Warning: Story Physics disappointed and frustrated me more than any book in recent memory. I’ll get into the reason why below, but wanted to put you on alert that this isn’t a typical “it was an okay book, I recommend it” type of review.
First, let me point out that Story Physics is the second of three writing craft books by Larry Brooks. My comments here apply only to this specific volume. I will soon be reading the third volume, Story Fix, and have plans to read the first volume, Story Engineering. I’ll review each additional book as I finish them. Now, on with my review of Story Physics.
What could possibly frustrate me so much about this book? For starters, the first 50 pages or so (20-25% of the book) went on and on about the importance of optimizing the forces of story physics. I expected most of the rest of the book to be about, well, what story physics are and how to optimize them.
Wrong. Most of the remainder of the book featured more discussion of the Six Core Competencies Brooks wrote about in Story Engineering. Much of the middle portion of the book consisted of what appeared to be blog posts which introduced anything specific regarding story physics, but only harped again and again on their importance.
In my opinion, Story Physics is a true rarity: a How To book that doesn’t tell you how to do anything. I gave it 2 stars on Goodreads, the section at the very end with a detailed analysis of The Hunger Games narrowly saved it from being my first ever 1 star rating. I cannot recommend this book to other readers as a stand alone book. I will judge the other volumes in the series based on their individual merits and provide my conclusions here when I’m done.