Writing a Second-Chance Love Story: A Story Grid Masterwork Analysis Guide to Persuasion
Written by Celeste Sharpe and Mai Nguyen
Edited by Leslie Watts

Jane Austen’s final novel, Persuasion, opens in an unusual way—with two hearts already broken. Anne Elliot and Captain Frederick Wentworth have endured seven years of separation and longing after Anne was convinced by family and friends to refuse his proposal. When they meet again, the central question they face is one that resonates for readers in every time and place: Can we earn a second chance at love?

In their Story Grid Masterwork Analysis Guide, editors Mai Nguyen and Celeste Sharpe show precisely how Austen layered her complex love story with all the necessary obstacles, secrets, and sacrifices to get Anne and Frederick to their well-deserved happy ending. Nguyen and Sharpe analyze Austen’s innovative story scene-by-scene to reveal the genius of Anne’s heroic journey to recapture her voice and agency.

If you dream of crafting stories where characters must navigate their own do-overs in love, friendship, or other meaningful relationships, this writer’s guide to Persuasion provides a map to help you find your way.

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Celeste Sharpe

Celeste Sharpe is a Story Grid Certified Editor, writer, and lawyer. She loves to read about magic, time travel, and all things Austen, and she is certain the best way to make writing dreams come true is to read great books, write, and repeat. She lives in Westchester, New York, and is glad for the patience and support of her husband, two grown chil- dren, and two dogs. You can email her at [email protected].

Mai Nguyen

Mai Nguyen is a writer and Story Grid Certified Editor. She was a staff writer for TV comedies and won a Disney/ABC Writing Fellowship in comedy. Her previous jobs include travel writing and creating websites for Fortune 500 companies. Mai lives in Connecticut and appreciates her husband’s support and knack for always keeping the snack drawer stocked for late-night writing sessions. You can email her at [email protected].

Leslie Watts

Leslie Watts is a certified Story Grid editor, writer, and podcaster. She’s been writing for as long as she can remember: from her sixth-grade magazine about cats to writing practice while drafting opinions for an appellate court judge.

When the dust settled after her children were born, she launched Writership.com to help writers unearth the treasure in their manuscripts. She believes writers become better storytellers through practice, and that editors owe a duty of care to help writers with specific and supportive guidance to meet reader expectations and express their unique gifts in the world.