I am devastated that Google is putting Reader out to pasture in July. Yes, I will probably move over to some other RSS reader service, but I have been very happy with it for years. I check it multiple times across all of my devices; computer, phone, and iPad. Sigh.
One of my most closely followed feeds comes from Larry Brooks at Storyfix.com. I found him through a series of NaNoWriMo posts he did a few years ago – that I captured in series here – and have kept tabs ever since.
I have purchased and read his Story Engineering (image to the right, which links to an amazon affiliate page, by the way) book and “attended” a Writer’s Digest webinar a few weeks ago titled From Good to Great: How to Apply the Principles of Story Physics to Craft the Best Fiction of Your Life. It was, more or less, an extended ad for his upcoming book, Story Physics, and was well worth the price; especially because he also offered an extra “spiff”, as it was put. He would give you a review of your story concepts in one of two ways:
Option 1 was to answer the following questions with a three to four week turnaround:
1. What is the STRATEGY for elevating your story to greatness? What is it “secret sauce” or differentiating quality that will move readers to swoon and recommend you?
2. If your answer focuses on your IDEA/CONCEPT, please define it as a logline (a one-sentence description of the concept with a short pitch/explanation.
3. If you have more than one secret weapon (your concept, your hero, your writing voice, etc.), feel free to identify and defend.
Potentially very valuable feedback for, essentially, free.
Option 2 was a 1/2 price discount on The Amazing $100 Professional Story Coaching and Empowerment Adventure. I have been working on a concept for a book series for several years, mostly in the background of a busy life. I have been tightening up the concept over the last six months and after reading Story Engineering and listening to his seminar, I am working on tightening up the conceptual outline and story structure.
I think I am nearly at the point that I am ready to share the story for critique, so I took the plunge and have signed up for his Adventure Package. I’ll post some follow up experiences, but I think even if he eviscerates me it will likely be worth the cost; probably several times worth the cost, actually. I’ve ready some of the case studies, and the insights seem spot on. Can’t wait!