“If you’ve ever wondered why some writers who, in your humble opinion, don’t write as well as you do yet are rich and famous while you struggle onward, this is the reason. They are great directors.”
(Larry Brooks, Story Engineering)
Welcome to the ‘Writing Skills’ Series. Today, and in subsequent articles, we will be looking at Story Engineering by Larry Brooks. He has 6 Magic Pills for all those who have ever harboured dreams of writing a best selling novel.
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IDEAS FROM ALL THE GREATS
I have wanted to write the same novel since I was 10 years old. At school the whole class was entered into a writing competition and this was the first time I thought seriously about writing.
From that day to this, I’ve always wanted to get the same story out. It has evolved and, to the naked eye, changed beyond recognition. But the core concept and theme have stayed true for over a decade.
And I still haven’t let the dream go – so watch this space!
In my quest to hone my craft I have sought out hundreds of articles, books and courses on the elusive secrets of writing a best-selling novel. Trust me, there is no shortage of literature. Through it all, I found there was a lot of generic stuff.
Keep the reader’s attention.
Make your characters 3-dimensional..
There is a lot of prescriptive stuff but it lacked depth.
How do I sustain the reader’s attention?
How do I pace at all (let alone better)?
What makes a character 3-dimensional and how do I make the transition from dimension one to the Promised Land of the third?
Just as I was losing steam I came across two words – Story Engineering (the book by Larry Brooks). Reading the description on Amazon I was hooked.
Some labour their entire lives without ever learning that stories are every bit as engineering driven as they are artistic in nature.
This was an epiphanic moment.
It was then that I realised creativity is not enough.
A compelling plot is not enough.
Some real thought needed to go into how I was constructing my novel.
Larry Brooks takes us through the 6 Core Competencies the make up the components of a saleable novel.
Do them well enough – then you might have a best-seller on your hands.
The 6 Core Competencies are:
All elements of storytelling fall into these categories. All of them.
In the next few articles we’ll be discussing each of the core competencies and how you can bring them together in your (and my) quest to write a best selling novel.