Sadly, it’s not often that I get excited about a book, but recently I discovered Invisible Ink: A Practical Guide to Building Stories that Resonate, by Brian McDonald, and I was rejuvenated and excited about storytelling and reading again.
Invisible Ink is a deceptively short book, full of anecdotes and examples of what makes a good story resonate. McDonald uses such concise and simple language to illustrate his points, that it may need subsequent readings to fully grasp what he’s saying so it’s nice he kept it short. Many of his explanations are so efficiently articulated that it took me a few minutes to mentally digest my own, overly complicated, creative writing knowledge, and match it to his distilled counterpart examples. This created both good and bad revelations for me:
The Good: I have a greater understanding of writing in general and think his principles can be applied to a wide variety of creative endeavors, from writing articles to board game design.
The Bad: I wasted a ton of time and money on formal education when I could have paid $15.00 and read this book.
His simplicity, consistent analysis and easy explanations clearly show he’s someone to learn from… and being an instructor and consultant for Pixar and Disney Feature Animation doesn’t hurt his credibility either. Basically, the dude can teach storytelling to anyone and Invisible Ink will have a permanent place on my shelf.