This will be a complicated review to write.
I took the Story Genius workshop. It’s not for the faint of heart or those, who like me at the time, are juggling their final semester at the university plus grad school applications. Regardless, I gave it a go, and it did help me a lot. Having a deadline and a book coach that is following you along and helping you with your story was something I had never done before. It both helped and frustrated me.
Back to the book.
When I borrowed this from my friend, I thought this was the end-all-be-all of writing books. I seriously considered never buying another craft book again because Story Genius made me think of different things for once. It didn’t spew the usual spiel that other craft books do. It made me focus on the character: their backstory, how they became the person they are at the start of the novel, the specifics of who they are as a person (what secrets they keep, why do they keep them, etc. ). It’s very sound advice. However, after a certain point, it becomes too convoluted, and the book slows to a crawl. It’s too much information, too much repetition of that same information.
I did like that instead of crowding examples from well-known tv shows or movies, we experienced a writer building a novel from the ground up along with us (the reader), so we have a frame of reference.
If you take the time to do the exercises, the book takes forever to finish. Doing the scene cards was nothing short of a nightmare for me. I have never considered myself to be a plotter, but I do know that I benefit from having at least a clue of where the story is going, but the amount of detail that is required for the scene cards is just too much for me.
After a while, I got bored and dropped the book altogether for very long stretches of time. Whenever I picked it back up, it was because a NaNoWriMo event was just around the corner (which is ironic because the author HATES NaNoWriMo with a passion). Also, I am guilty of skimming the last 20 pages.
It does have its good points and invaluable advice but sometimes the book gets lost in its message.