Regular price: $6.95

Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free.
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price.
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love.
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel.
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month.
OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

“Writing is structure,” William Goldman said, but too often aspiring writers plunge into their work without grasping this fundamental principle. Story structure is one of the most important concepts for a writer to understand - and ironically, one of the least frequently taught. In this book, New York Times best-selling author William Bernhardt explains the elements that make stories work, using examples spanning from Gilgamesh to The Hunger Games. In each chapter, he introduces essential concepts in a direct and easily comprehended manner. Most importantly, Bernhardt demonstrates how you can apply these ideas to improve your own writing.

William Bernhardt is the author of more than 30 books, including the blockbuster Ben Kincaid series of legal thrillers. Bernhardt is also one of the most sought-after writing instructors in the nation. His programs have educated many authors now published by major houses. He is the only person to have received the Southern Writers Gold Medal Award, the Royden B. Davis Distinguished Author Award (U Penn), and the H. Louise Cobb Distinguished Author Award (OSU), which is given "in recognition of an outstanding body of work that has profoundly influenced the way in which we understand ourselves and American society at large."

The Red Sneaker Writing Center is dedicated to helping writers achieve their literary goals. What is a red sneaker writer? A committed writer seeking useful instruction and guidance rather than obfuscation and attitude. Red sneakers get the job done, and so do red sneaker writers, by paying close attention to their art and craft, committing to hard work, and never quitting. Are you a red sneaker writer? If so, this book is for you.

©2013 William Bernhardt Writing Programs (P)2014 Babylon Books

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    155
  • 4 Stars
    52
  • 3 Stars
    16
  • 2 Stars
    8
  • 1 Stars
    3

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    131
  • 4 Stars
    43
  • 3 Stars
    16
  • 2 Stars
    5
  • 1 Stars
    5

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    135
  • 4 Stars
    38
  • 3 Stars
    13
  • 2 Stars
    5
  • 1 Stars
    4
Sort by:
  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Book is an Infomercial

What disappointed you about Story Structure: The Key to Successful Fiction?

I've read several books on story structure, most notably _Story_ by Mckee (which I've read several times). The synopsis of this book mentioned several books that I've enjoyed, so I purchased it. When the author began the book by excusing the brevity of the audiobook (which I hadn't realized was so short until that point), and then launched into a pitch for his seminars, I was fine. But, when every example of actual story structure came from one of his books (one of which he even stated that the reader might want to buy MULTIPLE copies in order to take notes), then I got fed up. This is not an instructional book so much as an infomercial meant to draw up sales for his books. Rather than using this as a platform from which to try to foist his books off on readers, he should have actually offered instructional content, taking examples from noteworthy works (as McKee does), and impressed the listener with his knowledge of the craft. That would have made me want to read his books. That would have made me want to consider attending one of his seminars. And that would have definitely made me more likely to purchase more audiobooks.

I have only left one other negative book review in my life, but I felt compelled to warn potential buyers not to waste their money or time.

Would you ever listen to anything by William Bernhardt again?

Never.

What three words best describe William Bernhardt’s voice?

relaxing, clear, precise

What character would you cut from Story Structure: The Key to Successful Fiction?

The salesman who happens to be the author.

Any additional comments?

Just hoping I can get a refund on this.

20 of 22 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • SydSavvy
  • PARIS, TX, United States
  • 02-29-16

Addicted to Series

I started at the beginning. This one was good - I learned several new tips and heard many others reiterated. Since listening to this offering, I've almost listened to them all and I find they are quite good. To be taken in bits and gentle reminders while you are plodding away at your craft.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great Help

Excellent information for a beginning writer, especially regarding outlining. Invaluable. I will definitely be listening to more of his red sneaker writing series.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Writing explained to an English failure

I love all the red sneaker series books. They inspire and instruct, with witty quips to boot... Can't go wrong.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • thomas
  • leming, TX, United States
  • 08-08-14

Good, but a drudge listening

The content is valuable information... But the author/narrator reads his own material in a dull monotone voice.

it makes me think of the phrase a man who represents himself, has a fool for a lawyer... but then again.. he's published.... I'm not.

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Narrated by William Bernhardt, a national treasure

What made the experience of listening to Story Structure: The Key to Successful Fiction the most enjoyable?

It delivers.

Who was your favorite character and why?

N/A

What does William Bernhardt bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

He is a mild force of nature.

What did you learn from Story Structure: The Key to Successful Fiction that you would use in your daily life?

Writing a novel will need good teaching. This is top drawer.

Any additional comments?

If you are in need as a writer, by the book and the Audible.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

So helpful! answers questions I didn't know I had

Loved it. Easy to listen and to follow. The book has a strong inner consistency, the advice is logical and practical. It helped me figure out how to make my stories work in ways I hadn't considered before.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Solid Advice

What made the experience of listening to Story Structure: The Key to Successful Fiction the most enjoyable?

I'm an experienced, but yet-unpublished writer. I found Bernhardt's advice kept me thinking on the track I wanted to roam. It reminded me of things I had already learned. He had great examples, but kept thing generic enough to apply to what I was writing.

What did you like best about this story?

I love that he's willing to send the diagrams that couldn't be represented in an audio book.

Any additional comments?

I enjoy Bernhart's humor - like suggesting you buy multiple copies of his books - and I found reading one of his books that he practiced there the ideas that he presents in this series.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Loved this book!

This is the best book (series) on writing ever! The author makes the concepts easy to grasp and completely accessible. It is going to be one that I was refer to often---it is that good! Plus Mr. Bernhardt sent me the print worksheets, actually the whole book! How generous! GET IT NOW.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Very well presented

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes it is very easy to understand and is a great primer on the subject of structure. He gives good advice.

What did you like best about this story?

His examples are proof of the successful novel's minimum requirements.

Which scene was your favorite?

N/A

What insight do you think you’ll apply from Story Structure: The Key to Successful Fiction?

Structure is a roadmap for success in any genre.

Any additional comments?

Also he will come through on the promises he makes regarding the print version of the book. He is determined to help future writers break into print not just sell a book.

Sort by:
  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Amazon Customer
  • Amazon Customer
  • 05-31-17

Warning! Forces you to buy the ebook!

If this book wasn’t for you, who do you think might enjoy it more?

Those OK with getting half a book.

What was most disappointing about William Bernhardt’s story?

Throughout his books, the author refers to apendixes, diagrams, and other material included in the ebook but not in or with the audiobook! The author advises that if you contact him, he will send a free copy of the ebooks. Well, I've contacted him multiple times in many forms over the last year and haven't received a reply.

What three words best describe William Bernhardt’s performance?

Useful but Commercialized

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Story Structure: The Key to Successful Fiction?

I would have added the appendixes available for download.

Any additional comments?

Nope/

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for mark
  • mark
  • 05-03-17

Great book

Really good book, it gave me lots of information on how to structure my story, highly recommend.