Story Engineering, by Larry Brooks, is a different kind of book about writing. Brooks steers clear of the usual vagueness that plagues books on writing, taking instead the path more often travelled by screenwriting books.
He lists six core competencies that any writer needs to master – concept, character, theme, story structure, scene execution, and writing voice – and devotes a section of the book to an exploration of each.
Brooks devotes the eighth and final section to the story development process.
I have always struggled with plot and conflict in my writing, and I like the idea of a more architectural take on the process.
Over the next few months I will chronicle my progress through the book. In the meantime, here is a homework assignment.