This cogent guide to storytelling also advocates the use of writing as a tool to improve one’s life through the written word. Shad identifies the “rules of writing to happiness” in straightforward steps, with an emphasis on using creative writing to view life’s problems through the lens of narrative. The first section is an excellent resource for aspiring and novice writers, with chapters that explore storytelling, developing characters, and plotting. Shad effortlessly expands and builds upon each element of writing as the book progresses. Having addressed the “how” of writing, the second section explores the “why.” Shad delves deeper into explaining her belief that one can rewire the brain through expressive writing, thus writing oneself to happiness.
The detailed chapters on the basics of writing will appeal to novice writers just beginning to explore the craft. Shad begins at the very beginning, discussing where ideas come from, how to develop a protagonist and antagonist, and how to structure a plot. Her style is engaging and entertaining while staying highly informative and providing firm guidance: “There are no awards for having the most characters, subplots, and storylines. Aim to go deep, not wide.” Shad encourages the reader to jump ahead in certain areas of the book to try their hand at a particular exercise. This will go over well with readers who are hands-on learners and with writers already well-versed in the basics.
This guide caters to writers in the broad sense of the word, providing useful analysis for professionals, as well as for people who journal and write recreationally. Novices can rely on the wealth of information presented as a learning tool, and seasoned authors can peruse the work as a refresher course or learn more about writing and the brain. The writing exercises and worksheets are relevant to all skill levels. Readers with interest in creative writing or journaling will find this tool well worth investigating.
Takeaway: This resource for aspiring writers is also a self-help book for anyone seeking self-discovery through the art of writing.
Great for fans of Julia Cameron, Chris Fox, Ryder Carroll.
Production grades Cover: A Design and typography: A Illustrations: - Editing: A Marketing copy: A
From the Publisher
Put Samantha Shad’s book at the top of your reading list. Not just because of the masterfully delivered scientific data that demonstrates how the act of writing can provide solace for heart, body and soul but especially for the hard-won wisdom that teaches how we can all manifest the confidence to create conscious choice in our lives.” - Georgia Jeffries Author, Screenwriter and Professor, University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts “Readers prepare yourselves for an adventure. You are facing a master storyteller who challenges the reader with a book on reading and writing fiction. Things get even more exciting when Samantha Shad dives headfirst in brain sciences that participate in the creative process. This should be a warning for the reader to buckle their seatbelt for what Joseph Campbell once called the hero’s journey. Ms. Shad is a storyteller (or mythmaker) on a hero’s quest through a jungle of dangerous facts and poisonous footnotes. Follow her path and you will definitely enjoy, and perhaps profit immensely by following her on a journey into creativity and imagination.” - Jarrett Barnhill, MD, DFAPA, FAACAP, Professor and Director, University of North Carolina Developmental Neuropharmacology Clinic “This treasure of a book is a delight-to-read tool that shows how we can use our innate talent to tell stories to reprogram our lives. First prescribing the elements of a good story and showing how we can find them in our own lives, Ms. Shad then points to the latest scientific studies to authenticate her methodology. If you have a problem in your life that you can’t seem to solve, this is the book for you." - JoAnne O’Brien-Levin, PhD, Coaching To Wisdom Developmental Editor “Wish I’d read this book forty years ago…. I could’ve spent a lot more time on the Riviera!” - Arnold Shulman, screenwriter, A Chorus Line, And the Band Played On. “An intelligent, thoughtful, and thoroughly entertaining presentation of the best strategies and tactics for crafting the best stories. Samantha Shad is a master storyteller who now shows she is a master teacher as well. She knows how to unpack the powerful magic of story to help us all improve our use of story. I will refer to it time and again in my own work.” - Carl Nordgren, author Becoming a Creative Genius (again). “This brilliant book takes Story from its source in human development, through its connections to neuroscience. It is the most comprehensive melding of current thoughts on brain plasticity and Story's ability to affect our lives. I'd recommend The Write To Happiness to anyone who is serious about being a writer as well as to anyone who is serious about becoming a happier person.” - Beth Sullivan, creator and executive producer Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman “…does a wonderful job helping the writer become their most effective storytelling self.” - The Independent Book Review “There are so many 'how to write' books on the market that a wannabe writer might wonder at the need for yet another, let alone how to make a choice between them. Wonder no longer, because The Write to Happiness is a standout on the subject. It is distinctive because of its ability to cover the basics of crafting ideas into plot, character, setting, and premise into a wider-ranging analysis of what writing ultimately teaches both reader and author.” - Publisher’s Daily Review“Samantha Shad shows us how each character in our story reflects a little part of ourselves and gives us the opportunity to sort out multiple approaches to our lives as we inspire the lives of our readers. As Shad writes, "Stories are problem-solving machines for the audience." If you want the rules for writing to happiness this is the book for you. Not only does Shad show you how to do it, she also explains what's happening in your brain as you engage your story, create your characters, follow them on their journey and, at the same time, have fun in the process.” - Maureen Murdock, author,The Heroine’s Journey and The Unreliable Truth: On Memoir and Memory.