- File Size: 894 KB
- Print Length: 290 pages
- Publisher: Writer's Digest Books; 1 edition (January 27, 2011)
- Publication Date: January 27, 2011
- Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B004J35J8W
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Not Enabled
- Lending: Not Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #213,955 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
Story Engineering 1st Edition, Kindle Edition
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About the Author
"Story Engineering is a master class in novel writing. Reading it is like getting an MFA, without the pesky admissions process or student loans. This book will make you smarter about the craft. Period." --Chelsea Cain, New York Times Bestselling author of Heartsick, Sweetheart, and Evil at Heart
"Larry Brooks's Story Engineering is a brilliant instructional manual for fiction writers that covers what the author calls the `Six Competencies of Successful Storytelling.' The author presents a story telling model that keeps the writer focused on creating a dynamic living and breathing story form concept to the `beat sheet' plan, through story structure and writings scenes. It's a wonderful guide for the beginner and a great refresher for the pro. I guarantee this book will give you new ways to fire up your creativity." --Jim Frey, author of How to Write a Damn Good Novel
"A useful guide explaining how to transfer screenwriting techniques to the craft of novel-writing. Good for screenwriters, too, summarizing the essence of entertaining commercial storytelling with great clarity." --Christopher Vogler, author of The Writer's Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers
"Larry Brooks' groundbreaking book offers both novelists and screenwriters a model for storytelling that is nothing short of brilliant in its simplicity, its depth, its originality and its universality. Following his unique process is guaranteed to elevate your writing to the highest professional level." --Michael Hauge, author of Writing Screenplays That Sell, and Selling Your Story in 60 Seconds --This text refers to the paperback edition.
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This book has much praise about the author...given by himself. I had a good laugh.
His book is the best of all and all others fall short. Without his six core principles, you will not get published.
His formula is nothing new and he writes this with the same general explanations as every other craft book.
Creating a structure is a formula
He says people are surprised he has come up with the blueprint for writing. Well, this is something that has been around for years. It is called a formula.
He says his formula isn't a formula, he despises this way to write.
Step one: Set up the plot., This leaves out building your characters.
Part two: Set up the response of the lead
Step three: The lead begins to fix things
Step three: The resolution
To be fair to those who are considering this purchase, here are my complaints about the book: Larry Brooks does tend to rant a bit about other authors (and it's sometimes pretty funny), although he praises them equally. (Yes, we are ALL a little bitter and jealous that Dan Brown made $300 million from his Da Vinci Code books and movies, even if we liked them and think he deserves that money).... And heaven spare me from the sports analogies!! Criminy, why is that always the go-to analogy when men try to explain something? Yes, the author does use other very apt comparisons, but I was so hoping there would be zero sports involved...I am just done with those analogies...they are everywhere. But despite these few annoyances, I feel confident in urging other writers (both new and old) to purchase this book.
Top international reviews
The only thing of value I took from this book was his chapter on character. It explained three dimensional characters in a way that made so much sense. More enlightening and practical than anything I've ever read in entire books devoted to the subject. It's only a very small part of the book though.
Sadly, the rest of the book is mostly waffle. I would have liked to have seen him apply his "core competencies" to examples of a more literary nature, rather than the ones he chooses: Da Vinci Code and the movie, Top Gun. And I say that as someone who is an avid thriller and sci-fi reader.
What I've finally discovered having read the book, is that outlining really isn't for me. It kills the fun, enjoyment and discovery of writing. Larry's tone of voice probably has something to with it as well. He comes across as a bit smug. If you like to just sit down and write, I recommend "Story Trumps Structure" and "Troubleshooting Your Novel", both by Steve James.
Good advice with ironically poor writing and editing.
My one complaint about the book was that I felt too much of the text was spent trying to convince me why the system is useful, perhaps up to 2/3 of the book. Perhaps the author has gotten criticism in the past for daring to tell "pantsers" there's a better way, and he was preemptively cutting off those arguments. ??? Therefore, I found myself skimming and wading through stuff thinking, "Stop trying to sell me on the system and just give me the nuts and bolts!"
Still, the help I received by mining the pages meant I couldn't give this helpful guide less than five stars. I've used this system to build my next novel, and I am much happier and more confident than I ever have been at this stage. Just be sure you're prepared to do a bit of digging to get to the nuggets out of Story Engineering. It's totally worth it when you do.
Brooks explains how the vast majority of stories and films almost always favour a certain format. It's a structure that works. Of your story ticks the right boxes structurally and has a good theme, concept, etc then the reader will be hooked.
I read this after reading stacks of books on description, character, view point, etc and, while useful, they never showed me how to put it all together. I must add that it fits my way of writing. I'm a planner like Ken Follett. I don't write by the seat of my pants and wander off aimlessly hoping a story will appear. This book helps planners. 'Pantsers' will find it less useful though, if they digest and retain its teachings, they may find 'pantsing' easier in the future as they should wander about a little less aimlessly.
This is essential reading for all new or aspiring authors. The components of storytelling, the “Six Core Competencies” are presented in short chapters, as study chunks, and avoids technical terms and jargon. I found it very easy to read and absorb. The use of examples was just enough to prove each point.
The book provides valuable check-lists so that an author may look at their work from a fresh point of view. If you are thinking “what’s next?” or “why is this failing?” you will find many reasoned arguments as to the best approach to resolve the issue.
It is written in a very approachable style, well structured which allows you to dip in and out of sections without having to go through it all - although I do recommend reading it in a linear fashion for the first read. I have been taking creative writing workshops and this is definitely a good addition to it.
I have learned a lot about story structure, which is in my mind my weakest point.
Whether you are a pantser or a planner, this book will definitely open your eyes on a few technique and must that you might find useful. Mine is now full of annotations and post it tabs so I can find all the relevant bits quickly.
It is all stuff I kind of knew from other books but this is by far the clearest and most empowering. I ended it with a solid framework built around key structural points, for a novel I had been vaguely planning.
This is the best book on story structure I have read.
Brooks' writing can be a bit too 'flowery' as he explains too often the virtues of the method when really he should have got on and written the method! Because of this I found myself skipping pages at a time to get to the models at the heart of this book.
In conclusion: Fantastic book (made better by the fact my current novel already adheres to the blueprint!), but prepare yourself for an ongoing sales pitch.
My only niggle is that the author tends to reiterate a little too much and uses far to many analogies. I often found myself willing him to just get on with it.
The book arrived arrived in great condition although did take a while to arrive but all in all a good service.