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Story Physics: Harnessing The Underlying Forces Of Storytelling (Anglais) Broché – 18 juin 2013

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Story Physics: Harnessing The Underlying Forces Of Storytelling + Story Engineering: Mastering the 6 Core Competencies of Successful Writing
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Larry Brooks is a critically acclaimed best-selling author of six psychological thrillers (including Darkness Bound, Pressure Points, Serpents Dance and others), in addition to his work as a freelance writer and writing inst

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Couverture | Copyright | Table des matières | Extrait | Index | Quatrième de couverture
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 68 commentaires
40 internautes sur 45 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Understanding Narrative Construction 20 juin 2013
Par C. J. Singh - Publié sur
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
Reviewed by C. J. Singh (Berkeley, CA)
In the introduction, Larry Brooks points out that a summary of his earlier story-craft book, STORY ENGINEERING, is included in STORY PHYSICS. Reassuring. However, this 15-page summary is located in Chapter 22, whose title reads, "The Six Core Competencies of Successful Storytelling: A 101 Review, Wherein We Play Catch-Up Especially If This Model Is New To You" (p 152). If you haven't read the earlier book, this is the go-to chapter early on. Thanks to the clarity of Brooks's exposition, the summary's 11-page text and the 4-page graphics can teach you the basics. Fast. The optimal sequence for new readers of Larry Brooks's story-craft books might very well be STORY PHYSICS first: understanding the principles first and then practicing the six competencies explained in detail in his STORY ENGINEERING.
A summary of the 15-page summary? The six core competencies, as defined by Brooks -- Concept, Character, Theme, Structure, Scene Construction, and Writing Voice -- are "made up of tools or activities that require tools while story physics are essences, forces, catalysts for an outcome. They are the objects of the tools. Story physics make the tools useful, and make them work in the first place" (p 153). [It took me a while to get used to physics as a plural noun.] Coincidentally six in number, "the basic essences of story physics -- compelling premise, dramatic tension, pacing, hero empathy, vicarious experience, and narrative strategy -- are the underlying forces that make the Six Core Competencies necessary and effective" (p 154).
STORY PHYSICS comprises four parts, with examples from contemporary novels including two of Brooks's own: "Serpent's Dance" and "Bait and Switch." In studying fiction-craft books, I find expository citations from author's own writing particularly elucidating because only the author can "authoritatively" claim to know the underlying authorial intention in composing a given piece.
Part One: May the Story Forces Be With You introduces the six story physics essences citing examples from Dan Brown's "The Da Vinci Code"; Katherine Stocket's "The Help"; Suzanne Collins's "Hunger Games" among other novels and films.
Part Two: The Optimization of Story Physics cites more examples from the above three novels and from several others like John Irving's "Cider House Rules" and Alice Sebold's "Lovely Bones."
Part Three: The Power of Process explains the crucial role of plot points in the process of structuring a narrative.
Part Four: Story Physics in the Real Writing World presents detailed analyses of two contemporary bestseller's "The Help" and "The Hunger Games."
Larry Brook's addresses the reader in his introduction: "I'll warn you in advance that I'm like a workshop instructor on too much caffeine. Maybe you've already heard it all, but I'm confident you've haven't heard or explained it like this." He's right in recognizing his strong pedagogic tone and yes other craft books have made most of the same suggestions earlier. Lajos Egri's "The Art of Dramatic Writing" was one of the earliest. Egri's pioneering work was acknowledged by authors like Syd Field, Linda Seger, and James Frey, (See my reviews of these three authors on

I would have liked to see a detailed exposition of the physics and engineering of one Brooks's own published novels. Very well, I'll analyze his "Bait and Switch" as an exercise for myself.

26 internautes sur 28 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Larry Brooks ups his game 2 juin 2013
Par Ell Bee - Publié sur
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
Larry Brooks' books have always been my go-to for understanding how to construct a plot. His "Story Engineering" was the first writing book I purchased, and is one of twelve I've kept of the hundred or so I've borrowed from the library or purchased. (Two other Brooks books, "Engineering," "Story Structure -- Demystified" with this one make up a quarter of my "keepers" bookshelf.)

These books have shown a deepening of the secrets Brooks shares. "De-Mystified" concerned plot almost exclusively, "Engineering" brought in what he terms the "Six Core Concepts" of successful execution of fiction, and now with "Physics" he shows us how it all works together.

Brooks is not afraid to tell you that your first idea may suck. Even if it doesn't, if it really is as golden as you'd like to think it is, he asks you to refrain from rushing into dialog and exposition with it; take it away and chew on it for a while. That will yield greater detail and nuance, making it easier to write.

Yes, easier. That idea alone is worth the price of this book, but "Physics" is no one-trick pony. There are many more ideas, equally useful, contained in it. Probably #2 in terms of Writer Liberation is the notion that whatever your process, it's okay. That's your process. Revel in it, and make it work for you.

Sample the first pages. If it's going to work for you, you'll know it there. I got my first bit of "juice" out of the Introduction, and used it to finally address a long-standing issue in my plotting. Huzzah! The story finally works. Thank you, Larry Brooks.
34 internautes sur 38 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Passion, Insight and Very Astute Analysis of Structure 19 juin 2013
Par mj schwartz - Publié sur
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
The gentleman's opinion in this thread that Story Physics is somehow mostly recycled is a bit misleading, sort of backhandedly complementary. Reading his 3 star, I might not have bought the book.

Yes, it is necessary for Brooks to reprise some elements from Story Engineering, but so what? It's a valuable refresher. Larry has created an invaluable resource for aspiring writers to get the intricate mechanics of successful writing down solidly. It's all here, in understandable English. Story structure, characterization, subtext, context, plot points, "hero empathy," voice and every other aspect of professional story-writing in one great book. I've had McKee's course, read Truby and follow lots of blogs, but Larry has the chops in story-writing education that I personally find unsurpassed. Master the principles in this book and your project won't suck. It's basically that simple...and that complex.

My only ding would be that Larry is so passionate that he sounds like he's overselling the Story Physics concept, when there's no need to. The absolute clarity of his 12 key competencies speak for themselves. It's the perfect guide to mechanics, creativity, dramatic tension, pacing, strong oppositional forces and every other element present in the movies and books we all revere - the winners in this hypercompetitive marketplace. And it works regardless of genre.

The deconstructions of "The Help" and "Hunger Games" are incredible. I wasn't even going to read them, but decided to anyway. They will help you analyze and understand what works in the tricky art of constructing an unforgettable narrative/story.

Five definite stars and worth twice the money. (And no, I'm not Larry Brooks.)
22 internautes sur 27 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Story Engineering: Recycled + Deconstructions 3 juin 2013
Par Shaun - Publié sur
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
I don't know. I'm a big fan of Larry's blog and books (Story Engineering/101 Tips) but "Story Physics" feels more of a recycled Story Engineering that adds a sprinkle of new information plus the deconstructions of The Help and The Hunger Games. I'm not saying it's not useful (at least the parts that are new and fresh) but it's nothing earth shattering.
21 internautes sur 28 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Can't force myself past the first quarter of the book 29 juillet 2013
Par naruvoll - Publié sur
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
I loved Story Engineering; I thought it was genius. And that's the only reason I got a full quarter of the way through Story Physics. But having got that far, I give up. This book shares the fault of Brook's last writing book in that it is constantly re-selling itself but goes a step further. The few paragraphs of actual advice in this book are buried under endless repetitions of the back cover and page upon page of how great it is to use the story physics (that I guess he'll get around to) and how doomed you'll be if you don't use it. What advice there is, is average at best and more usually banal tripe. There are no new ideas here. No new ways of looking at story. Not even a better way of looking at what you probably already know if you've read a few writing books. Perhaps it gets better somewhere later in the book but you're going to need a lot more patience than I have to get to it. I still strongly recommend Story Engineering if you haven't read it, but give this one a pass.
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