1. Story Engineering by the fabulous Larry Brooks (pictured above speaking at the Rose City Writers Winter Intensive, April 1, 2012, Portland, Oregon).
· This book kicked my ass. It lit neurons I didn't know existed. It brought a lot of story structure theory I've read before into focus in a way that I was able to relate and therefore use in my work. Another reason I enjoyed Mr. Brooks' book is he uses recent movies as opposed to movies from the 1970's or even 1980's to exemplify his concepts. By doing so, I wasn't worried about his concepts being out of date with today's viewers and readers.
· Here's the most important nugget of gold Mr. Brooks helped me understand and for which I will always be grateful.
Let me set the stage: During our last Winter Intensive, speaking to a room full of romance writers, Mr. Brooks was puzzled when all of the questions thrown at him had to do with the non-romantic external plot. Shaking his head, he asked, "Aren't you all writing a romance novel?" Absolutely no one in the audience had an answer and I started to worry that no one in the audience got what he was talking about.
·Here it is folks: If you are writing a romance, your focus should be on the H/H and showing the reader how they fall in love. The HOW part is the 'romantic plot' so even though there should be another external plot that will move the story along its arc, this is really secondary in a romance novel. Seems simple, right? Not so much. It's actually easier to develop an external non-romantic plot with lots of twists and turns but harder to show that developing love between two people.
·Wow! Thanks Mr. Brooks for this. I will always be grateful. Want to know more about Mr. Brooks' visit to the Rose City Romance Writers? Check out his blog here. http://storyfix.com/what-i-just-learned-from-a-room-full-of-romance-writers