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Publisher's Summary

What is the Story Grid?

The Story Grid is a tool developed by editor Shawn Coyne to analyze stories and provide helpful editorial comments. It's like a CT Scan that takes a photo of the global story and tells the editor or writer what is working, what is not, and what must be done to make what works better and fix what's not.

The Story Grid breaks down the component parts of stories to identify the problems. And finding the problems in a story is almost as difficult as the writing of the story itself (maybe even more difficult).

The Story Grid is a tool with many applications:

  • It will tell a writer if a story "works" or "doesn't work".
  • It pinpoints story problems but does not emotionally abuse the writer, revealing exactly where a story (not the person creating the story) has failed.
  • It will tell the writer the specific work necessary to fix that story's problems.
  • It is a tool to re-envision and resuscitate a seemingly irredeemable pile of paper stuck in an attic drawer.
  • It is a tool that can inspire an original creation.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2015 Black Irish Entertainment (P)2019 Black Irish Entertainment

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  • Jeroen de Jong
  • 17-12-2019

good story, but audiobook needs an editor

I loved the idea of the storymap and how it works out for silence of the lambs. however: where's the editor? ;-) there were lot of errors in the audio cuts. repeated sentences, difference in audio quality, etc..

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  • Da super bros.
  • 31-01-2020

An audiobook on editing that was poorly edited?

The information in this book is okay. Not great. But okay. There are a few golden nuggets. The real problem is that there are half a dozen or more mistakes in the reading of this book that apparently the editor forgot to take out before publishing. Considering the topic, that seems unforgiveable.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 30-12-2019

Ironically, "where was the editor?"

The material is top notch. The book is a must-read for any novelist. The narration is almost painfully sloppy, distracting the listener (at least this listener) from the material. Much of the time it's rushed, pronunciation often appears to be a hurried guess (especially for Latin and French terms, but also a fair bit of English), phrasing is occasionally bizarre to the point of erasing the meaning of the content, and edits are clumsy, mismatched, and sometimes missing. It feels like a well-intentioned but hasty effort by an amateur narrator and editor. I'm grateful to have this book in audio, but it's a chore to listen to.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 20-12-2019

Not sure if I can use this

This was a very interesting idea, but with the same problem as in every other book that talks about knowing your genre. He only gave information for one genre, and figuring out what he suggests for mine is mind bogglingly difficult (at least for me). The actual story grid also is a lot of work, but it sounds like it might be worth it. The recording had a lot of problems. There were spots where the narrator said the same thing twice, like an old broken record. Then, there were places where the voice changed, like it was recorded in a different place/time/with different equipment or mixing. It almost sounded like two different voices. Like they'd found a mistake in the original recording and then just edited the correction in, without doing it well. Very distracting.

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  • J. Beck
  • 29-10-2020

The best story structure book out there

The Story Grid provides a practical tool for analyzing literature that I’ve never seen presented in such an easy-to-comprehend, turnkey way. You can literally read this book, and use the tools presented to start editing your manuscript. You can analyze your idea and see how it maps onto a draft. Most importantly, you can use it as a blueprint to create an action list for subsequent drafts, which I have never seen addressed in any other book. I found this book through the podcast. I am currently on episode 79, after foolishly thinking I would pick and choose among them. I found out that I wanted to hear absolutely everything Shawn Coyne has to say about writing, and I’m sure everyone working on a book would agree.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 14-08-2020

Interesting, but edited poorly

The recording was obviously post edited/rerecorded in sections, which isn't a huge issue, but there are multiple instances of the recording backing up and repeating itself or skipping. Since this is a work of academia it is less irksome than a narrative. The content relies on a downloaded PDF it references often, so this is not a passive listen to engage entirely with the content. The content itself is very helpful for looking into writing as a profession, and not a hobby of creative excellence. I am thankful Coyne emphasizes that this is not a formula for success or a miracle engine. Just a helpful tool if you are versed in narrative language. Huge spoilers for Silence of the Lambs and other works of fiction in case that bothers you (and have gotten to the aging material for some reason, haha)

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  • Michael Maloney
  • 05-03-2020

Fantastic information with poor narration.

Coyne does a great job explaining his system in general, but the organization of the book is a little fractured. Far too many chapters could have been compressed and there’s a fair amount of repeated concepts. There’s also a bit too much “we’ll cover that later” in the beginning. The first half of the book sounds like it’s still trying to sell you the book. Then there is the shoddy narration. Often it repeats lines and many times the voice changes to a much lower quality, as if it were corrected and the narrator phoned it in. Overall, it gets the point across, but I feel like the physical book would be better. Some of the images on the attached PDF are low quality as well.

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  • The bookworm
  • 31-01-2020

Terrible narrator

Dan, I hope this was your first book as narrator, and that you have improved your skills since recording this. There are so many technical and quality issues with the narration, that it completely distracts from Shawn’s writing. Sudden changes in volume, missing words (including verbs!), spliced-in sentences using a suddenly more/less hoarse voice, double readings and stumbling over sentences, incorrect reading of words (“causal” not “casual”), irritating and inconsistent use of the word “slash”, etc. I’d recommend redoing this narration to give listeners a better experience. It was hard to finish. Shawn, this is an awesome tool that you have laid out for story writers. Thank you. Your final chapter is key to understanding the philosophy of how to best use this tool. I look forward to applying this tool to my own work.

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  • Brenda
  • 28-12-2019

A great manual for any writer!

This book will give new perspective to authors and help aspiring novelists look at the task of writing a novel in a new way.

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  • A. P. Hughes
  • 26-11-2019

confusing and badly needs editing!

The audio quality changes multiple times, over and over again in a single section so it's obvious it was recorded on several different days, then botched together. It's virtually impossible to follow without reading along with the pdf, so I would recommend simply buying the book instead. Finally, the narrator voices the punctuation, therefore says 'slash' out loud instead of waiting a beat (which is no doubt what the author intended). I counted the narrator saying 'slash' 32 times in one section. Incredibly annoying! I gave up after four hours, completely lost track of the endless lists & slashes! It's a shame because I'm sure there's valuable information here, it's just not accessible in audio format.

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