- It was very sarcastic toward pantsers. I felt like my methods were being sneered at because I didn’t outline.
- It did so much marketing I was ready to throw the book against a wall. I felt it was a giant infomercial.
Thankfully, the marketing is toned down. It is also not quite as nasty to pantsers, but it still suffers from not getting what pantsers are. The author admits in the book that he’s gotten some “venom” on the pantsers vs. outliners side.
Yup. I get why.
The book is a in-depth look at basic elements of writing a story using the techniques for Story Engineering. This includes a screenwriting technique for plot points and beats. The writing tends toward lecturing rather than teaching — there’s a lot of “writers do this wrong” that becomes annoying.
In my opinion, Story Physics is nothing new and doesn’t stand out except for the problem with pantsers.
Story Physics tries to make it out that the underlying techniques are the same for both, and then gives outlining techniques. If I tried to write to the book’s plot points and beat techniques, I would end up writing to fit the plot points. I’d have structure like the book proclaims, but a poorly written, mechanical story that would never get published.
There’s a lack of understanding about how pantsers work. I’ve seen this with outliners. Some can’t comprehend how pantsers can produce anything. Writing without an outline is very alien to them, and they try to make out that the pantser must be doing some form of it (stated in the book) and just not calling it an outline. The book further mentions that no one can come up with a book like Dan Brown’s by pantsing and expresses disbelief at anyone being able to produce a coherent book without knowing where it’s going.
The result is a book that’s more about marketing a system than respecting that writers can have different approaches to their process.