Friday, May 27, 2011

Storyteller's Journey

My Friday posts usually include some tidbit I've been thinking about, or have recently learned, in regards to writing or publishing. Today's posting falls into that category as well - but in addition to that I'm doing a book review. The reason being that the book I'm reviewing caused me to have one of those rare ah-ha moments you don't soon forget.

Story Engineering
by Larry Brooks

Flap Copy description:
The vast majority of writers begin the storytelling process with only a partial understanding of where to begin. Some labor their entire lives without ever learning that successful stories are as dependent upon good engineering as they are artistry. But the truth is, unless you are a master of the form, function and criteria of successful storytelling, sitting down and pounding out a first draft without planning is an ineffective way to begin.

Story Engineering starts with the criteria and the architecture of storytelling - the engineering and design of a story - and uses it as the basis for narrative. The greatest potential of any story is found in the way six specific aspects of storytelling combine and empower each other on the page. When rendered artfully, they become a sum in excess of their parts...

My thoughts:
First let me say, I have read many books on the how-tos of writing. At one point I realized I needed to stop reading about writing, and start writing. I was hesitant to pick up yet another book that would just regurgitate information I'd already read. Boy, was I wrong! I'm so glad I picked up this book that was loaned to me by a MPCG member. Mr. Brooks writes in a style that is both informative and interesting. He also takes those elements of writing that we've all been taught and organizes them into a very understandable road map for successful writing. Along the way I had those moments when I felt good about my writing skills; and then I had moments where I couldn't believe how ignorant I'd been! One word of advice: Read the whole book; there's just as much great insight at the end of Story Engineering as throughout the whole text. Thanks so much Larry Brooks!

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