? Essays on the Craft of Dramatic Writing!

A Story is a Promise

, A writing workbook by Bill Johnson with reviews of popular novels, movies, and plays that help teach an understanding of the craft of storytelling.

Bill Johnson's A Story 
is a Promise & The Spirit of Storytelling book cover

A fifth edition of my writing workbook, A Story is a Promise & The Spirit of Storytelling, is now available for $2.99 from Amazon Kindle.

This edition offers new, unique tools for creating vibrant story characters, how to outline a novel, and a guide to writing a novel, screenplay, or play, how to evaluate a manuscript, review a screenplay, and tools to revise a novel.

A fourth edition of my writing workbookA Story is a Promise & The Spirit of Storytelling is available as a trade paperback from Amazon for $13.95, and as a 60 minute DVD.

A signed fifth edition of A Story is a Promise and The Spirit of Storytelling is also available in trade paperback for $14.59, signed by the author. This includes media mail shipping in the U.S. No overseas shipping.

This site offers writers of all levels and genres new ideas on the essential elements of storytelling:

creating dynamic characters...

identifying what's at stake in a story...

recognizing the difference between telling a story to an audience and personal storytelling,

and ensuring that both the plot and story converge into an emotionally fulfilling resolution.

Reviews of popular novels, plays, and screenplays highlight those aspects of storytelling essential for fulfilling a writer's promise to the reader.

--Bill Johnson

Site Awards

What's new:

Story As Physical Journey
Notes on Cheryl Strayed's memoir Wild.

My Name is Samuel Clemens
by Bill Johnson
A video about the life of Samuel Clemens, husband, father, and failed businessman, aka Mark Twain, American author and wit. Narrated by Sam Mowry. Script and video production and editing, Bill Johnson.

Storytelling and the Superconscious Mind
by Bill Johnson

Understanding how to get to a quiet, contemplative place to create more compelling characters; and how to create characters who have inner lives separate from an author's inner life.

About the Author:
A photo of Bill Johnson, author of A Story is a Promise and the Spirit of Storytelling.
Film Scripts
Site awards
Find me on Google+

All material on this web site Copyright 1998-2015 Bill Johnson; all rights reserved. I welcome your comments and suggestions at bjscript at teleport.com.
Thanks for visiting this site.


Essays on the Craft of Writing

A listing of essays by Bill Johnson that review popular movies, books, and plays, capsule reviews of current movies and novels, and some capsule reviews of books written by my students.


Old and new essays written for classes, workshops and magazines. Learn about the craft of writing a novel, how to write a movie script, or just read through reviews of popular stories to help you understand how they were constructed.

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Script Services

Reviews of novels and screenplays. Quick notes on a screenplay (2-3 pages), $75. Review of 80,000 word novel, $250.
A Story is a Promise - Manuscript Consulting
2108 Buck St West Linn, OR 97068