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Story Engineering [Format Kindle]

Larry Brooks
4.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (1 commentaire client)

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Descriptions du produit

Présentation de l'éditeur

What makes a good story or a screenplay great?

The vast majority of writers begin the storytelling process with only a partial understanding 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 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.

You'll learn to wrap your head around the big pictures of storytelling at a professional level through a new approach that shows how to combine these six core competencies which include:

  • Four elemental competencies of concept, character, theme, and story structure (plot)
  • Two executional competencies of scene construction and writing voice
The true magic of storytelling happens when these six core competencies work together in perfect harmony. And the best part? Anyone can do it!

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 782 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 290 pages
  • Pagination - ISBN de l'édition imprimée de référence : 1582979987
  • Editeur : Writer's Digest Books; Édition : 1 (27 janvier 2011)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B004J35J8W
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
  • X-Ray :
  • Word Wise: Non activé
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 4.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (1 commentaire client)
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: n°105.813 dans la Boutique Kindle (Voir le Top 100 dans la Boutique Kindle)
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Commentaires client les plus utiles
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Great for starters. 26 mars 2014
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
Great book for starting writters. It really helped me to see with more clarity many aspects of story structure, i really enjoyed and recomend.
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 4.3 étoiles sur 5  327 commentaires
283 internautes sur 293 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Great Info in too much Chaff 17 avril 2011
Par karrose - Publié sur
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
I listened to a Larry brooks interview on The Creative and it lit my proverbial light bulb. He discussed the very problem that has kept me drafting and butchering my stories while never hitting a sequence of events that sang to me. I immediately bought his book for my kindle.

Story Engineering delivered, provided the missing ingredient. The book was worth the money spent and the time spent. I'm hopeful and excited to put his methods into use.

That said, this book was truly painful to read. The Six Competencies were buried in extraneous pontifications, excessive rebuttal of his critics, and attitude--like his deep seated bias for certain types of writing. To make maters worse, these lectures, defenses, and opinions were repeated ad nauseam in each and every section. My head hurts from trying to sift out the wheat buried in all that chaff.

It's apparent that Mr. Brooks has a chip on his shoulder that he's extremely touchy about. He's obviously received strong ego-crushing criticisms of his storytelling method. He wastes pages endlessly trying to convince us that his method is the only real way to write successfully. Failure to use his structure means you will NOT get published. The organic writers, and other pantsers, who have still gotten published are using his structure but by different name. Okay, good to know, but this message was received in first chapter. Fine, reiterate it occasionally to drive the point home. But he replays this defense over and over even within chapters.

Hey, we had already bought and are reading the book! The author's job was now to present and teach us the method clearly and concisely, and then step back and let the reader/writer fly, or not. Writers will either buy into the structure or they won't. Sledgehammering writers on the head repeatedly won't make the doubters change their minds. Interestingly, one of the Six Competencies is Voice, yet the author's words conveyed the importance of finding the right balance in your writing Voice with his Voice--the antithesis of what he teaches. I found his Voice prickly, defensive, and rather arrogant in his opinions and biases--more suited for a dictator or a football coach.

To sum up, I believe Larry Brooks has given me priceless information and therefore highly recommend reading this book. BUT, I wish the text could be put through the "Reader's Digest-Condensed Novel" colander to sift out the excessive chaff. Then it would be the truly useful tool I believed the author intended it to be.
168 internautes sur 173 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Too much work to unveil the good parts... 19 mai 2011
Par PJ - Publié sur
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
I've read dozens of craft books. Story Engineering moved me enough to write my first review. I love what he said; I hate the way he said it.
While I found the method behind his madness enlightening and inspiring, there was far too much argumentative redundancy in this text. The constant barrage of 'you will not get published if you don't do this' and picking on other writing methods was tedious. I got it the first time. And every time after that. By the end, I felt like the author believed his whole audience to be ignorant. Brooks' delivery of the information was antagonistic throughout most of the book. So much so, that I felt like I should argue, but I agreed wholeheartedly with his structures. He was preaching to the choir. By the tenth time he bashed creating any other way - those people that disagreed wouldn't still be reading anyway. Let it go.
I have the kindle version. Too many too-wordy sentences that often straddled pages were a hassle to try to consume. Typos always jar me, and there were plenty. One, that I wish I'd marked so I could share the location, where the word CAN tried to stand in for the word CAN'T. I can see the usefulness of similes to explain concepts to people who just don't get it. There were so many that he must feel all of his readers just won't get it.
Had these core competencies been laid out in a concise, clear, and less argumentative manner, I would have rated Story Engineering 5 stars easily. I believe a book targeting professional writers, and even wannabes, could have been--should have been--presented more professionally.
50 internautes sur 53 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Kind of funny, when you think about it. 5 octobre 2011
Par David Griffiths - Publié sur
The six core competencies of successful writing, according to Larry Brooks, are: concept, theme, character, structure, scenes, and voice. The first four are elemental components; the last two relate to execution.
And that was the summary this book needed. Honestly, I read this book and I had to search for a place in the book where the main point of it could be easily discovered. There are two helpful pages tucked at the end of the book (218-219). Otherwise? Good luck. This book does not seem heavily edited.
But first, the positives: Brooks has been immensely helpful in providing writers with an alternative model of story-writing other than "pantsing," as he calls it. Since Stephen King's memoir "On Writing," I've had this image of the writing process in my mind where you just feel your way forward, write the whole thing about three times, and hopefully discover a story along the way. That's pantsing: flying by the seat of your pants.
Brooks offers an alternative. In short, plan ahead. Sketch the story, all of it, from characters to scenes, ahead of time. That was phenomenally helpful. King and others give the impression that anything other than pantsing it is not true art. Brooks knocks that idea flat. It's about the story first; art second. It has to be a story before it can be art. Tell a good story; make good art.
Brooks' six competencies may also be helpful. I'll have to go back and think about it because they were drowned in a deluge of analogies and lists. Oh! the metaphors. Oh! the lists. What I'm about to say may sound like an exaggeration, but it is not: This book contained thousands of analogies/illustrations/examples/metaphors. I estimate an average of a dozen a page. Seriously. And lists. Lists sprouting all over the place! We start with six items, but each item grows a half dozen more items, which each grow sub-lists that appear to be in pairs or triplets and may even have list-offspring of their own! Lists and comparisons, in other words, drown out the genuine help Brook offers.
He says it is a presentation of a course he offers. It feels that way. I only wish it had been a distillation of that course as well.

*I received a copy of this book for review.
90 internautes sur 101 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 It Works 28 février 2011
Par PMMessina - Publié sur
Like a million other "wanna-be" writers I have a shelf full of how to write books. Or maybe two shelves full. I've written three, so far unpublished, mystery novels and I've learned a lot about the craft of storytelling with each one. However the time it took to write my first, by my old seat-of-the-pants, uneducated process caused me to write and re-write it several times over the course of three or four years. Not a steller output.

My second book, a sequel to the first, lies "complete" but untouched in my laptop. Then I discovered Larry Brooks. I was able to purchase an early version of Story Enginering. Once I began to understand the need for story process as taught by Larry things seemed to fall into place. I recently completed a first draft of a 64,000 word mystery in about six months that actually reads pretty well thanks to following Larry's methods of story planning.

I'm always mistrustful of zealots, so I'm trying to temper my views a little. Quite frankly, the process Larry lays out in this book works. If you are going to add one more book on writing to your shelf, this is the one to have.
93 internautes sur 108 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
1.0 étoiles sur 5 This is a good book... and I hate it. 27 septembre 2012
Par K. Bunker - Publié sur
The vast body of how-to-write books is neatly divided into two camps: Books about writing literary fiction -- writing as an art form, and books about writing commercial fiction -- writing in order to entertain and to sell.

Larry Brooks' "Story Engineering" is emphatically in the second camp, which is fine. What isn't fine is the distinctly anti-literature attitude that pervades this book. To Brooks' mind, writing is all about selling. Writing to create something of beauty, of emotional resonance, writing for anything beyond the entertainment of lowest-common-denominator readers... that stuff is for sissies.

This attitude comes out in various ways. Notably, the two works that Brooks most often cites as examples for the reader to emulate are "The Da Vinci Code" and the movie "Top Gun." If that fact alone doesn't make you guffaw; if you're thinking, "So what? Dan Brown is a great writer!" you don't have to read further into this review. We're done here.

Brooks' anti-literature attitude is clear at many other points throughout his book. His evaluation of Moby-Dick: "The value in reading about a mythic whale swallowed by a boring plethora of words is up for debate." And immediately after this, "Better is always an opinion, and often one held by folks who smoke pipes and are paid to tell us what we should and shouldn't value in our reading."

Yep; great literature, and the notion of any writing being "better" than any other -- these are just deceptions invented by those money-grubbing pipe-smokers.

Most despicable, to my eyes, was the chapter "Finding Your Voice," where Brooks' argument is that you shouldn't have one. To quote: "Writing voice is like air: If you can smell it, something is cooking, and it may not be appetizing to everyone." And, "...everybody loves a clean, fresh breeze totally void of scent." And, "Attempting to imbue your writing with noticeable narrative style is always risky [...] The safest bet--one placed by a bevy of best-selling writers that includes Dan Brown and [...] other authors who are too often and unfairly accused of not being all that good because their writing bears no stylistic scent--is to write cleanly and crisply."

To anyone who loves and respects art, the notion of telling an aspiring artist "don't do anything that some people might not like" is little short of an obscenity. And yet even this wouldn't be so bad if Brooks only acknowledged that he's talking strictly about writing commercial fiction (that is, that he isn't talking to aspiring artists). But he doesn't; instead, he repeatedly says that anything that doesn't conform to his vision of writing is bad, and the proof of that badness is that it won't sell.

So that's why I hate this book. It isn't just about writing commercial fiction; it's actively and aggressively contemptuous of any other kind of writing. It's an anti-intellectual, anti-literature, anti-art screed. To Brooks, the purpose of writing is to get a paycheck, not to stink up the place with style or artistry or individuality.


But at the same time, I can't deny that this book does what it does very well. What Brooks calls the "six core competencies" of writing is a useful and interesting way of breaking down what's needed in writing a commercial fiction novel. The section on story structure (competency #4) presents a terrifically clear model of the placement and nature of the plot elements that go into a commercial fiction novel. I think this section of the book should be required reading for anyone making an academic study of commercial fiction, and indeed for anyone interested in what makes for an optimally compelling (albeit simple-minded and formulaic) plot structure in a novel.

You'll notice in the above that I repeat the phrase "commercial fiction." I only wish Brooks had done the same in his book. Instead, he repeats with numbing frequency that ALL novels follow the structure he describes, whether the author is aware of it or not. No, Mr. Brooks, not all successful novels, nor all good novels, follow your by-the-numbers formula. As I was reading, I kept having this fun mental image of showing up at Brooks' door with a truckload of books and throwing them at him one by one. "Where's your four-part sequential story model in this one, Mr. Brooks?" I'd yell as I bounced a book off his sternum. "And what are the two major plot points and the midpoint in this one?" And so on.


So there's my one-star review of a book that -- in some ways -- I respect, that I'll probably be referring to in the future, that I may even use in my own writing, and that I hate.
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