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Story Engineering by Larry Brooks

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5CONCEPT—DEFINED

Earlier we addressed the issue of defining story. While that may seem a bit like defining food for a room full of wannabe chefs, it is the lack of a full and enlightened—that being the key word here—definition that holds many writers back. You’d be shocked at how many writers, even some who have been attending workshops for years and have written many novels and screenplays along the way, continue to turn in manuscripts that aren’t actually stories at all. Instead they are character sketches or episodic expositions that don’t exhibit the minimum criteria that would turn them into a story.

Story may seem obvious and intuitive. But it’s not.

The same is true of concept.

Defining concept is tricky because, in the lexicon of the ...

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