What It's About: Story Physics outlines the fundamental forces that drive any story so that any fiction writer can learn to utilize them to craft a compelling story.
Why I Read It: I loved Brooks's other book Story Engineering and found it to be one of the best books on story structure I've ever read. When I found out he was expanding upon what he'd written in that book in Story Physics, I knew I wanted to check it out.
What I Liked About It: I loved Brooks's discussion of the difference between an idea, a concept, and a premise because it makes so much sense. It helps you to refine your idea to make it uniquely your own. I love engineering metaphors, and this book makes great use of the ideas of forces that drive a good story forward. Brooks argues that every good story follows certain story physics, and the stories that don't are the ones that people aren't reading. I loved his discussion of mission-driven scenes and the role of subtext in the stories we tell.
For those who haven't read Story Engineering, this book in some ways rehashes some of the key elements of that book, as well as provides some summary of what Brooks calls the Core Competencies of storytelling at the end. Since I loved the first book, I didn't mind revisiting what he'd already shared in the first book. Plus, it's stuff I try to use as I'm writing anyway. One of the most helpful parts of the book comes toward the end when Brooks applies what he's been talking about with story physics to The Hunger Games, which is one of my favorite novels. He also applies it to The Help.
Story Physics is a great book if you're writing fiction because it will help you to understand what makes great stories great and give you some strategies for creating your own.