A Story is a Promise


Book cover of Bill Johnson's A Story 
is a Promise
A fourth edition of my writing workbook, A Story is a Promise & The Spirit of Storytelling, is now available on Kindle for $2.99.

This new edition explores what happens when story characters become an extension of authors and suggests techniques for authors to create characters with fully realized inner lives. Includes Deep Characterization.

A Story is a Promise & The Spirit of Storytelling is also available as a trade paperback from Amazon.

Essays on the Craft of Writing

About the Author

Index of Book Essays

by Bill Johnson
A photo of Bill Johnson, author of A Story is a Promise and the Spirit of Storytelling.

A Story is a Promise and the Spirit of Storytelling is now available from Amazon Kindle for $2.99, and also available on Smashwords for other ebook formats, including Nook, Sony, and Kobo.



Essays that review novels....

Writing a Novel With a Stuck Main Character, Notes on The Kite Runner
An essay about how a popular novel was written with an emotionally stuck main character. A common problem in novels with a weak structure is emotionally number characters who have no feelings about what's going on around them. Are you being told your minor characters are more interesting than your main character? That's typical problem with a numb main character.

Writing the Fantasy Hook
Notes on Page 1 George R. R. Martin's Game of Thrones

Notes on Page 2

Notes on Page 3

Writing the Mysterious
Notes on the opening prologue of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
This essay explores how this novel by Stieg Larsson creates a sense of mystery to draw in readers.

Writing a Puzzle Piece
An essay about what made The DaVinci Code the novel successful and the movie under whelming.

Writing a Novel With a Wounded Main Character
An essay about how a novel can be written with a wounded main character, a choice that can lead to difficulties if not handled correctly.

Writing a Novel With a Stuck Main Character, Notes on The Kite Runner
An essay about how a popular novel was written with an emotionally stuck main character.

Unfolding a Story from a First Sentence
A review of the opening pages of Isaac Bashevis Singer's novel Meshugah that explores how the story unfolds from the first sentence.

Perceiving the Dramatic Purpose of Scenes , a review of the opening chapters of The Hunt for Red October that explores how the dramatic purpose of the story is set out.

The Artist as Storyteller, a review of the opening of Paul Auster's novella, City of Glass, .

Setting Out a Story's Dramatic Purpose, a review of the prologue of The Exorcist that examines how the author set out the dramatic purpose of the story -- an epic battle between good and evil -- and began to deliver on that purpose in a way that reassured his audience of his ability to tell a story.

The Exorcist -- Page One A review of the first page of the novel.

The Exorcist -- Page Two A review of the second page of the novel.

The Exorcist -- Page Three A review of the third page of the novel.

The Exorcist -- Page Four A review of the third page of the novel.

The Exorcist -- Page Five A review of the fifth page of the novel.

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