Monthly Archives: September 2015

Published! My New Writing Book is Now Available!

At least, for ordering online in trade paperback and as Kindle and Nook editions.  Bookstores are usually a little late to the party, but they may have it by now, as well.  I’m guessing, though, it will be a bit down the road for them, a few days or a week or so.

Which new book?  “Story Fix: Transform Your Novel from Broken to Brilliant

Published by Writers Digest Books.

Story Fix cover jpeg

My goal with this book was, from the beginning, to write a fresh and immediately useful text on how to write and rewrite a novel, and make it unlike any book on the subject ever written.  The craft and its glorious moving parts are presented in a completely different context, one that challenges as it illuminates, and there are specific exercises, definitions, checklists and examples to help you navigate these tricky waters.

Mostly, though, the book is about you, the author.  About why we do what we do, in the vastly differing ways we do them, and why that may or may not serve you or even work at all.  It’s not a book that sells outlining over pantsing, it’s a book about how to make any writing process more effective, and have that happen sooner rather than later, with fewer drafts and better drafts.

A Reviewer’s Perspective

Rather than pitch this any further to you myself, I’ve included one of the early reviews, which says it better than I’d dare attempt.  She captured my intentions fully, and translates them for you from the reader/writer’s perspective.

A Craft Book Unlike Any Other

By Sue Coletta on September 27, 2015

Format: Paperback
Five stars for Story Fix! I absolutely loved this author’s previous craft books. Actually, they are the reason I got published. Bold statement, I know, but it’s true. So when I heard he had a new craft book out, I could hardly wait to read it. In this little book of heaven, Larry Brooks walks you through possible reasons why your story failed. And then, he helps you to revise it in order to make it publishable. The really cool thing about this book is that it’s set up like a private workshop, where he asks you to evaluate your own work using a grading system. Later, he has you go back to your initial grades and re-evaluate, knowing he’s given you the golden ticket on how to revise. Amazing! I’ve never read a craft book quite like this before. If you’ve received rejection letter after rejection letter, you owe to yourself to find out why. Don’t you? This incredible craft book will show you where you went wrong IF you’re honest with yourself. I’m so pumped up after reading this book I can’t wait to dive back into the story I’m working on. Buy. This. Book. Make your dreams come true. Story Fix will show you how. This book isn’t only for the unpublished, by the way. The day we stop studying the craft is the day we should stop writing. One of the truly great things about this industry is that there’s always more to learn. Story Fix will also enhance your skills.


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First Page Jitters… and a Model of Excellence

On Day One of any writing class you’re likely to be reminded how important your first page is.

I once participated in a panel discussion with an agent who claimed he could tell if he wanted to represent a book after reading only the first page. For the record, I heartily disagreed with the veracity of that claim (as did Terry Brooks, also on the panel), because about the only thing one can tell for sure from a first page is the level and appeal of the writer’s voice, leaving at least eleven other major categories of story criteria that absolutely cannot be discerned from a first page, by anyone.

That said, the first page has one primary mission: to motivate the reader to keep reading.

It’s a form of hook — more accurately, a hook for the hook — but that’s not even a fully accurate description. The highest function and goal of a first page… again… is to make the reader keep reading.

To see this in action, click HERE.

It’s from another blog called The Kill Zone, where I post every other week.   I also do an occasional “First Page Critique” for them, and this is just that, an author’s first page subjected to the harsh light of analysis.

I’d like you to see this for two reasons.

First… it’s stellar. Instead of modeling mistakes and weakness, this page is a shining example of a killer first page that met the goal.

And then, even so, there were ways to strengthen it.

In addition to my short analysis, also read the comments (especially the one by James Scott Bell) that add further feedback. Every single commenter shared the same conclusion… this one is a winner.



Travel Update: beginning next Wednesday, I’ll be away for three weeks, returning the week of October 26.  I will have a few new posts appearing during that span of time, including a few guest posts, so please tune in.

Re: All things Story Coaching…

… if you are on the cusp of pulling the trigger on a new story coaching project with me, know that I cannot respond until the week of October 26. Feel free to opt in (only for the Kick Start Concept/Premise Review; other levels will need to wait until I get back). To help you get a jump start on that, you can get your Questionnaire right here — Quick-Hit QUESTIONNAIRE  — and the Welcome Letter here: Quick-Hit WELCOME LETTER.

Upon my return I’ll pair up notice of your payment with your submitted Questionnaire answers, and get back to you shortly.  Or, you can wait until my return to submit your answers… or to sign up in the first place.

If you aren’t sure, this is a chance to preview the Questionnaire and the Welcome Letter, which itself is a massive source of content via a dozen or so links to key tutorials.

I’m going to France to celebrate our 20th anniversary with my wife, Laura, visiting Burgundy, the Loire Valley and then Paris! 

Bon Voyage! 



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