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Story and Structure A Complete Guide - Leon Conrad

Harness the power of story to access more flow in your life.
Using just six primary symbols, Story and Structure tells the untold story of how story works. It outlines eighteen story structures and shows how they all contain optimal solutions to the different kinds of problems which give rise to each of them. The book reveals hitherto unfathomed depths to narrative, demonstrates a much wider application of storytelling than is generally perceived and presents story as a dynamic force of life.

“There’s much we can learn from story, and much it can do to transform us and shape our own stories.”

– Leon Conrad 

My thoughts:

This is an absolutely fascinating read, as a teacher, in terms of gaining a greater understanding of structure that I can use to help explain and demonstrate and study with my pupils, but also from the point of a reader, and understanding how I'm so hooked into stories and how they achieve that effect.

It analyses 18 story structures, how they work and reach resolutions for the characters and events within, using range of examples varying from myths and ancient legends to Salman Rushdie-penned haiku! The added nuance in this is also the link to the impact of stories and the wider aspects of life - the messages we can learn from story endings and how they turn out, and the behaviour of characters (and how we might need to think about that in relation to our own 'life stories') and choices.

It's quite academic - it's a big wedge of a book, and not what I'd call a relaxing read - and I had to re-read and think about the more technical aspects of the discussions. However, the illustrations, diagrams, notes and examples of stories from a range of cultures and history made it easier to access than I initially feared at first glance, and I've found myself dipping back into it and reading little chunks here and there in reflection or for further thought.

The addition of notes at the end of each chapter for further reading or more background is really helpful, and I especially liked the highlighted 'life example' messages, where the story elements are linked to real life feelings and behaviours such as :

Comedy is structure neutral
We have little to no control over our laughter, but it clearly has a purpose. It teaches us the importance of seeing things as they are - and making us aware that they're not as they should be.

The Author:

Leon Conrad is a Story Structure Consultant, Storyteller, and Writer, based in London, UK. His book, 'Story and Structure: A complete guide' won ten awards including the IPNE Nonfiction Book of the Year 2022 and was a finalist in The People's Book Prize. Leon is the Author of the Year Award recipient 2024 (Corporate LiveWire).

Linktree: leonconradstory.

He is Founder of The Unknown Storyteller Project (, Founder and Lead Tutor at The Traditional Tutor (, Co-Founder and Lead Trainer at The Academy of Oratory (, and Affiliate at the Next Society Institute ( He teaches historic needlework technique and publishes through his embroidery business, Leon Conrad Designs (

Find out more at

Social Media: @LeonConradStory

Buy a copy via this link:

Thank you to Literally Public Relations (, ) for a copy of the book to review and a a spot on the blogtour. Find out what others think via the other dates/spots as shown below:

Review by Rich Simpson (@richreadalot on social channels) June 2024

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Jun 25

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