A Few Great Writing Blogs You Should Check Out. A Few Great Reviews You’ll Find There.

A Few Cool New People in Your Writing Life, Too.

First off… please check out my guest post today on Victoria Mixon’s great SITE.  More tough talking truth that will either set your free or piss you off.  Both can be good for the writer in growth mode.

If you didn’t catch it, Victoria blessed us earlier this week with an incredible post contrasting the approach and writing mindset between professionals and, well, someone who is not yet a professional.  Just scroll down to see it, or click HERE

A little karmic ying-for-yang today.

If you’ve ever published a book… when you publish your book… you’re going to relate to where I am these days.  Maybe you’d handle it differently, maybe not.

As most of you know, I have a new book out: “Story Engineering: Mastering the Six Core Competencies of Successful Writing,” from Writers Digest Books.

So far, so good.  It’s spent much of the past three weeks as the #1 bestseller on Amazon’s fiction craft books list (until they switched me into a larger category, leaving the Kindle version back on the first list… an example of the behind-the-scenes machinations of publishers that never seem to get adequately explained).

The initial reviews are… wonderful.  Humbling.  Encouraging.

I’m hoping you’ll pay attention, and tell your writer friends what they say.

And of course, if you haven’t already, I’m hoping you’ll give my book a shot.

I’ve tweeted it.  I’ve pimped it on Facebook, perhaps the most over-rated “networking” venue ever invented; great for friending, sucks as a selling strategy.  Like your neighbor’s kid trying to sell you cookies.

And yet, I’m a bit sheepish about simply publishing the reviews here as a blatant promotional strategy.    

But I’m gonna do just that. 

Sort of.  I’m going to refer you to the websites of the reviewers themselves.

And therein resides the win-win, quid pro quo of it all. 

Because these are folks you should be reading.  Their blogs are stellar, their own books are first-rate, and – gotta be honest – this strategy allows me to rationalize the inward-facing agenda of it all: we all get something here.

A little tip: most of these sites are running a little promo that can get you a free ebook from me (“101 Slightly Unpredictable Tips for Novelists and Screenwriters”).  Even if the so-called deadline has passed, I’ll honor the offer.

Introducing bestselling novelist Kay Kenyon

Kay is a complete and often-proven professional, with ten well-reviewed novels under her belt in the science fiction genre.  She also runs a great website called Writing the World, about the writing life and process.

A couple of her posts (among many stellar windows into her wisdom) to whet your Kay Kenyon appetite:

Learning the biz (March 6)

Scare of the Week (what not to worry about) (Feb 22)

Tell her Larry sent you. 

She’s just posted a rave review of “Story Engineering” – read it HERE.

Introducing Randy Ingermanson

Randy is nothing short of a superstar in the galaxy of those writing about writing.  He is the author of the iconic bestseller, “Writing Fiction for Dummies,” which, if you haven’t heard of it… well, then you haven’t been looking.  He is also known for his brilliant “snowflake” story development model, one of the clearest and most popular of such theories on the planet.

His website and newsletter, Advanced Fiction Writing, has more subscribers than most major magazines and a few good-sized cities, and for good reason.

Read his interview with the author of “Story Engineering” (which he blurbs on the inside cover page) HERE.

Introducing Jennifer of Procrastinating Writers

Jennifer is one of my favorite writing bloggers.  She writes from the inside of the learning curve, as well as from a deep place within the heart, which lends her work a supportive, empathetic context as she explores and shares the journey toward publication.

Read her enthusiastic review of “Story Engineering” (her title: “The Last Book On Writing You’ll Ever Have to Buy”) by clicking HERE.

Introducing Suzannah of Writeitsideways.com

This website is all about craft, which is why we share a lot of overlapping and enthusiastic readership.  Never a dull or negative moment here, yet she pulls no punches about what it takes to write a great story.

Read her “Story Engineering” review HERE

Introducing Patti Stafford

Like Jennifer and Suzannah, Patti is a major voice for the writing community when it comes to process and the marketplace.  A great blog by a very knowledgeable writer.

Read her review of the book HERE.

Introducing Ollin Morales

One of my favorite people on the internet.   Young, smart, sensitive, a wonderful writer.  His blog is kicking butt and getting better with every post.

His review of the book will appear next Monday.  Check for it HERE.   He tells me it’s good… so I believe.

Meet Chuck Hustmyre

Okay, this is a little different.  Chuck is a loyal Storyfix reader and a successful author, one who is living the dream in a way few of us will ever know (which, to date, includes me): they’ve made a movie out of one of his novels.

He hasn’t reviewed my book.  Yet. 

The DVD of “House of the Rising Sun” releases from Lionsgate on July one.  It’s a big time thriller, and you can watch the preview HERE.  Fair warning though – it contains nudity, violence and profanity, so click through to this at your own choice and peril.

My kind of story.  Then again, so was 500 Days of Summer and Bambi, so go figure.

Introducing Amazon.com, and the wonderful blurbs and reviews posted there.

A little outfit operating out of Seattle.  Some of you may have heard of them.

Here you’ll find blurbs by a few famous names in the writing world (Terry Brooks, Christopher Vogler, Chelsea Cain, Michael Hague and Randy Ingermanson), and (at this writing) 7 more reviews, 6 with five stars (out of five), one with four.  See it all HERE.

And, by the way, you can buy it there, too (here for the Kindle version).  The book is available at some bookstores (editorial comment: the ones with any sense), and it if isn’t there they can order it for you.

Thanks for reading this far, and for clicking through to these sites.

Your writing world is about to expand.  Both in terms of these blogs and the cute little book they are recommending. 

If you’d like to weigh in with a comment about the book, I’m starting a log of reader feedback, as well as a page for the next batch of reviews.  Feel free to contribute, on your site or elswhere.  No rules or expectations.  Thanks for your support.  L.



Filed under Book reviews for writers

14 Responses to A Few Great Writing Blogs You Should Check Out. A Few Great Reviews You’ll Find There.

  1. Just got my copy yesterday and did the first chapter. So far it is top-notch and I expect the rest to be equally enlightening.

  2. I got my copy and the friend with me that day got a copy as well. I blogged about it and at least three readers mentioned they will check out Story Engineering. So that’s 5 sales from me. 😀

    While I really liked the whole book, those pages on THEME were the gold for me!

  3. I don’t have to go to these blogs to find out your STORY ENGINEERING is a wonderful, fantastic book! When I bought it, I was up till 2 in the morning reading it. The section on characters and the explanation on three dimensional character is worth the price. I already had your STORY STRUCTURE from a month or so ago. I know I will be returning to it time and time again.

    Kudos to you. And thanks.

  4. Larry,

    Great post. I’m pleased to see I already follow some of the blog you recommend. Validation!

    I first learned about Story Engineering through Randy’s newsletter and his interview with you. I got enough information from that interview to light a fire under one struggling current stories and a couple of ‘retired’ manuscripts.

    This week, I found your series of posts on the six core competencies and the fire lighted by the interview was seriously stoked.

    My plan is to buy Story Engineering as soon as I can put cash and opportunity together, but I already know it’s a good strategy and great information!


  5. Hey,

    thanks a lot for all the links and for the efforts!!!

    Very helpful indeed!!!

  6. I’m responsible for one sale, and so far she’s blown away, too. 🙂 I’ll post a review on my writing site as soon as I’m done with it. And I think your linking to the sites who reviewed you is good karma and good tribe building. Well done, sir! 😀

  7. Pingback: James D Kirk

  8. Larry–I am so honored to have you “introduce me” to your audience! Thank you for your kind words. I have become the writer I am today because of you and this blog. So THANK YOU!!!

  9. spinx

    Larry——–you are cool!

    It´s a simple as that.
    And I don´t even care that you are whoring (forgive the word, it is all in good nature) your book out so much. I´ve been reading your blogs for a month now- and was more than happy when I found out about “Story engineering” a month ago.

    I´ll buy the book this week! I can´t wait! You´re cool!


    One question………have you ever read Harry Potter (the order of the phoenix)?
    I was just re-reading it a while ago (for my own pleasure! Yeah, I am not ashamed to admit it!) and trying to deconstruct it as I went along——but—-I was not able to spot the first major plotpoint.

    What´s wrong with me?

  10. @Spinx: Thanks for your kind words, especially the “cool” feedback. Nice.

    Nothing wrong with you. Great question, in fact.

    Have to confess, I’m not a Harry reader. I have seen the movies, however. Loved a few, thought a couple were forced. With books of that length and density, it can be very hard to find the plot point. Because when the author makes the reader wait so long to get to it (it would come about about
    page 150 in a 600 page book), they’ve likely peppered those first 150 pages with several preliminary plot points, thus camouflaging the real one. Those early twists in Part 1 of a long story become “inciting incidents,” and make
    for great pacing.

    Hope that helps. And thanks again!

  11. Monica Rodriguez

    Thanks for the links, Larry! A handful of new sites (some not so new) on your rec is sure to add to my list of must-read blogs. I already have your puppy in my hands and will start in on it at my first opportunity!

  12. spinx


    My dear fella—I meant every word of it.
    If my english vocabulary would not be this limited I would bomard you with a ton of other fancy words as well!

    Thank you for the kind advice. At this point I really don´t know how else to show my gratitude but through a bunch of —Thank you- thank you- thank you—lines.

    This site rocks- no joke- it rocks, it rocks hard.
    I don´t think that you know just how much it has helped me, and everyone else who has come to see it so far. You are, quite literaly, saving me years of hard work by simply showing me what questions to ask.

    I will be forever thankfull for this. And I mean it when I say that wou will get a special mention when my work gets out there.

    My routine these days pretty much consists of this:

    – I wake up early to check your site, take notes.
    – I check some older posts to try and make new sense of it.
    – and then I try to apply the knew knowledge.

    I will admit- my mind feels like it has been on drugs for weeks now. But it is the good kind of dizzyness. It all seems so easy now. And looking back, I wonder just why I never though of those questions myself?

    They all fell right in place.

    Thank you- again ;T
    Another great tip I can only pass over; if you come to sudden stop somewhere and don´t know why, then it is most deffinitely your conciousness telling you that you did something wrong.

    I´ve just had such an experience myself- and couldn´t figure out what the problem was.

    When I stopped the process and tried to get a clear head, I discovered what it was.
    I had tried to apply every little one of my newfound rules. And that was my problem. I was trying too hard, too early.

    My lack of experience was what was causing me the headache.

    I discovered that my progress increased once I stpped trying to fill in every category. I understand now that it is useless to try my hand at everything at once.
    I will stick to the things I feel confident in, and try to open only one door after the other as I go along.
    The more I read about this whole process on your blog(and others blogs) the more I find myself assured of one thing:

    I may never be able to write as deep or as revolutionary as Dickens, Hesse or Shakespeare- but I can work on it, step by step.

    Working hard, after all, is one little factor I can tackle. Other writers may be born geniuses, who reached their level with little ease.
    But that doesn´t mean that we others cannot do the same. It may take us longer, years longer in fact, but at least now I know WHAT to work on exactly.

    It will be a long process………but to be quite honest- for some reason that thought excites me rather than it should scare me.

    Now that you have put down the foundation I will do everything I can to add my own little ideas to the mix, step by step.

    I really wish you all the best Larry- with all my sincereness.
    Your blog will never be save from me again!

  13. Hey Larry,

    Thank you so much for mentioning my site here, and I can’t wait to check out a few of the blogs I haven’t read before. So glad to see Story Engineering is such a success! It’s a great tool for any writer.

  14. Steven Daniel

    Hi Larry,
    Believe it or not, I am on my third time through Story Engineering. It is great to have a written reference for your conference at Write on the River in Wenatchee last spring. It has filled in some of the things that I missed and has me on my own new arc of writing.

    Kay said to check with you about 101 Tips. That would make a great compliment to Engineering if it is still available.

    Hope to see you at another conference some time. (I was going to come down to the Willammett Writers Conference but alas, it is the same weekend as PNWA conference!)

    Once again, thank you for your honest leadership…they say that there are no atheists in foxholes. Well, to this writer, the whole publishing world looks like a battlefield. Glad to have a good book and a little more faith.

    Take care.

    Steve Daniel