Story Engineering: Character Development, Story Concept, Scene Construction
~It drowns itself in metaphors and analogies.
~The author comes off as being hugely egotistical.
~The first 10 -15 % of the book is an infomercial (which seemed unnecessary as I’d already made the purchase).
~In terms of writing craft, there isn’t anything new (which the author freely admits).
However, when all of the above was set aside (unread by ...more
*Some very interesting, useful explanations of story milestones, with a couple good examples of what he's talking about. It made me think about story architecture in a different way, and I liked a lot of what he had to say. Good food for thought, even when I disagreed.
*A number of good questions to ask yourself about your story and to help you when you're trying to plot it out. I made a copy of the character checklist, for example, to help me flesh out my characters (which I struggle w ...more
Finally, a guide that makes it clear how to lay out a novel and how to plan without having a brain aneurysm (I'm actually going to be a planner and it isn't scary anymore!). I don't know how he has made the process seem so straight-forward, but he has. Don't get me wrong, I've got many weeks ahead of me in re-structuring my manuscript (MS), but now I look forward to it! He's cut down my stress significantly and narrowed the time it would have taken me to fix up my MS.
Larry drills in his "6 Core...more
Brooks's guidance on structure was most useful to me, so I'll focus on that in th ...more
But as a committed "pantser" for many years, I found I could revise and revise and improve and improve a draft, but not reconcile what I was discovering about my novels with a final version. I could solve micro problems like description, setting, character motivation, and the all-important "tension on every page" with varying levels of success, but it di ...more
I feel like I need to rate two completely different aspects of this book. I will give the positive first.
This book gets 4-5 stars for the fact that Larry Brooks breaks down very important elements of books and analy ...more
The Plot: The gist of the book covers ‘Six Core Competencies’ every writer must master in hopes of being published, and ideally, commercially successful. Those areas include concept, character, theme and perhaps most critically – based on page count alone – structure, as well as scene construction and writing voice. Each ...more
I don't disagree with everything in the book, okay? There, I said it. There is way more analogy than is necessar ...more
So much complaining about 'pantsers' (would pantsers even read a book about story-planning? It'd be like a vegan reading a book on various ways to cook a beef, or…wait… OH GOD, THE ANALOGIES HAVE GOTTEN TO ME.)
The informative parts of the book are useful but i would not recommend trying to read it straight through. Much too easy to lose focus on the intended goal of becoming a better writer: There are entire pages (in at least one place, an entire chapter) which are nothing ...more
When he was in school, someone probably told Brooks that good nonfiction is about presenting an argume ...more
Six Core Competencies - One tidbit from each.
Concept - Not simply an idea. It is an idea that has beenevolved to be compelling and capable of sustaining an entire novel.
Character -Every story needs a hero. The hero(ine) does not need to be likable, but the reade ...more
Those of us who write are familiar with the meanings of the terms above. Brooks takes time to explain each and how they wo ...more
The section I found most helpful was on story structure. Now I know the shape that publishers expect a story to fall into. It doesn't restrict your creativity as some might think, I have found, as Larry suggested it would, ...more
This is a must book to read if you are a writer. I have completed my first book and was uncertain how ready it was. This book showed me how I was not. It breaks down the book into 6 components. There are four elemental competencies which include concept, character, theme and story(plot). There are two executional competencies which include scene construction and writing voice.The book breaks into great detail on how to accomplish each. ...more
The main takeaway is that if you want to be writing, you should read this book. I really think you should, and I'm someone who went into this book with extreme skepticism.
I wrote an extended second paragraph filled with examples that made me want to throw this book at the wall, but have decided simply to say this: if tempted to do so, for whatever reason, grit your teeth and keep going. It will be worth it. Also, if you're using an ...more
Brooks discusses what he calls the six core competencies in writing (concept, character, theme, structure, scene execution, and writing voice). If after page 10 he could have stuck to these topics, instead of en ...more
Read it anyway!
If you're a writer, you *need* to know what he has to teach. I'd tell how my eyes have been permanently opened regarding my own writing, but it's too embarrassing to go into that. But considering what successes I've had so far, ...more
That said, there's some really good stuff in here. Its going to be a book I return to and use in helping me shape my current WIPs, and WIPs to come.