“Story Engineering” by Larry Brooks

This is quite a book about storytelling, let me tell you!  It was recommended to me by my doctor, who was an English major who tried and failed to get into the Creative Writing Master’s Program before becoming an English teacher, and subsequently a doctor.  Story Engineering by Larry Brooks ©2011 is an excellent resource when it comes to planning a story instead of just writing it by the seat of your pants, which Brooks calls “pantsing”.  Outlining your story first is much more efficient, leads to better first drafts, and ultimately may lead you to get published much sooner than the “pantsers”, who are stuck eternally writing and rewriting draft after horrible draft of their stories.  In this book, Brooks outlines and explains Six Core Competencies (which I will leave to you to research by buying the book or borrowing a library copy to read) to writing a good story.  I’m about halfway through this book and I have to say that Brooks really does a fine job of actually explaining story-writing concepts instead of just assuming that you, the average joe, knows all the lingo and how to write a novel or screenplay.

I am writing a novel for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), which is November every year, and my novel is about climbing, of course.  What good is that idea without some meat on the bone, though?  That’s where this book comes in.  It’s excellent!  I have been able to do much more with my story due to this books’ in-depth look at Brooks’ Six Core Competencies.  I highly recommend it!  As for my novel, I do not know if I want to share it or not, but I’m two-thirds of the way finished with my first draft.  We shall see how it turns out.  I might post an excerpt sometime.  I won’t promise that, but I’ll think about it…

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