Story Engineering: Review

This is a Ravenclaw’s dream resource for understanding story structure and the elements that create a binge-worthy book. Author Larry Brooks loves his metaphors and sometimes takes a while to make his point, but he does eventually make it. He’s a little obsessive on picking apart The Da Vinci Code and Top Gun.

The book helps identify your writing weaknesses and strengths. I would recommend this to ANY new writer who does not yet understand how the art of novel writing (for genre fiction) begins with a basic foundation. This would also be great for seasoned writers who struggle to create publishable works with regularity.

Story Engineering doesn’t shy away from harsh truths and emphasizes the amount of work necessary to write a manuscript. It doesn’t delve into the “six core competencies” with overwhelming detail, but provides readers with a sense of how to separate other writing craft books into specific skill categories for future reference.

Stephen King On Writing: Review

A wonderful read for Stephen King fans. Provides an autobiographical look into his success and career. In the later half of the book he gives advice on how to approach the hard, grueling work of being a writer. He often has quotable snippets, such as “the road to hell is filled with adverbs.”

This is an uplifting kick in the pants to sit down and write. However, this is less of a writing guide, or a how-to book, and is a collection of his experiences with a bit of guidance to the art and development of becoming a writer.

In the end, this resource is more motivational rather than technical.


Story Genius: Review

Story Genius: How to Use Brain Science to Go Beyond Outlining and Write a Riveting Novel (Before You Waste Three Years Writing 327 Pages That Go Nowhere)

This is an excellent breakdown of character backstory and depth. It has an odd nomenclature, but can blend with more traditional terms. The prescribed story structure is more for literary fiction, but is adaptable for genre fiction. It’s not great for understanding story structure, but workable for building a story blueprint. Overall, it’s not as useful for developing a plot outside of a character’s psyche.

Would highly recommend to anyone who wants or needs an in depth understanding of how to make characters feel like real, flawed human beings.

Great for character—amazing, even, but not so great for everything else.

Book Club—Ready Player One

A new month and a new nerdy book to analyze! What is nerdier than a book jammed full of game and pop culture references from the 1980’s written by a self proclaimed full-time geek of an author? Maybe Wil Wheaton.

I present Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. Discussion questions are up and ready for you to explore. It’s all about developing your skills as a writer while you read—you can’t do it incorrectly!

Jump over to the Nerdy Book Club page for the full line up of available books to choose from, and some simple instructions on how to get started if you’ve never run a book club before. Don’t worry, it’s easy! You can even do it online from the comfort of your computer, no real human interaction is necessary. Perfect for us introverts!