Reviews and comments about The Scribbler’s Guide to the Land of Myth
“Sarah Beach’s approach to storytelling is fresh, insightful and occasionally breathtaking as new thoughts and ideas are the coin of her realm. I recommend her work for anyone who wants a new look at what you think you know. It is guaranteed to make you see story like you haven’t before.” — Blake Snyder, screenwriter and author of Save the Cat!
“Insightful. Compelling. A fascinating and accessible book! Sarah Beach knows about how to deepen characters and create mythic characters for your stories, and knows how to make these ideas accessible and useable. Marvelously interesting! ” — Dr. Linda Seger, Script consultant, author of Making a Good Script Great and Creating Unforgettable Characters”
The Scribbler’s Guide is an indispensable reference book — both to look up mythological figures in and to browse for original ideas. I wish I’d had it thirty years ago!
—- Tim Powers, author of The Anubis Gates, Declare, and The Stress of Her Regard
“A lot of work went into the book, and it shows. It’s one of those friendly books you can pick up and put down knowing that every time you open it, you’re going to find something fun to read. And you’ve just gotta love a book that references The Odyssey just as easily as it does Star Trek.” — Barbara Paul, author, the Marion Larch mysteries (posted on her message board, October 10, 2008)
“This is 442 pages of inside tips, and mapped out paths to get you where you need to be as a writer of good stuff. Sarah Beach has a Masters In English and has spent the last 18 years writing and being a staff member on the TV show that makes us all a little smarter, Jeopardy. I’ve been writing for over 20 years and I can tell you that Sarah’s book filled in a lot of gaps I didn’t know I had. It’s a great book for how to layer and develop characters, situations and making a compelling story that your readers will truly enjoy.
“This is an encyclopedia of incredible information that will enlighten the aspiring and veteran writer alike.” —Beau Smith, comic book editor and writer, creator of Wynona Earp and Cobb: Off the Leash
“Sarah … has been working on this book for years. She’s a former researcher for Jeopardy!, so you know the research is excellent, and her thinking through issues of myth from a storyteller’s perspective is terrific.
“So often as writers we take a courtesy look at the hero myth/hero’s journey and let it go at that. But Sarah has gone much much deeper into the “land of myth,” and provides plenty of useful tools for writers in a clear “travel guide” format.
“Put this in your reading queue!” — Janet Scott Batchler, screenwriter, Batman Forever (posted on her blog, October 9, 2008)
“Sarah’s an old friend of mine, and last week, when I had an actual social occasion (one of the two or three a year, woo!) Sarah gave me a copy. I’ve known she’s been working on it for several years, but as seeking out mythic motifs (any sorts of literary motifs) and consciously using them is utterly alien to my particular writing process, I thought, that’s cool, and moved on. Being an image writer, I find it impossible to construct a story with conscious choices such as “I think I need this archetype here, and let me see, which cultural mythology shall I select? Oooh, Burundai should be sufficiently unknown.” Many writers can work that way–and they’re far more successful than I am. But I can’t.
“What I do is read and experience, and it all drops into the subconscious, to eventually reappear as images–or parts of images. Anyway, so I picked up Sarah’s book the other night because I’m so buried in finishing Treason’s Shore I just can’t read any fiction right now. And to my delight, here’s this engagingly written discursion into myth, writing, and how it’s all used. Sarah not only draws on classics, but on how motifs are used in TV and movies. She rewatched every show and film she discusses, to make sure her details were solid, and not vague memory. Then she got David Bratman to oversee the index. He’s a professional archivist, so when he looks over an index, it’s superlative. The book, in short, is an absolute gold mine.” — Sherwood Smith, author, Inda, The Fox and The King’s Shield (posted on her athanarel LiveJournal, November 10, 2008)
“… [Sarah] sent [me] a copy of her book, which is AWESOME.
Get it here, NOW!” — Gail Simone, comic book writer, Wonder Woman, Secret Six, Birds of Prey (posted on her CBR message board, October 25, 2008)