Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson: A Story Grid Masterwork Analysis Guide
Written by Leslie Watts
Edited by Allison Fairhurst

Open Treasure Island, and you expect to find a thrilling adventure tale of pirates, shipwrecks, and lost booty. But if you join Story Grid writer and editor Leslie Watts in analyzing Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic novel, you’ll also discover timeless lessons about the craft of storytelling.

First published in 1883, Treasure Island offers readers irresistible life-or-death stakes and a compelling coming-of-age arc for young hero Jim Hawkins. And, of course, Stevenson introduces the cunning Long John Silver, one of literature’s most unforgettable shapeshifting antagonists, complete with wooden leg and parrot.

Watts turns the novel itself into a treasure map, following “landmarks of change” to discover how the author fulfills readers’ expectations on multiple levels as the characters adapt to an imperfect, often terrifying world. “The way Jim outwits Silver and the other pirates is a useful lesson for life and writing,” says Watts.

If you’re a writer who is serious about your craft, there’s no better way to learn to capture, entertain, and enlighten readers than by exploring a masterwork. In this Guide, Leslie Watts shares her map, so climb aboard and let’s set sail.

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Open Treasure Island, and you expect to find a thrilling adventure tale of pirates, shipwrecks, and lost booty. But if you join Story Grid writer and editor Leslie Watts in analyzing Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic novel, you’ll also discover timeless lessons about the craft of storytelling.

First published in 1883, Treasure Island offers readers irresistible life-or-death stakes and a compelling coming-of-age arc for young hero Jim Hawkins. And, of course, Stevenson introduces the cunning Long John Silver, one of literature’s most unforgettable shapeshifting antagonists, complete with wooden leg and parrot.

Watts turns the novel itself into a treasure map, following “landmarks of change” to discover how the author fulfills readers’ expectations on multiple levels as the characters adapt to an imperfect, often terrifying world. “The way Jim outwits Silver and the other pirates is a useful lesson for life and writing,” says Watts.

If you’re a writer who is serious about your craft, there’s no better way to learn to capture, entertain, and enlighten readers than by exploring a masterwork. In this Guide, Leslie Watts shares her map, so climb aboard and let’s set sail.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Leslie Watts

Leslie Watts is a certified Story Grid editor, writer, and podcaster. She’s been writing for as long as she can remember: from her sixth-grade magazine about cats to writing practice while drafting opinions for an appellate court judge. When the dust settled after her children were born, she launched Writership.com to help writers unearth the treasure in their manuscripts. She believes writers become better storytellers through practice, and that editors owe a duty of care to help writers with specific and supportive guidance to meet reader expectations and express their unique gifts in the world.

ABOUT THE EDITOR
Allison Fairhurst

Allison Fairhurst is a fiction writer, a book coach, and a story nerd though and through. She studied Literature and Creative Writing at University. After graduating in 2012, she continued on her path to learn the craft of writing and editing through workshops, masterclasses, many books, and of course, Story Grid. Though building her print record, she was last published on Lemonhound.com, in Bone Bouquet 5.1, and in Dirt Magazine. Connect with her at allisonfairhurst.com.