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

Story Engineering by Larry Brooks
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's review
Jul 18, 2012

liked it
bookshelves: nonfiction, reference, paperback
Read from July 18 to August 09, 2012

On the one hand, this book kind of stinks, because apparently, Brooks thinks he needs to advertise for his method and the book every few paragraphs, which...if you weren't interested, you wouldn't be reading, would you? Right to the very end of the book, he's pushing his method of story execution and pointing out that not planning ahead of time will sink your novel or screenplay. Um, if I made it to page 270, I didn't need to be reminded of that for the two-hundred sixtieth time; clearly, I'm interested in trying the method, or else I would've quit reading back on page 20. He's very, very repetitive and uses way too many analogies.

Also, he apparently isn't aware of what the word 'pantsing' means. He uses it repeatedly to refer to people who prefer to write 'by the seat of their pants', who do little to no story planning before sitting down to write. Well...according to grade schools the world over (or at least in my time in grade school), 'pantsing' is when you yank down someone else's pants in front of a bunch of other people. This is the mental image that popped into my head every time he said 'pantsing' and 'pantsers'. It was annoying.

But all that aside, it was helpful, and helped me get thinking about parts of my story I hadn't worked out yet. I think his idea of story structure isn't really applicable to every genre, but it is a pretty solid idea, especially if you're looking to write an action or thriller novel. It's a good reference I intend to keep on my shelves. All the same, feel free to skim some parts, particularly when he starts using analogies or selling his method again.
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Reading Progress

07/19/2012 page 38
02/13/2016 marked as: reference
02/13/2016 marked as: read
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer This author is a pantser ;)

Wendy Jennifer wrote: "This author is a pantser ;)"

Lol, he so is! :D

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