Fiction Writing Course: Engineer Your Story

I’m a seat of the pants fiction writer. I like to start writing and see where it takes me. On most days, I end up at a completely different destination than I planned. It’s fun to write this way. It’s an adventure. However, it can also be very frustrating. Many times I’ve found my destination to be a dead end, a cul-de-sac, which sends me back to the drawing board. I’ve wasted many days and sometimes weeks, trying to find my way again.


Have you had this experience? Whether your write fiction, or use stories in speeches, presentations, or just hoist some tall-tails around the campfire, you might find a little story engineering to be useful. I’m not one to over-plan things, but a clear outline or framework can be very useful in creating a powerful story, without killing off your creativity.

One of the best resources to have in your Writer’s toolbox is a book by novelist Larry Brooks, entitled Story Engineering. In it, he lays out six core competencies for successful writing. I’ve read a lot of books on writing, editing, and publishing, but Larry’s book is one that I would suggest you read early on in your writing career. Larry defines story creation with a set of easy to understand terms that will help you get a grip on this rather esoteric exercise known as storytelling.

Over the next few days we’ll take a look at the tenets of his Fiction Writing Course and explore how they can help us create a story that draws the reader in and doesn’t let them go until the very last page.

Here are the six items we’ll cover…

  1. Concept
  2. Character
  3. Theme
  4. Story Structure
  5. Scene Execution
  6. Writing Voice

You may want to pick up Larry’s masterful book and follow along.


Story Engineering can help you put to terms the process of creating a compelling story and engineer a book that sells, instead of sitting on the shelf.

Question: Have you ever taken a fiction writing course before??