The Story Grid is a methodology that combines a comprehensive narrative theory with a set of practical tools that help you clearly identify problems in your story and fix them.
It takes the vague feedback we usually get as writers and turns it into clear, actionable steps to level up our stories.
Where did Story Grid come from?
Story Grid creator and founder, Shawn Coyne is a writer, editor, and publishing professional with more than 30 years of experience. He has published more than 300 books with many dozens of bestsellers across all genres that have generated over $150,000,000 in revenue.
When Shawn Coyne started his editing career in 1991 as an editorial assistant he was surprised to find that there was no formal training or methodology for analyzing manuscripts and giving feedback to writers.
He started developing his own system.
(These were the first seeds that would eventually grow into Story Grid.)
In less than five years, Shawn was promoted to senior editor. Four years later, he became a publisher. Throughout his twenty-year career in traditional publishing, he held positions at Dell Publishing, St. Martin's Press, and Doubleday Publishing.
From 2001 through 2007, Coyne founded and served as Publisher and Managing Partner for Rugged Land Books. In its six years of operation, Rugged Land published thirty-six hardcover titles and fourteen trade paperback titles. One third of all original titles published at Rugged Land were placed on the major bestseller lists. After shuttering Rugged Land in 2007, Coyne became a literary agent representing many bestselling authors including Robert McKee, Steven Pressfield, David Feherty, Scott Patterson, Anita Raghaven, and many others.
In 2011, Coyne co-founded Black Irish Books where he has published over twenty-five titles including bestsellers such as The War of Art and Turning Pro.
Through all of this experience, Shawn continued developing and refining his Story Grid theory and tools.
The Story Grid methodology grew out of Shawn’s deep study of narrative and the analysis of hundreds of masterworks, stories that are perennial sellers because they get it right.
In 2015, Shawn wrote and published The Story Grid: What Good Editors Know and, later that year, launched the Story Grid Podcast.
Shawn continues to study and write on narrative theory, develop the Story Grid methodology, and teach aspiring and professional writers and editors.
A small sampling of works he acquired, edited, published and/or represented include titles written by James Bamford, John Brenkus, James Lee Burke, Barbara Bush, Dick Butkus, Harlan Coben, Nellie Connally, Michael Connelly, Robert Crais, Ben Crenshaw, Catherine Crier, Brett Favre, David Feherty, John Feinstein, Tyler Florence, Jim Gant, Col. David H. Hackworth, Jamie Harrison, Mo Hayder, William Hjortsberg, Stephen Graham Jones, Jon Krakauer, David Leadbetter, Alan Lomax, David Mamet, Troon McAllister, Robert McKee, Matthew Modine, Bill Murray, Joe Namath, John J. Nance, Jack Olsen, Scott Patterson, Steven Pressfield, Matthew Quirk, Anita Raghavan, Ian Rankin, Ruth Rendell, Jerry Rice, Giora Romm, Tim Rosaforte, William Safire, Dava Sobel, Michael Thomas, Nick Tosches, Ann Scott Tyson, Minette Walters, Betty White, Randy Wayne White, Steven White, and Don Winslow among many others.
How does Story Grid help?
1. Story Grid Helps the WRITING
Writing a book is a big and complicated project. When you’re approaching 50,000, 100,000, or more words, there is a lot that can go wrong along the way.
Understanding the Story Grid methodology gives you a map and blueprint for your writing. It shows you what your story must have in order to satisfy and engage readers.
In this Story Grid Love Story Mastermind, you will learn how to plan your novel in order to ensure you get all the necessary elements in your story from the beginning. This helps you reduce page-one rewrites of your novel and meet reader expectations.
2. Story Grid Helps the EDITING
Editing stories is difficult because it’s hard to know which elements are working and which are undermining the story you want to tell. If you don’t know what readers expect when they pick up a Love Story, meeting those expectations is a roll of the dice, and if you break the promise your genre makes to readers, they won’t give you a second chance. Understanding the Story Grid methodology will show you the genre must-haves you need to incorporate in your story as well as how Jane Austen fulfilled these requirements to delight readers more than 200 years after publishing Pride and Prejudice. You’ll also learn to use the tools that will help you clearly identify and solve your story problems at the macro and micro level.
Why focus on Love Story?
Love Story is the best-selling genre in publishing and is often a subplot of choice for other genres.
But also, by digging in and understanding the value spectrum, conventions, obligatory moments, and other aspects of the Love Story, it will open up your understanding of all the other genres as well because you’ll learn major elements that all stories have in common.
Where stories came from, what stories are for, and why understanding how they work is an indispensable tool to compel people to action.
Why characters with concrete macro and micro objects of desire grab readers and won't let them set your book down.
Abraham Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs explained with a twist ... introducing the Story Grid Gas Gauge of Needs.
Knowing the rules of genre and where they come from is the best way to craft and deliver them with innovation.
The Five Commandments of Storytelling
What every story needs to attract and hold an audience.
Units of Story
The Russian Doll theory of global story structure.
Foolscap Global Story Grid
Having this one-page reference to the global structure for your story is indispensable to get your bearings after getting lost in the weeds.
The Story Grid Spreadsheet
Everything you wanted to know about the scene-to-scene progression of a story, from the micro to the macro.
How to Build Your Own Story Grid Infographic
How to plan the micro and macro emotional experience of your reader scene by scene.
Extensive Q&A with Shawn Coyne, Seth Godin, and Steven Pressfield
2+ hour Q&A with Shawn Coyne and bestselling authors Seth Godin (What to Do When It’s Your Turn, Linchpin, Tribes, Purple Cow) and Steven Pressfield (The War of Art, Gates of Fire, The Legend of Bagger Vance, The Knowledge, The Lion’s Gate, Do the Work, Turning Pro). Godin and Pressfield address marketing and motivation for the artist while Coyne integrates the necessity of honing craft as the third key skill of writer-entrepreneurs.
Exclusive Story Grid Tools and Resources
The Story Grid: What Good Editors Know The book that started it all, which includes an in-depth microscopic analysis of Thomas Harris’s classic thriller The Silence of the Lambs.
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen: A Story Grid Masterwork Analysis Guide Shawn walks scene by scene through the entire novel analyzing the story elements and breaking down the Five Commandments of Storytelling.
Story Grid Spreadsheet of Pride and Prejudice This is Shawn’s analytical breakdown of every scene in the novel using the Story Grid methodology.
Foolscap Global Story Grid of Pride and Prejudice The entire story on one sheet of paper, detailing the Five Commandments of Storytelling for the beginning hook, middle build one and two, and ending payoff.
Story Grid Infographic of Pride and Prejudice See the graphical rise and fall of the different story value lines as the novel hooks, builds, and pays off its perfectly constructed courtship drama.
Love Story Cheat Sheet The definition of Love Story along with the subgenres, conventions, and obligatory moments.
Blank Story Grid Spreadsheet Build your own Story Grid Spreadsheet for your work-in-progress to analyze and find what is not working in your story.
Blank Foolscap Global Story Grid Build your own one-page roadmap for your story.
Who is the Love Story Training for?
This training is for any writer at any level in their career.
If you are just starting out, the Story Grid Love Story Training will give you foundational knowledge to help you avoid years of trying to figure out these truths on your own.
Even if you have been writing for years, learning from Shawn, an editor and writer with 30+ years of experience, will give you new and exciting insights to level up your craft as a writer.
Understanding the Story Grid narrative theory and tools will help you give clear, actionable feedback to your writers that will decrease your workload while increasing the value you provide.
"In the past, I've had the habit of quitting a project whenever I got stuck, but the Story Grid has taught me to zoom out during these moments. The practice of always keeping the global story in mind has helped me solve so many problems and has kept me working."
You have forever access that never expires. You'll be able to log in at any time to access the material and come back long into the future for a refresh.
What resources are included in the seminar?
There are 7+ hours of training, and over 4 hours of Q&A all professionally recorded. Along with the video training, we include multiple infographics Shawn created for the training, his full slide deck, and 2 Story Grid Masterwork Analysis Guides to Pride and Prejudice and Persuasion.
What is your refund policy?
You have 30 days to review the material. If you feel like it is not a good fit for you, simply email [email protected] and let us know why and we will immediately issue a refund.
I'm a Guild member. How do I get my discount?
If you are a member of the Story Grid Guild, you get a 20% discount on all of our training. Simply log in to your account before checking out and the discount will automatically be applied.
Is this training a good fit for me?
This seminar is for anyone that wants to write better stories (or help others do the same). Shawn Coyne dives deep into the origins of where Story comes from and walks you all the way through the practical application of the Story Grid tools and methodology.