Story Engineering

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2011-02-24
  • Publisher: Writers Digest Books
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From story concept to character development to scene construction and beyond, this blueprint for dynamic storytelling makes putting together a strong novel, memoir, or screenplay easier than ever. Beginning writers in all genres?from fiction writers to nonfiction writers to screenplay writers will learn how to wrap their heads around the big picture of storytelling at a professional level through a new approach that shows how to combine six core competencies: the four elemental competencies of concept, character, theme, and story structure (plot); and the two executional competencies of scene construction and writing voice. You'll discover how to achieve the greatest potential in your story through mastering the way these six factors combine and empower each other on the page.

Table of Contents

Introductionp. 1
What Are the Six Core Competencies ... and Why Should I Care?
The Power of a Fresh Storytelling Modelp. 10
The Six Core Competencies-A 10,000-Foot Viewp. 15
Defining the Six Core Competenciesp. 20
Launching the Storytelling Processp. 24
The First Core Competency-Concept
Concept-Definedp. 30
The Criteria for Conceptp. 35
How Do You Know If Your Concept Is Good Enough?p. 45
The Second Core Competency-Character
The Fundamental Essence of Characterp. 54
The Three Dimensions of Characterp. 61
Character Unmaskedp. 75
The Human Nature of Characterp. 80
Creating Backstoryp. 86
Interior vs. Exterior Conflictp. 92
Crafting a Character Arcp. 97
Character-The Sum of the Partsp. 106
The Third Core Competency-Theme
Defining Themep. 117
Implementing Themep. 121
Theme and Character Arcp. 126
The Fourth Core Competency-Story Structure
The Need for Structurep. 131
Story Structure vs. Story Structurep. 137
The Big Picture of Story Structurep. 139
The First Box: Part 1-The Set-Upp. 146
The Second Box: Part 2-The Responsep. 151
The Third Box: Part 3-The Attackp. 154
The Fourth Box: Part 4-The Resolutionp. 156
The Role of Story Milestonesp. 158
Writing to Publish: The Most Important Aspect of Your Storyp. 163
Five Missions for the Set Up of Your Storyp. 165
A Deeper Look at Foreshadowingp. 170
The Most Important Moment in Your Story: The First Plot Pointp. 173
A Kinder, Gentler First Plot Pointp. 179
Shades of Gray: A Somewhat Liberating Spin on Story Structurep. 182
Expanding Your Grasp of the Part 2 Responsep. 187
Wrapping Your Head Around the Mid-Pointp. 192
Commencing the Part 3 Attackp. 196
Pinch Pointsp. 199
The Second Plot Pointp. 204
The Final Actp. 209
The Single Most Powerful Writing Tool You'll Ever See That Fits on One Pagep. 217
The Six Most Important Words in Storytellingp. 220
Outlining vs. Organic Storytellingp. 224
The Fifth Core Competency-Scene Execution
The Essential Nature of Scenesp. 227
The Function of Scenesp. 232
A Checklist for Your Scenesp. 242
The Sixth Core Competency-Writing Voice
Finding Your Voicep. 246
The Best Writing Analogy I Knowp. 253
More Musings on Voicep. 256
The Story Development Process
Getting It Writtenp. 260
The Pantser's Guide to Story Planningp. 269
From How We Do This to Why We Do Thisp. 275
Indexp. 279
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