In his bestselling book Into the Woods, John Yorke argues that story structure is hardwired into human perception: all stories are essentially the same because they reflect the way in which we make sense of the world.

What is this deep-rooted story DNA? Put simply, a hero meets their opposite, assimilates it and is changed. Every story, at some level, follows this pattern – whether in a video game, novel or brand story. It’s the natural way that the human brain interprets and organises information.

In Into the Woods, John uses examples gathered over his 30-year career studying and teaching five-act story structure while making film and TV drama watched by millions of people around the globe.

This approach to telling stories forms the basis for all our online courses. John has collaborated with experts in their field to craft practical courses that help people apply a new understanding of narrative to their own storytelling medium – from video games to documentary to corporate communications.

Into the Woods is just not a how-to book for scriptwriters. It is a philosophical approach to communicating more effectively, in a way that resonates with the deepest part of the human psyche – through story.


“Of all the books I’ve read about story construction and the art of fiction, this one is the most comprehensive and concise.”

 John Collee, writer of Master And Commander, Happy Feet, Creation, Walking With Dinosaurs


“A love story to story – erudite, witty and full of practical magic.” Neil Cross, creator of Luther

A mind blower… an incredibly dense but very readable tome about the art of storytelling. Really worth a read.

Lenny Henry

Actor, comedian and writer

The best book on the subject I’ve read.


Tony Jordan

Acclaimed British TV writer

All script-writers will want to read Into the Woods. All plots and archetypes BUSTED.

Caitlin Moran

Columnist and author, The Times

I don’t always enjoy books on writing, but Into The Woods by John Yorke is brilliant on story structure.

Ken Follett


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