Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Storyfix.com by Larry Brooks
So Blog Wednesday: Storyfix
I first heard about Larry Brooks, his website and books, when I was preparing to go to the 2011 LDStorymaker's Conference earlier this year. I signed up for his master class without knowing much about him. Then I attended his class. Let's just say...it was a game changer.
My first impression of Larry Brooks was that he was a bit of a cocky cynic. He has been in the publishing industry for a long time, and some of his jokes reflected that. (Plus, he was majorly hitting on my beautiful, but married, friend Jaimie). BUT aside from all that, what he had to say in his master class was awe...some. And here's what I learned:
I learned that writing a well structured story is a SCIENCE. No, I dont only believe in science like Escalito from Nacho Libre. Creativity is also crucial. But the importance of learning the physics of story structure is now apparent to me. My friend Kimberly Krey has a great post about this from yesterday: No Longer A Panster. Which is to say, not writing by the seat of your pants. But actually plotting out your book before you start. So that revisions aren't such H.E.double lollipops.
I learned about how studying screenplays, especially ones that really work, will help move your story to an unforgettable place. I like this method because I love movies. I have taken a better look at some of my favorite ones and tried to apply the effective strategies.
I learned the difference between THEME and CONCEPT. (BTW these are my notes...not his. I might say things differently).
Theme-is how your story relates to real life. Like: "Love is worth risking everything for." It is usually relates to the interior conflict of the protag.
Concept- is your big story idea. Like: "H.S. hearthrob is actually a sensitive vampire." It has to be big, fresh, compelling, original. And it usually relates to the exterior conflict of the protag. Her life is on the line.
Once I understood this difference, it helped me create a better story as a whole in my current ms. I actually left my previous ms. in the dust, and decided to start a new one from scratch with all that I learned in mind.
I learned that the HOOK, the INCITING INCIDENT, the FIRST PLOT POINT, the SECOND-FOURTH PLOT POINTS, the CLIMAX, etc. all need attention. And honestly, I think implementing each one of these time-tested story structuring tools has helped me get to another level of the writing craft.
I learned a LOT more too, but that's enough for now. You should check Storyfix out...fo' sho'.