20+ quotes from Story Engineering: Character Development, Story Concept, Scene Construction by Larry Brooks

Quotes from Story Engineering: Character Development, Story Concept, Scene Construction

Larry Brooks ·  278 pages

Rating: (2.4K votes)


“Instinct is the elusive magic that happens when art collides with hard-won craft.”
― Larry Brooks, quote from Story Engineering: Character Development, Story Concept, Scene Construction


“Because, if you haven’t wrapped your head around this principle, chances are you’ll never sell a story.”
― Larry Brooks, quote from Story Engineering: Character Development, Story Concept, Scene Construction


“THE SEVEN KEY CHARACTERIZATION VARIABLES Think of these as realms, as areas of potential character illumination. Here they are, in no particular order: Surface affectations and personality—What the world sees and perceives about a character, including quirks, ticks, habits, and visual presentation. Backstory—All that happened in the character’s life before the story begins that conspires to make him who he is now. Character arc—How the character learns lessons and grows (changes) over the course of the story, how she evolves and conquers her most confounding issues. Inner demons and conflicts—The nature of the issues that hold a character back and define his outlook, beliefs, decisions, and actions. Fear of meeting new people, for example, is a demon that definitely compromises one’s life experience. Worldview—An adopted belief system and moral compass; the manifested outcome of backstory and inner demons. Goals and motivations—What drives a character’s decisions and actions, and the belief that the benefits of those decisions and actions outweigh any costs or compromises. Decisions, actions, and behaviors—The ultimate decisions and actions that are the sum of all of the above. Everything about your characters depends on this final variable, and the degree to which the character’s decisions, actions, and behaviors have meaning and impact depends on how well you’ve manipulated the first six variables before, during, and after the moment of decision or action.”
― Larry Brooks, quote from Story Engineering: Character Development, Story Concept, Scene Construction


“The bar is high. But now you have a ladder.”
― Larry Brooks, quote from Story Engineering: Character Development, Story Concept, Scene Construction


“As a writer, you are that architect.”
― Larry Brooks, quote from Story Engineering: Character Development, Story Concept, Scene Construction


“We all select our fates based on the paths we choose.”
― Larry Brooks, quote from Story Engineering: Character Development, Story Concept, Scene Construction


“Doing a lot of reading is not the prerequisite to writing.”
― Larry Brooks, quote from Story Engineering: Character Development, Story Concept, Scene Construction


“the president of Goodwill Industries made $800,000 a year.”
― Larry Brooks, quote from Story Engineering: Character Development, Story Concept, Scene Construction


“The Six Core Competencies do not define or offer a formula. Rather, they define structure driven by criteria for the elements that comprise it.”
― Larry Brooks, quote from Story Engineering: Character Development, Story Concept, Scene Construction


“Love your scenes, and they’ll love you in return.”
― Larry Brooks, quote from Story Engineering: Character Development, Story Concept, Scene Construction


“Remember—write this down, it’s critical—nothing fuels a story quite like hope.”
― Larry Brooks, quote from Story Engineering: Character Development, Story Concept, Scene Construction


“What if that child survived, and the lineage continues to this day, meaning the ancestors of Christ are walking among us?”
― Larry Brooks, quote from Story Engineering: Character Development, Story Concept, Scene Construction


“If you're playing God, you need to get it right.”
― Larry Brooks, quote from Story Engineering: Character Development, Story Concept, Scene Construction


“A clever trick does not a concept make.”
― Larry Brooks, quote from Story Engineering: Character Development, Story Concept, Scene Construction


“Here's the truth about organic writing: It's just story planning by another name.”
― Larry Brooks, quote from Story Engineering: Character Development, Story Concept, Scene Construction


“even when we stop typing and leave the house, we remain writers.”
― Larry Brooks, quote from Story Engineering: Character Development, Story Concept, Scene Construction


“Here’s another analogy. Human beings bring only a handful of facial features to the blueprint of how we look—two eyes, two eyebrows, a nose, a mouth, a pair of cheekbones, and two ears, all pasted onto a somewhat ovular-to-round face. That particular blueprint doesn’t often vary much, either. Interestingly enough, this is about the same number of essential storytelling parts and milestones that each and every story needs to showcase in order to be successful. Now, consider this: With only these eleven variables to work with, ask yourself how often you see two people who look exactly alike. In a crowd of ten thousand faces, you would be able to differentiate each and every one of them, other than a set of twins or two in attendance. Where we humans are concerned, the miracle of originality resides in the Creator, who applies an engineering-driven process—eleven variables— to an artistic outcome. Where art is concerned, there is something to be learned from that.”
― Larry Brooks, quote from Story Engineering: Character Development, Story Concept, Scene Construction


“[on scene execution] Interesting isn't the point...storytelling momentum and relevance is.”
― Larry Brooks, quote from Story Engineering: Character Development, Story Concept, Scene Construction


“We get to play God with our stories.”
― Larry Brooks, quote from Story Engineering: Character Development, Story Concept, Scene Construction


“Writing is a two-party democracy. To the left are those who write stories from their heart, or according to the other side of the aisle, from the seat of their pants. On the right are those who write stories from a meticulously constructed outline.”
― Larry Brooks, quote from Story Engineering: Character Development, Story Concept, Scene Construction


About the author

Larry Brooks
Born place: Portland, Oregon, The United States
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