Story Engineering

Story Engineering

Larry Brooks

Language: English

Pages: 288

ISBN: 1582979987

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

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!


















(without which there is no story, so thanks for this little gem of obviousness) … imbuing them with idiosyncrasies and habits (this is a huge pitfall if that's all you do) … complicate them with inconsistencies (Humanity 101, which can quickly lead to stereotyping) … thinking up some cool names (please … it actually said that) and allowing them to have relationships with others (one word: duh). Wow. You deserve better. You deserve a foundational understanding of character and a set of tools,

Orphanages. The consequences of choice. And yet, unlike Dan Brown, Irving didn't land on one side of the issue in his story, even if he had such a stance personally. Through his characters he illuminated bothends of the spectrum of opinion, showing us challenges and consequences in either direction. The reader is left to experience the emotion of both, and thus decide for herself if her opinion had shifted because of it. Irving cast a light on the dark sides of the issue, telling us more than we

answer has been there all along. That those who sell their work know it and the rest of us don't. And then, almost without exception, they become ecstatic when it unfolds before their eyes, and in a such a way that enables them to suddenly see it in the books they read and the movies they see. Storytelling can be as precise a craft as you allow it to be. You can regard story as a cloud-like amorphous shapeshifting process that defies definition and rules — many writers do — or you can

very close to the targeted location for this critical story milestone. Location of milestones isn't an exact science. Having them present and functional is. PACING AND SCENE SELECTION Pretty much anything you concoct in the way of Part 2's desperate retreating strategies or doomed attempts to strike back will eat up more than one scene. You'll need a sequence of scenes, each linking to the next to logically build toward something, which in turns links to the following dramatic sequence.

about clearing the path and optimizing the moment with what you've got. As with athleticism, you can work to eliminate technical flaws from your writing style, beginning with putting a cap on overwriting and an addiction to adjectives and adverbs. And certainly, the more you read the kind of work you seek to do yourself, the more you engage in study about it, the more you'll clear the path toward reaching your maximum potential. That's all this book really is. It's a set of principles that help

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