Have you printed a forest-worth of pages or scrolled until your fingers are numb and your eyes are bloodshot, just looking for what’s right and what’s wrong with your work-in-progress? Are you second-guessing yourself each time you dive back into your story? Maybe you don’t even want to look at it anymore because the process of revision is so frustrating?
I’ve heard these problems so many times, from so many writers, that I’m pretty sure they’re universal. And since I’ve never met a story problem I didn’t want to fix, I asked myself:
"Can I stop the madness?"
"Is there one tip I can share with all writers to help them clearly see what’s going on in their stories? Can I help them make intentional decisions, fix the problems, and move a step closer to a publishable manuscript?"
The answer came to me, loud and clear, almost immediately:
“Writers need solid, proven tools, not just quick tips and tricks. Teach them how to use the Story Grid Spreadsheet.”
Hi, I'm Kim Kessler.
I am a Story Grid Certified Editor. I have been working as an author and editor for five years.
I've worked with 80+ writers, and almost all of them say the most frustrating moment in their journey is when they finish a first draft of their manuscript and have no idea what to do next.
I’ve used the Story Grid Spreadsheet for years in my own writing and in helping my clients shape and polish their work. The Spreadsheet allows writers to work through scenes systematically to identify the components that work and the ones that don’t—and why.
I know you might prefer to think about your cover art or take a class on how to format your book for Kindle. It’s easy to be tempted by all those distractions, especially when the road to the finish line looks rough.
But if you don’t get to the second draft or the third, none of that other stuff matters!
So let me help you take the next step by introducing you to my Story Grid Spreadsheet course.
Ok, so... what is the Story Grid Spreadsheet course?
In the course, I’ll teach you how to use the Spreadsheet to understand all the moving parts of your manuscript on a deeper level.
You’ll see how they fit together and why. You’ll be able to see which parts need to be leveled up or tossed out, which just need to be polished up, and how to improve your story as a whole so it works for your readers.
I’ll teach you how to analyze each scene of your manuscript using the Story Grid 4-C framework.
Edit Your Writing
It’s never easy to see your own writing objectively. You’re too close to it!
I’ll show you how the Spreadsheet can give you new lenses—almost like a second pair of eyes—to see and edit your work effectively.
Show, don’t tell, am I right?
I won’t just tell you about the power of the Story Grid Spreadsheet—
I’ll show you exactly how to use it, with detailed examples.
We’ll walk through the entire process together.
What exactly happens inside the Story Grid Spreadsheet Course?
I’ll show you how to use the Spreadsheet tool to make real, undeniable progress in editing your manuscript.
I’ll share the 4-C framework, a set of lenses you can use to look at each scene in a new way.
I’ll give you access to the advanced Story Grid Spreadsheet template that I use every day. Up until now, only Story Grid Certified Editors have had access to this template!
I’ll share the Spreadsheet Cheat Sheet I developed to make sure you’re filling out each column and row correctly and getting the most out of the tool.
I'm sharing this all right now so you can start making progress on leveling up your manuscript today.
Too many writers get stuck at the first draft and never move on. I don't want you to be that kind of writer. I want you to turn your draft into a published work of art.
Here's an overview:
What is the Story Grid Spreadsheet, and why does it matter? How does this tool actually make you a better writer?
The Story Grid Spreadsheet is made up of four distinct sections. Each section helps you analyze your scenes from a different vantage point, through a different lens.
There are two ways to use the Spreadsheet to level up your writing, based on two intentions you have as a writer. I’ll tell you about each and explain why they are both so valuable.
You’re ready to get your hands in the toolbox! I’ll walk you through each of the columns of the Spreadsheet and show you exactly how to fill them out. There’s always some confusion when writers use the Spreadsheet for the first time, but I’ll be beside you all the way to ease any frustrations.
3 Real-Life Examples
Theory is good, but practical examples are better. I’ll show you how the Spreadsheet works, using specific examples from three books. Two of the books are established masterworks and one is my own work-in-progress.
Who is the Story Grid Spreadsheet course for?
If you are just starting out, learning the Story Grid Spreadsheet will help you write better scenes and understand masterworks in your favorite genres like never before.
The Story Grid Spreadsheet will speed up your editing time and help you level up your writing quickly by giving you a deeper understanding of scene-by-scene writing.
Analyze manuscripts and give your clients better feedback faster.
When you deliver a report based on a Story Grid Spreadsheet, you will wow the writers you work with.
Does the Story Grid Spreadsheet work for screenplays?
Yes! It works for all stories of any length in any medium. The main difference is the word count column. For a screenplay, you could track each scene by word count (like a book) or by the number of pages if that’s more useful to you. You can even track scenes in films/TV using timestamps or minutes instead of word count. But the rest of the columns absolutely apply!
Does the Story Grid Spreadsheet work for non-fiction books?
Absolutely! This course focuses on the standard spreadsheet which applies most directly to fiction, but there is a nonfiction version of the spreadsheet which has a few different columns. For example, onstage and offstage characters are applied differently in nonfiction than fiction. But this course is a great introduction to the spreadsheet for fiction and nonfiction writers.
If I haven’t finished my manuscript yet, will this course still help me?
Yes! Even though you may not be ready to officially fill out a spreadsheet yet (because you’re still in the middle of writing your draft), the course covers the principles at play in creating scenes that work. These are great things to have in mind while you draft. But at the same time, there is no pressure to “include everything” while you’re drafting--that’s precisely what the spreadsheet will help you identify, so you can go back and revise with focus and direction.
What do you mean by "beginner"?
There are two ways to look at this: a beginner when it comes to storytelling and a beginner at applying the Story Grid tools. This course speaks well to both types of beginners. In fact, even seasoned storytellers and Story Grid nerds have shared that they enjoyed the course and learned a new and empowered perspective on the spreadsheet.
I’ve never read The Story Grid. Will I still understand this course?
This answer is most-likely based on how you learn. But we can say that the course covers the basics in a down-to-earth way that works well for someone brand new to Story Grid. But it’s a great idea to have the original The Story Grid book nearby for reference and to dig deeper into the methodology as needed. And remember, all of the book and podcast content is free in blog form at storygrid.com, so you can search and read up on topics to your heart’s content.
Is the course taught live, or are the videos pre-recorded?
These ten videos are pre-recorded so you can view at your own pace, pause, take a break, rewind, or whatever you need to do to learn at your best.
Will I have lifetime access to the course material?
Yes, you have lifetime access to the material.
How is the course accessed?
You will be able to access the course on any web browser on your desktop or mobile device.
Will an editor be helping me spreadsheet my own manuscript?
No, that would be a separate engagement that you would contract with an individual Story Grid Certified Editor. Most of the Story Grid Certified Editors offer free 30 minute consults if you have questions or are interested in working with someone. But if not, consider pairing up with a writing friend and helping one another spreadsheet your drafts, or a masterwork you both love. There is so much value in learning together!