The risk with books about writing is you could spend all of your time reading them and never, you know, actually write. So I have restricted my diet of writing books to just four. Story Genius' exercises actually got me writing, but there's some theory and structure behind it—it's not one of those awful "formula" writing books—so it makes the list of four.
Cron's previous book, Wired for Story, says cognitive science shows our brains are "wired" to a reward signal from stories and this probably has some survival benefit. It takes a look at how story devices fire the wiring.
Story Genius has the same cognitive science angle but it's focused on building a story from theme, to character, to acts and finally into a plot and scenes. Exercises show you how to build up a story this way, so it's a nice complement to Robert McKee's Story. McKee explains a story structure with excellent examples from popular films, but doesn't provide much guidance for a new author. Story Genius has that.
Software engineer. This blog does not represent my employer. Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.