Craft book review: Take of Your Pants by Libbie Hawker

by | May 31, 2022

I have seen this book recommended, a lot. And I’ll say, it’s pretty good. It’s about how even the most dedicated discovery writer (pantser) can benefit by an outline that at least sketches out the character conflict to find the big moments in the book. I believe that deeply.

However, I did feel like the book was just one essay, with little in the way of visuals or examples that helped get the points across. I think the execution could have been better.

Biggest takeaway, which I’ve also seen in other books: Find your character flaw, and build your climax in a way that makes your protagonist face that flaw. This will naturally make your exterior arc and your interior arc cross paths, right when and where you want it to.

Second biggest takeaway: On the scene level, picture each scene as an inverted triangle. The protagonist starts at the wide top, and as the scene progresses they make choices that force them down a narrower and narrower path until they reach the climax of that scene – the bottom tip. the choice they make then spits them out into the next triangle, with a new wide group of choices.

I’d recommend this as a quick read with a couple strong points, but not really enough to base a whole story method on. You can buy it here.

You may also like…

Finalizing my new book

Finalizing my new book

Hello, it's fall in New England, or will be soon. For the last twenty years September has been part of summer - just...


Leave a Reply