Gain a Deep Understanding of the Whole Story Elephant

World-building, character development and conflict applied at the macro and micro levels of Story.


Story Grid's Science-Based Deep Dive
into the Theory of Storytelling

In this seminar, Shawn Coyne uses powerful storytelling lenses to help you get a better, truer perspective on the whole narrative theory of Story. He blends science and the humanities by introducing philosophers, scientists, and writers from the past and present so we can see Story from all angles.

Story Grid’s approach is based on:

  • Cognitive science;
  • Evolutionary theory;
  • Ancient and modern philosophy, including the works of Aristotle, Plato, Carl Jung, and Joseph Campbell; and
  • Historical and contemporary masterworks, with a deep dive into one of the world’s greatest—J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit.

Demystifying squishy language and giving detailed, precise training.

You probably have a shelf (or six shelves) full of books on the writer’s craft.

And you’ve probably taken a few (or a dozen) courses on writing.

When you look back at all those books and courses, do you ever feel like you’re stuck in that ancient parable about the blind men and the elephant?

Each of the men touched a different part of the elephant, and each came away understanding only a fraction of the whole animal—never the true nature of the beast.

The truth is, each craft book and course has provided a glimpse of just one part of the elephant. No one has shown you the true nature of Story—until now.

The Story Grid Trinity Seminar starts by cutting the Story problem in half.

  • The Theory Half - Understanding the Structure and Organization of Story
  • The Practice Half - Understanding the Functional Purpose of Story

How do we do this at Story Grid?

Step One: Diagnose what’s not exciting, intriguing, or cathartic in a particular story. In that order. A story must excite the audience first, plant the seeds of intrigue second, and provide catharsis third.

Step Two: Prescribe potent objectively measurable analytic processes the creator can use to create more audience excitement, intrigue and catharsis with succeeding drafts.

The Trinity of Storytellers

The Story Artist. The Story Artist is you, the storyteller. You get to decide why you are telling the story, the controlling idea, the genre, and the values of your story.

Then, you think about the audience of your story and which Story Author will do the best job of communicating your story’s message.

The Story Author. According to Jung, we each have a cast of characters inside of us. They each have their own point of view and unique aspects that set them apart from each other.

The job of the Story Artist is to identify the best Story Author to tell the story in the best way. This is F. Scott Fitzgerald's Nick Carraway or J.R.R Tolkien's grandfather telling his grandchildren a bedtime story.

The Story Avatars. The Story Author then creates Avatars — characters — that he puts on the stage — world-building — and has them interact — conflict — to tell the story the Story Artist envisioned.

The Trinity of Practice

World-building. The Story Author creates the context of the space. Specifically, they build out the nature of the world. This is the Arena of your story.

Content. The Story Author creates the things within your Arena. Specifically, they populate the world with the Avatars — characters — that are performing in your story.

Conflict. The Story Author creates interactions between the Arena and Avatars that generate excitement, intrigue, and catharsis for your audience.

Your Mentor for the Trinity...

Shawn Coyne is the creator and founder of Story Grid. He has worked in the publishing industry for 30 years as an editor at Big Five publishing houses, an independent publisher, and a literary agent—both at a major Hollywood talent agency and at his own agency, Genre Management, Inc. His projects have grossed more than $150 million in North America alone.

Shawn Coyne

In early 2015, he published The Story Grid: What Good Editors Know, and later that year started the Story Grid Podcast with writer and book marketing expert Tim Grahl.
Here is a partial list of authors whose works he has acquired, edited, published or represented:

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.


Join Story Grid Trinity today!

$1497 or $147/mo

Inside the Story Grid Trinity...

You will learn how to understand and apply both the theory and practice of Story.

Shawn will walk you through applying the principles on the high-level, macro moments of Story, all the way down to the line-by-line, beat level of Story.

Then he will take you on a deep dive into the beats and scenes of The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien to show you how to apply the Trinity concepts and practices in your own writing.

Shawn will also share his infographics, videos, and checklists along the way.

What you'll learn inside of Story Grid Trinity...


The Story Problem

Learn to identify the problem, the first step to solving it. Shawn walks you through the big Story Elephant problem and explains why it is so important that we solve it.


Story Pathway Schema

Learn how the editor approaches the story problem and why, as a writer, you must learn this methodology as well.


The Writer's Schema

Learn the methodology a writer brings to solving the story problem in systematic, step-by-step ways.


The Pipes of Information & Energy

Learn how the reader experiences your story and ensure you are communicating with them effectively.


Diagnosing Story Problems

Learn how the Story Grid Trinity will help you identify problems in your story and develop practical ways to solve them.


Masterwork Analysis: The Hobbit

Take a deep dive into this classic masterwork from J.R.R. Tolkien and learn how to apply the Story Grid Trinity principles to your own writing.


The Story Approach & Big Schema

Learn how to apply everything you have learned inside of Story Grid Trinity to your own works in progress.


Extensive Q&A

Listen in as Shawn Coyne answers questions about the Story Grid Trinity from writers like you.

Who is Story Grid Trinity for?

This seminar is for any writer at any level in their career.

Beginner Writer

If you are at the start of your writing journey, understanding the whole elephant of storytelling and how it applies to your story will save you years of floundering.

Seasoned Storyteller

Taking the time to understand the Story Grid Trinity will upgrade your storytelling for the rest of your writing career.


Learning to look at your client's books through the lens of the Trinity will enable you to provide more insightful and useful feedback to your authors.

Here's how this works:


Join the Story Grid Trinity Seminar by clicking here.


Get immediate access to the seminar so you can jump in and get started right away.


Go through the extensive 116 lesson, 30+ hours of training from Shawn Coyne.


Implement the ideas to write the best story you've ever created!


Join Story Grid Trinity today!

$1497 or $147/mo


A's for your Q's

How long do I have access to the seminar?

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.

Will the pricing change?

Since this is the first release of the seminar to the public, we are offering it at the lowest price we will ever offer.

On Sunday, January 5th at midnight, the price will go up 33%.

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 seminar 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 Trinity for your own story.

What resources are included in the seminar?

There are 116 lessons and over 30 hours of training all professionally recorded. Along with the video training, we include multiple infographics Shawn created for the training, his full slide deck, and 3 Story Grid Masterwork Analysis Guides to The Wizard of Oz, The Hobbit, and Hamilton.


Join Story Grid Trinity today!

$1497 or $147/mo