Top Ten Posts of 2012

First, though… I’d like to reflect on the year we’re tucking into bed.  The Top 10 list follows, if that’s what you’d rather read.

Globally, nationally, it was a tough, dark year.  I’m not here to break that down, you know how it went. This is a writing website, so let’s talk about that.  Our words are weapons, the most powerful of all, and I’d rather empower you to wield them with responsibility, however you define that, than wound half of you with my own impassioned opinions.

We are a nation and a world divided, and we must come together and heal.  Let us use our words for good, for change, and for art.  And may we discover the wisdom to know the difference between them.

My 2012 was spent ramping up for an exciting 2013.

I have three new books coming out (a new writing book, a new novel and a book on relationships), and all of my five previously published novels are getting a second shot under a new imprint (Turner Publishing).

Storyfix underwent a face lift, and an editorial re-boot.  The posts are deeper, more craft-driven.  Guest posts are enriching this experience (thank you, Art Holcomb).  The new year will bring video-tutorials, online workshops and the continued honing of my story coaching outreach, which I intend to be the most accessible, affordable and genuinely effective in this business.

If you have thoughts on where you’d like to see Storyfix go in 2013, please post your comments below.

Vote for the best writing blogs of 2012.

The annual Writers Digest “101 Best Websites for Writers” ranking is seeking nominations.  Perhaps the only truly objective, and certainly the most credible, qualitative survey in this niche.

To nominate a site, Send an e-mail to, with “101 Best Websites –” (in the hopeful event that’s your call) in the subject header, and then make your case for your vote.

These 2012 posts make my case:

Honorable mention (four more that belong in a crowded Top 10):

Thank you for being a part of my writing life.  I wish you great success in the coming year, as a writer, as a parent and partner, as a citizen, and as a person engaging with life in a way that only writers understand.








Filed under Write better (tips and techniques)

13 Responses to Top Ten Posts of 2012

  1. Larry, my focus at the present is to get my book completed, ensuring I’m adhering to the principles of story engineering. Thank you for all your advice, support, and providing the tools and information to help me reach that goal. But, eventually, the time will come to address the publishing issue, specially to seek an agent, or to self publish. I know your focus is on story engineering, but I would like to hear your thoughts on publishing, or recommended blogs or books covering this area.

  2. Larry,

    Thanks for breaking the code of story telling and its structure and your no non-sense approachmpresentation.

    Thanks also for your fascinating business model. First you give it all away, then get around to pricing/selling it. You’re probably the only person who can make that work! I salute you. I think the core of that model is belief and commitment. But, that’s for another paragraph.

    All the best to you and yours in the coming New Year.

    P.S. When we figure out that what it is is up to us, we will stop with the insane cycle we are going through and get on with caring and building.

    In the mean time, stay salty. 🙂

  3. I’m looking forward to rereading your top posts, but right away I want to say thanks for Story Engineering. I was lost before that – tried a half-dozen others, knowing there HAD to be a way to break it down and then build it up. SE is my Holy Grail. Best wishes for a happy New Year, Larry!

  4. Hi Larry,

    Thank you for the past year of teaching and motivating us writers (and editors ). I’d like to see you do two or three more deconstructions in the coming year. You seem to be the only online source for them, and I do think they are useful ways to display your teaching points. Your previous ones focus mainly on Theme, FPP, MP, and SPP, but I think you could also use them to further illustrate the use of your Core Competencies.

    Thanks again, and may the coming year be healthy and prosperous for all of us!

  5. Pamela Moriarty

    This post comes with my heartfelt gratitude to you, Larry. I was a lost and depressed pantser at the beginning of 2012. I’d taken workshops, classes, seminars, weekends. I had written reams of stuff. I just couldn’t seem to pull any of it together. I was ready to call it quits, telling myself I just didn’t have what it took to be a writer and then, as I desperately trolled through the web for something, ANYTHING, that would persuade me otherwise, miracle of miracles, I stumbled across I spent the next few months reading everything on story structure you’ve ever written. Then I got my hands on Story Engineering. Then I read The Hunger Games and your detailed destructuring of it. Then I availed myself of your overthetop generous coaching programs. What gifts to this blundering pantser they turned out to be! I have three novels and a memoir all in various stages of disarray but now, thanks to you, I know what to do to fix them. I sit down at my laptop every day with a whole new outlook. For the first time in many long months I feel like I’m finally getting somewhere with my work. So, thank you, thank you, for the generous gifts of your time and talent to us wannabe writers. May 2013 be your year: the Year of Larry Brooks!

    And, as Tiny Tim so famously said, “God bless us every one!”

  6. Olga Oliver

    Beautiful words above, Larry. How could I add more? The most beautiful one is probably “giving.” But “giving” is a tough word – stubborn and brittle and requires learning how to step side-ways in the thinking processes. Many, many thanks from the East Texas area. A good year is building.

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  8. Robert Jones

    Hi Larry,

    I came in late in 2012 to this site. And all it took was a basic overview of techniques on structure (and a few deconstructions of other people’s stories) to make me look at my own plot in progress and say, “Hey, what if i moved this scene here, and that one over there?”

    I also shifted and expanded on part three after reading some of your posts. Admittedly, I was not taking full advantage of how I might make use of the “rising” stage to build up to a stronger second PP.

    This, to me, is the epitome of good writing/teaching: fresh, intelligent thoughts on craft that make me think, thus, allowing me to take my story to the next level. And I got all that here within the last couple of months. We all need intelligent fuel for thought, and someone to raise the bar in terms of understanding the building blocks of a successful story. For me, storyfix doesn’t just grind the axe, it sharpens it.

    And if I may plug your story coaching programs for a minute or three…the world has really opened up for writers recently. For any of the arts, we (the creators) have had to struggle with both limited means of learning, as well as limited oportunity. The business side of the arts (that is, those who make money from what we do) has kept many doors closed to new-comers. And the cost of paying a professional “book doctor” could run between $200-$300 PER HOUR. And a professional critique from a pro meant finding someone with both a kind heart and enough time on their hands…and that usually meant a few brief comments at best.

    So my question is: who wouldn’t pay $100 to get a second opinion at the plotting level from a guy who has practically reduced story structure to a science?

    Looking forward to a great 2013.

    Thank you, Larry, for all you do here!

  9. Larry, yours are the shoulders I stand on. Thanks again. Three years ago I stumbled upon your site, learned about story structure, and I’ve never looked back. At that time I was working on my first book. It became my third book because it was such a mess I had to completely tear it down and rebuild it.

    Everything I’ve written since that discovery has been informed by this site. Thank you very much, and make 2013 the year you want into be.

  10. Jacques

    thanks Larry for all the inspiring blog posts and your informative books about story structure. Your site and books are diamonds in a ocean of (outdated/dangerous) advice and i am very gratefull for it.

    To those wondering.. his $100 Story Coaching is worth it, even for just the questionaire and the synopsis. It forced me to encounter all the weak spots in the story! 🙂

    Can’t wait to see the new video tutorials. Perhaps you should tackle FAQ’s in them and ask us additional questions to awnser in them

  11. It’s been a wonderful year and I’m sure that 2013 will bring even more fruits! Your advice has always been so helpful and your words so inspiring. Thank you. Happy new year!

  12. Art Holcomb

    In my mind, hands down, the best post on the list is “What You Should Know Before You Write a Scene”. It strikes at the very heart of story: scene construction and import. Scenes are the building blocks upon which all narratives (screenplay, novel, short) are built. When they fail, the story stumbles and stalls – but when your scenes succeed, you’re elevated to a higher level as a writer.

    If you take away from Storyfix just one lesson from last year and REALLY understand what Larry is saying here, the quality of your stories will improve ten fold. Great Post!

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