Book #12 is the one that paired my need to organize perfectly with my writing. I am primarily an organic writer, the piece grows as I draft, revise, edit, polish. Prior to learning how to be a story engineer, my writing process had me walking around for days, or hours in a day, while I spent quality time mentally with a character, or even an opening sentence that would be the perfect hook.
When I taught writing process with young children and college students, we walked outside and thought about what we might write about. Story engineering cuts down the time needed for that first draft to beautifully, neatly organized charts with six competencies. I call them the necessary chunks: Concept, Character, Theme (what I had avoided in fiction writing), Story Structure, Scene Execution and Writing Voice. This is a densely packed book, and I had to read and reread parts, but the study was worth it. Now in both reading and writing, I’m looking for characteristics like plot points, foreshadowing, and characterization traits. My outlining now for an essay, piece or chapter is so much clearer and usable as a writing tool. This book has the most post-its in it for referrals to different sections. A valuable resource that’s become a writing book classic for me.
A group of writing friends and I read and studied Larry Brooks Story Engineering Book and found it to be very helpful. He came to our last meeting we had and answered questions. I’ve also listened to Larry present a workshop at an ANWA Writers Conference a couple of years ago. He is a wonderful teacher and has a great talent for helping writers visualize and understand what they need to do to improve their novels.
Margaret, If you ever hear LB is going to be speaking, I’m there. Thanks for your comment. I hope I never tire of learning more about this wonderful craft of writing.