Writing a novel without serious advance planning is a mistake, says Larry Brooks. OK, it works for some, but the majority of authors who work that way end up with an unfinished manuscript.
A better plan, he argues, is to start with the structure of a story – its engineering – and use that as the basis for narrative. His book shows how a novelist can work with six basic aspects of storytelling, four of them being elemental (and these are concept, character, theme and plot) and two are executional (scene construction and writing voice).
All these aspects inter-relate and need to be in balance, and it is by aiming at the balance that authors can keep the structure of their story permanently in sight. In this way, authors will always know what to do next, will not find themselves running out of steam half way through a novel. That is the Larry Brooks approach to writing fiction, and his book explains the process in clear detail.