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

Hans Rosenfeld

November 3, 2021

Mr Edson theory about screenplay structure is one of the most important tools every screenplay writer should know, very simple to understand. I bought his book and watched all his YOUTUBE Film Courage virtual classes and personal interviews; he is one of the best teachers I have ever had.

Eric Edson's method is great for writing a heart-racing, fast-paced action/thriller. It won't work for every genre, but think "The Sons of Katie Elder" or "Back to the Future" type scripts. The five top books in my script writer's tool box is this one, Save the Cat by Blake Snyder, Story by Mckee, Screenwriter's Bible by David Trottier and Anatomy of a Premise Line by Jeff Lyons. All different approaches for the same or different genres and types of scripts.


I am a Demon hunter

February 24, 2021

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!


Randall S.

February 24, 2021

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.


Abdur R Mohammed

January 28, 2021

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.


Zack Bell

December 20, 2020

An absolute must for writers who utilize and respect the use of an outline. These tools can be used at the micro and macro level which I really enjoy. You can get some help with a brief outline, or use it to create an extremely detailed point-by-point plot with character arcs built-in and ready to go. A great buy!


Orlando James

October 24, 2020

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


A. Noah Abrams

September 3, 2020

The work in this book should do away forever to any excuses you make not to write. Now you have the path forward laid out to you in the brilliant light of discovery. Edson's easy to read analysis fills in the gaps left by other great pioneers on story structure, like Syd Field, John Truby and Chris Vogler. Finally, you are shown what to do to make any story idea come alive. We are all benefited by this remarkable book. Go forward. Read and succeed.


gw langdon

July 20, 2020

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



June 27, 2020

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.


James Cornwell

May 10, 2020

Really opened up the inner workings of narrative storytelling—I’m hooked. Now, I’m off to work with this little volume laying open while I type!


matthew yaldezian

February 11, 2020

Edson has unlocked a code that is universal for dramatic storytelling. There may be those who resist this elixir but for those who are open and imbibe the serum, they will undoubtably be transformed. This book is an absolute masterwork. I consider it THE book on screenwriting because it does the one thing that none of the other scholars do: help the writer organize their story with a universal foundation. Other books will try quick fixes and tricks to give the author plug and play options, or philosophies that aim to steer or inspire a writer. This book does ALL of that at once with this simple solution. The hero goal sequences are imbedded into our psyche and part of our universal consciousness. Edson has uncovered this and we are lucky he has shared it.


Steven G. Weakley

September 14, 2019

Excellent explicit guide to character development and one of the clearest distillations of structure that I have read, with examples from well known films


Jose Navarro

June 21, 2018

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.


William Mims

April 19, 2018

A great book. The book to have for any writer.


Robert Murdoch

March 14, 2018

packed with useful information



January 16, 2018



Amazon Customer

December 30, 2017

The best book I've ever bought!


Angelo Mike

September 27, 2017

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.



June 25, 2017

A must have book for a storyteller. I have a bunch of books about "story" but this is by far one of the best.


Deni B.

March 13, 2017

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



February 22, 2017

Eric Edson was the best screenwriting teacher I had while at CSUN. His book is a reflection of that. Thanks for everything you taught me, Eric.



February 4, 2017

excellant!!! Gave me a good basis for story telling in a cinematic way and the steps to incorporate an exciting, intriguing story.


Oliver Cameron

December 10, 2016

Good book



December 3, 2016

Makes sense. Have learned a lot as a writer from this.



August 20, 2016

Extremely helpful, in all regards and at all stages.


William Rowland

September 28, 2015

Unless you're Robert Towne, William Goldman or Paddy Chayefsky, this is a book you absolutely need to understand how stories on the screen are structured and impactive.


Tom Farr

September 23, 2015

Stories are challenging to write, whether you’re a screenwriter or a novelist. You might have a good idea for how a story could begin, but the middle of the story tends to knock many writers off their game. There are many great books on story structure because structure is what helps many writers get through the slogging middle of their story. Eric Edson’s Story Solution looks at many of the most popular stories and films and digs deep into their underlying structure to show you how you can make structure work for your story. Edson begins the book by laying a solid foundation for storytelling and screenwriting in particular. He argues for storytellers to seek to give audience members an emotional experience through story. He shows how to do this by discussing the role of conflict in story and Story Solution Highlights Edson’s chapter on dialogue is top notch, giving 11 solid principles for writing great dialogue. This is also part of a section on creating great characters, which is also helpful. The most important section of the book is Edson’s Hero Goal Sequences paradigm. He breaks up the major moments of any story into 23 sequences. It’s a helpful paradigm because it shows how the protagonist of a story chases one smaller physical goal as a step toward his main goal until he receives some new information that marks the end of his pursuit of the smaller goal. The end of one goal sequence is followed by the next. I’ve always struggled with how to create sequences of scenes in my stories and how the scenes tie together. The Story Solution went a long way in helping me understand the sequence breakdown of a story. If you’re struggling with how to structure a story you’re working on, Story Solution is a great resource. Review copy provided by Michael Wiese Productions


Charles M Davis

June 9, 2015

Usual knowledge not found in any other screenwriting book I've read, and I've read many. An easy read with current examples in film.


A. Larson

May 10, 2015

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.



December 21, 2014

Excellent book for writers.


Kristen Van Cott

August 27, 2014

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.


Frank Castle

August 5, 2014

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. 🙂


Amazon Buyer

July 21, 2014

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.


Sharon Hampton

July 6, 2014

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


Monica Hall

June 17, 2014

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.


Chip Deyerle

June 16, 2014

Professor Eric Edsen, does a great job in presenting how best to write a film play ,or any fiction. He proposes a method that is at once difficult to write but easily understood in terms of how to do it. I am following his guidance and find it delightful, but know in my heart that it will take a while to get it right. Some of his writing processes may well apply to writing non-fiction as well. I highly recommend his book as it will certainly provide the insight from many years of writing experience and observations.



June 9, 2014

With STORY SOLUTION, Eric Edson gives 20-23 (no less than, no greater than) steps that your protagonist must make to have a clear, tight, meaningful story. Don't worry, there's plenty of room for creativity; just check any of your favorite movies---they ALL follow these steps in one way or another. ***FOR BEGINNING SCREENWRITERS: Please don't make the same mistake as me in buying over a dozen books on screenwriting. To be honest, there's more than OVER a dozen good books on screenwriting. But, as happened with me, it's easy to get into READING about writing instead of doing what writers do…….write. For this reason, to save you time and money, I strongly recommend purchasing this book AND Inside Story: The Power of The Transformational Arc (by Dara Marks). The two books give you the BIGGEST advantage in avoiding two of the biggest pitfalls: Weak structure (Story Solution) and deep, emotional story that hooks us from the beginning with CHARACTERS that we care about (Inside Story). I don't mean to recommend the additional book as a knock on SS; I just really find that SS does an EXCELLENT job on structure. Inside Story does an EXCELLENT job on THEME, which Marks blends AMAZINGINGLY into story. But, to return to SS: Over 80% of the screenplays that have issues, poor structure and bland protagonists fill that pile. Make it to the next round of that famous screenwriting contest and purchase this book. Once again, a thoroughly enjoyable read.


Robert F. Cartland

March 14, 2014

The insight regarding character, dialog and story foundation are elegantly presented and the 23 actions provides a wonderfully clear blueprint for storytelling. I particularly liked the discussion of Fresh News. Many books and websites tell you that each scene must compel the reader (or viewer) to the next. Your book provides a clear explanation on how to achieve this essential objective. In his seminars, Eric suggests writers should play with words the way a sculptor plays with clay. The Story Solution provides the wire mesh on which to support the clay.



February 3, 2014

I have many writing reference books on my shelf, but this one seems to be resonating better then the others. Maybe it's because of the many examples; I don't know, just know that I'm enjoying this one more then some of the others I've read.


M. Wolfe

January 22, 2014

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.


Celtic Scribe

November 16, 2013

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.


luiz alexandre musa

October 22, 2013

the book is well written and shows the way to build a great script. If you have a great idea, buy the book and start writing, the book will show you the way.


Lawrence Maturo

October 14, 2013

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.


Ross R Shuman

September 19, 2013

This book found me in a book store. I was drawn to it for some reason. When I opened it up, I read a paragraph that gave me the insight I look for in a writing book. Like most writers, my main characters suffer from "the world affecting them" instead of them "affecting the world". This book has helped me understand what it means to be a dynamic main character. We all know there are tons of books out there that claim to have the goods and few of them do. This one has it. But you have to really study it and read it thoroughly because these are complex ideas. If you take the time and really dive deep into this book, I think you will find that it's depth is as limitless as your creativity.


Ned O'Neill

August 13, 2013

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


Rick Frey

July 7, 2013

What kind of a person actually dissects successful movies to identify their underlying structure? I'd say a scientist, which is an unusual way to characterize an artist. Yet, in my opinion, that's what Professor Edson certainly is. I thoroughly enjoyed his book and will carefully study it over the coming months to consider ways to improve scripts already written...and to outline stories yet to hit the page. This is a quite masterful work of art and science...and I'm serious about wanting to meet this author some day!



June 13, 2013

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.


George Speed

June 9, 2013

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


White Eagle

December 25, 2012

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