Rank #1: Go Back to the Genre
When you get stuck or lost in your story, how do you find your way? Shawn and Tim discuss this as a follow up to last week's episode.
Rank #2: Finding My Why
Rank #3: Q&A - Part 1
A Q&A with Shawn Coyne. Tim took questions from Twitter and Facebook and spends an hour going through them with Shawn.
- Can you tell us how making a story with multiple protagonists works with the hero's journey? Like in Game of Thrones?
- In a love story, does the All Is Lost scene necessarily have to the be Lovers Break Up scene?
- Global Value Shifts: In The Story Grid, you give two core values per internal and external genre. For example, the core values for thrillers life/death, and for maturation it's naivete/worldiness. However, when we actually start to plot our stories, the move from one value to another is gradual. That is the value shift moves from life to unconsciousness to death to damnation (THRILLER) and naivete masked as sophistication to naivete to cognitive dissonance to sophistication (MATURATION). Is this value progression consistent within a genre? That is, do all thrillers follow the same progression as Silence of the Lambs, or is it only the life/death that is consistent. Likewise, would all maturation plots follow the progression you outline for Pride & Prejudice, or is it only naivete/worldiness that is consistent?
- I would love to Shawn to explain the difference between the Worldview sub-genres, and the subtleties between what makes one maturation vs education for example. So often a character learns something, some lesson or comes to greater understanding about a truth but I have trouble differentiating if it's a maturation vs education vs revelation. Kramer vs Kramer for example...is this an education plot?
- How evenly would you space the K-Ross points through a story? Does it even matter? Or are they just guidelines for the emotional arc?
Rank #4: How to Write a Great Scene
Rank #5: 15 Most Important Scenes
Shawn walks Tim through the 15 most important scenes he has to figure out for his novel.
Rank #7: Q&A - Part 2
Tim continues throwing your story questions at Shawn.
Submit your questions for future episodes at twitter.com/storygrid.
- Can you talk more about the Society genre, please? Does this lend itself better to a mini-plot story (with multiple protagonists) than an arch-plot story?
- How do you go to "the end of the line" in a story like The Accidental Tourist? Clearly, the stakes are not life or death, so how do you show a fate worse than death?
- How do we track sub-plot on the one-page Foolscap Global Story Grid? Or, do we track them at all?
- In the Action genre, Clock subgenre, the book gives four sub-subgenres with different villain types driving the plot: Ransom, Holdout, Countdown, and Fate. In Fate, Time itself is the villain, and the example is Back to the Future. Does that last one apply only to time-travel stories? How do “Time” and “Circumstances” differ as clock devices/villains?
- Is deus ex machina ever a good thing?
- What are the values at stake for a non-fiction?
- What do recommend writers do about writer’s block?
- What has Shawn learned through this process? Has he changed his mind about anything since working with Tim?
- Is there an ideal time to engage an editor and/or beta readers?
Rank #8: Rework or Keep Writing?
We all hit those times where we don't know whether to rework what we've written or keeping pushing forward. Shawn talks Tim through this decision.
Rank #9: Creating Believable Characters
How do you create the right cast of characters for your story and make them believable? Shawn walks Tim through a framework to do this correctly.
Rank #10: Categorizing Scenes
Your novel is done, now what? Shawn walks Tim through a new level of analysis for his work in progress.
Rank #11: Diving deep into genre
Shawn and Tim dive deeper into genre and how to find the best internal and external conflicts. Along the way they discuss the hero's journey, love stories, and a woman from the sea.
Rank #12: Creating a Story Grid - Part 1
Rank #13: How does Stephen King write?
Rank #14: How to Write a Great Villain
What is the nature of evil and how do you make that into an unforgettable villain in your stories? Shawn and Tim dive into this topic.
Rank #15: How to Write a Great Love Story
Part 2 on the love story genre. Shawn and Tim dive into the genre conventions, obligatory scenes, and how you can write a great love story.
Rank #16: There are only 6 stories
New research shows there are only 6 stories that every book is based on. Shawn and Tim discuss the implications of this and how it applies to Tim's story.
Rank #17: Put the Darkness on Paper
How do you write great non-fiction? Shawn continues to walk Tim through the telling of his story.
Rank #18: Tell Your Story
Rank #19: How to plot and outline your story
As Tim begins to plot and outline his story, he gets Shawn's input on exactly how to do it. This process is filled with potential time wasters and distractions, and Shawn helps Tim avoid them.
Discussed is how to name characters, when to worry about the length of the outline, and other common pitfalls.