David Sheppard’s Novelsmithing saved my last novel; his Story Alchemy may well save my work-in-progress. This is the most unusual book on craft I have ever read. My head is popping with new insights on the nature of storytelling, dream and memory, and the blurred line between everyday life and the world of myth. Story Alchemy gives you tools for bringing the stories up from your own psyche. This involves forays through the Iris of Time to meet your narrator, the invasion of your dreams by your characters, and the mental construction of something called a Memory Palace. For all this, the book is surprisingly practical, containing helpful templates for building a theme-based plot, step-by-step meditation techniques designed to deepen understanding of characters, and methods for visualizing scenes while writing them. However, Story Alchemy is not for the faint of heart. It will take you to the threshold of your secret self and challenge you to cross. Only you can decide whether this is a good idea. I have to say: my mind is blown.
Katherine Grace Bond, author, The Summer of No Regrets
Director, TEENWrite workshops
Writing Instructor, Sky Valley Education Center
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About the Author
David Sheppard is the author of Story Alchemy: The Search for the Philosopher's Stone of Storytelling, and Novelsmithing: The Structural Foundation of Plot, Character, and Narration. He is also the author of the non-fiction work Oedipus on a Pale Horse, and the novel The Mysteries, A Novel of Ancient Eleusis (two volumes). He holds a bachelor's from Arizona State and a master's from Stanford University. He also studied creative writing and American Literature at the University of Colorado. His poetry has appeared in The Paris Review and in England (The 1987 Arvon International Poetry Competition Anthologyjudged by Ted Hughes and Seamus Heaney). While living in Colorado he was a member of the Rocky Mountain Writers Guild for seven years, participated in its Live Poets Society and Advanced Novel Workshop, and chaired its Literary Society. He founded a novel critique group that lasted ten years. He has attended the Aspen Writers Conference in Colorado and the Sierra Writing Camp in California. He has taught Novel Writing and Greek Mythology at New Mexico State University at Carlsbad. He has traveled throughout western Europe and is an amateur photographer and astronomer.