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Gillian's Book Review: Story and Structure. A Complete Guide. By Leon Conrad.

Story and Structure. A Complete Guide, by Leon Conrad.

Loving books, words and stories as much as I do, I was keen to read this latest work by Leon Conrad. The title alone sold it for me.

Leon Conrad


Leon Conrad is a multi-award-winning, traditionally published author and storyteller. He has been a regular columnist, had articles published in journals and magazines, written theatre shows, and contributed to radio programmes. He teaches creative writing and is a meticulous and collaborative editor and story structure consultant to both fiction and non-fiction writers, ‘plotters’ and ‘pantsers’ alike.


Story and Structure tells the untold story of how story works. Using just six primary symbols, author Leon Conrad outlines eighteen story structures and shows how they all optimally solve the problems which give rise to them. The book also demonstrates the much wider application of story, presenting new insights into story as a dynamic force of life, allowing the reader to access more harmony and flow in their life. Writers, storytellers, creative writing teachers, folklorists, narrative therapists, anthropologists, poets, and readers interested in how story works will all find this book useful and informative. Rethink your idea of story.


This is a fascinating and enlightening read and beautifully illustrated by Jason Chuang. Leon Conrad breaks down the analysis of story structure by using numerous examples from classic and much-loved stories, such as The Three Little Pigs, Cinderella, Ovid’s Metamorphoses and The Arabian Nights. These stories are stripped down to their ‘bare bones’ and outlined using six primary symbols (which are fully explained in the book). This book is a font of literary knowledge. Here are just a few nuggets of valuable and fascinating topics that are addressed.

  1. The two basic linear story structures are Transformation and Creation Myth.

  2. The balancing of plot and structure, the integration of actor and actant.

  3. The four specific elements of plot patterns: Scenes, Sequences, Nesting and Latticing.

  4. Coming full circle. The Chinese Circular Structure.

  5. How music and poetry are linked to story.

Reading this book was a real lightbulb moment for me. I recommend this to anyone passionate about words, stories and writing. I'll finish this review with a quote from Leon, which I think sums it all up beautifully:

“Algebraic Notation denotes the ebb and flow of the energetic pulse that story follows in each character’s storyline.”

Thank you to LiterallyPR and LeonConrad for gifting me a copy of Story and Structure: A Complete Guide. It was an absolute pleasure to read.



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22nd June 2024. Bob the Bear Visits the Beach. By Alice Chambers.

This is Alice Chambers' latest children’s picture book, featuring the adorable Bob the Bear. Her previous book, Bob the Bear’s Adventures, was a huge hit with the little ones in my family.

"Bob the Bear loves to play in the sandpit in Alice’s garden. When Alice offers to take Bob the Bear to the beach, he is overjoyed. Come to the beach with Bob the Bear and see what mischief he gets up to. He is sure to bring a smile and a giggle for both little ones and big ones when he plays on the beach."

Gill x

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19 de jun.
Avaliado com 5 de 5 estrelas.

Sounds great!

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