A Review – Story Engineering by Larry Brooks

I can’t tell you how many people have recommended this book to me and for good reason. A panster at heart, I found my story floundering and myself stuck around the 40,000-word mark.

Already an ardent follower of Larry Brooks blog,  Storyfix, I downloaded Story Engineering and dug in. This book is by far one of the most comprehensive books on story structure I’ve read to date.

Full of helpful how-to’s and thorough examples, Larry teaches you how to structure and outline a story before you write the first word. From the six core competencies, necessary for every story,  a list of detailed questions, and clear examples from popular movies and books, Larry takes you through the process for writing a successful and publishable novel.

This book is one of those every writer needs in their library collection. It is one you will refer to again and again.

I’d love to hear your comments. Talk to me. Tell me your story. And as always, you can follow me on Facebook at SheilaMGood, PinterestBloglovin, Twitter @cofcmom, and Contently.

Three Coaching Resources to Help You Finish that Novel

write-a-book I’ll admit, in the beginning writing a novel seemed as foreign to me as speaking intelligible French on my trip to Paris last year. The fact I didn’t know the language didn’t sway me. Besides, I had a niece living in Paris and a daughter who had retained some French from her high school days  at my side.  What could go wrong? As it turns not, nothing. I had the best resources available to me (minus the french guide) and it turned out the trip of a lifetime.

However, I’ve discovered writing a novel is a harder journey to make. In spite of reading dozens of how-to books and journals, I became overwhelmed.  ARC? Structure? Pinch point? Voice? POV?  I needed a translator.

After procrastinating, I decided to pull my WIP (current work in progress) from the dusty files of my desk. Apply the things I’d learned from the best of the best story coaches and finish the damn thing.

My Top Three

1.When it comes to my current WIP, no other story coach has helped me improve my process more than Larry Brooks, from Storyfix.com. Larry has written six novels, two best-selling books on writing (a third to come out this August) and offers coaching services. The tutorial on Concept and Premise made me sit up and take notice.  Don’t miss this valuable information. You can find it here. And, if you’re serious about writing a novel, check out his book, Story Engineering.


2. Janice Hardy at Fiction University is another great resource. Her book, Planning Your Novel: Ideas and Structure, will help you nail it.

In addition, she offers an excellent workshop that will help you get your novel in tiptop shape. Revise Your Novel in 31 Days,


3. A novelist, copywrite editor, and writing coach, C.S. Larkin is another favorite. I don’t miss a day reading and taking notes from her blog, Live Write Thrive. If writing a novel has left you confused, her new book, The 12 Key Pillars of Novel Construction: Your Blueprint for Building a Strong Story,  will walk you through the process.

She has  also written, Writing the Heart of Your Story, Shoot Your Novel, and Say What? The Fiction Writer’s Handy Guide to Grammar, Punctuation, and Word Usage. A tremendous resource, I encourage you to check out her books; all are available on Amazon.

What about you?

Do you have a WIP gathering dust or hidden away in a drawer? If so, I hope you feel inspired knowing these great resources are right at your fingertips.

I’m nearly 40,000 words into my novel and with the help of these excellent coaches and mentors, I intend to finish Hello Hell, one way or the other.  I’ll keep you abreast of my progress and you can keep me on task. So, stay tuned and let me know what you think. How’s your story going? Who will tell it if you don’t?

As always, I love feedback and comments.