giving it a chance. Plot is story, it's amazing to see how this system Eric has devised/found applies to so many (if not all good) stories. If you aren't Steven King and can't unbury the treasures of your story, or simply don't have the time. Invest in the formula - it won't be everything you need but it will point you to exactly where you need to be.

This is a book about plotting a decent story, specifically a screenplay (although the technique works equally well with any sort of story). Part One: Laying the Foundation gives the aspiring writer pointers on how to create a sympathetic hero, how to evoke emotions in your audience, and how to create a dynamic story with believable conflict. Part Two: Creating your Characters covers creating characters based on powerful mythic archetypes and writing dialogue that is integral to advancing your story. These first two sections of the book are full of helpful advice. But the next two sections are the real meat of the book: Part Three: Building Story Structure and Part Four: The Power of Hero Goal Sequences. Part Three covers Basic Screen Story Structure and The Character Growth Arc and Part Four covers The Power of Hero Goal Sequences in great detail - in amount of pages Part Four takes up about half the book. Yes, some of the stuff on basic structure has been said before in other books on plotting and screenwriting. But rarely so clearly and what sets "The Story Solution" apart from others is the amount of detail and the number of examples that Mr Edson uses to illustrate his points. For example, Chapter 14 takes the movie "Up" and breaks it down into the Hero Goal Sequences so the student can clearly see all the mechanics at work. Also the way each of the Hero Goal Sequences is broken down into the kind of events that might happen in each and why, with at least two examples from film scripts for each point. For the student this is pure gold. Didn't get the point after one example? Here's another. Can't see how it all fits together? Check out the movie plan of "Up" at the end of the book broken down into its component parts. The student is not left feeling stupid because she can't work out what the author means because Eric Edson doesn't just make a statement without backing it up. He doesn't assume you'll get it - he first tells you the point then shows it to you in action. Like another reviewer elsewhere I was irritated by the registered trademark symbol that occurred after every instance of the phrase "Hero Goal Sequences". It distracted me and was unnecessary. But that was a small thing compared to the usefulness of the book as a whole. Eric Edson knows his stuff and, what's more to the point, is great at communicating that to an audience. I recommend this book highly for anyone who wants to become a better writer.

STOP! Save yourself countless wasted hours and don't start writing your screenplay until you've got your 23 Hero Goal sequences firmly in mind! Edson distills the classic screenplay paradigm into a series of steps every hero must take to reach their ultimate goal. This book will keep your narrative on track and accelerating towards an explosive conclusion. Unlike the stacks of novice screenwriting books that cover the same theoretical ground over and over, this book lays down an industry veteran's practical rules for overcoming the real-life screenwriting obstacles we all face.