Linda Adams's Reviews > Story Engineering: Character Development, Story Concept, Scene Construction

Story Engineering by Larry Brooks
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's review
Jun 23, 11

Recommended for: outliners only

I got this book because it had been presented it as being something new in dealing with writing structure that hadn't been done before. It also looked like it might use business metaphors for the writing process, something I would be able to relate to. Instead, I got a book that gave basic writing elements like characters a fancy name but didn't present anything new. The "compentencies" seemed more like a marketing buzzword to sell a concept. And indeed, that was what the book was really about: Selling the system. It went into a marketing spiel and kept selling and selling and selling and selling ... I got very tired of being told I had to buy into the system instead of being allowed to judge for myself what I needed.

I also disliked the book's attitude towards non-outliners (I'm one). The book took numerous potshots at non-outliners and how they write with sarcastic phrases like "Good luck with that." Evidently there's a lack of understanding of how non-outliners write and where the stages in the process need to occur. The result is a writing craft book where I didn't get a single thing I could use. Don't bother with it if you're in the non-outliners crowd.

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