Month: March 2015

Building The Story Grid

Story Grid

At long last, now it’s time to combine the Macro with the Micro and create The Story Grid for The Silence of the Lambs. The first thing we need to do is to get out a big piece of graph paper. I use eleven-inch by seventeen-inch paper that is divided into .25 inch boxes, which… Read more »

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Foolscap Coup de Grace

Story Grid

To complete the bottom three quarters of our Foolscap Global Story Grid for The Silence of the Lambs, we need to go back to our Story Grid Spreadsheet. Our goal is to pick out the five scenes from the novel that comprise the five cornerstones of Story Form—the Inciting Incident, a progressive complication, the crisis,… Read more »

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What’s it All About?

Story Grid

Now that Thomas Harris has his marching orders set in stone on his Foolscap Global Story Grid in terms of his External and Internal Content Genres, what he’ll do now is write down the obligatory scenes and conventions of the serial killer thriller in shorthand to remind himself of his “must haves.” Obligatory Scenes and… Read more »

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Seeking Truth

Story Grid

Human beings live in two worlds, the external and the internal, on the public stage and inside ourselves. We pursue external objects of desire like a new job or a spouse or if we’re in law enforcement, we seek to bring criminals to justice. But we also have internal objects of desire, like respect or… Read more »

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Back to Genre

Story Grid

If you’re like me, right now your head is swimming. You’ve just spent three or four weeks using a microscope to lay out the elements of a novel, all of its scenes and continuity details, turning points, values etc. Moving from minutiae to the view from thirty thousand feet is a very difficult transition. No… Read more »

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Tracking Continuity

Story Grid

The last six columns in The Story Grid Spreadsheet concern story continuity. These are important to track so that you keep all of the setting, time, and character entrances and exits in sync. On the screen, continuity glitches can take the viewer right out of the experience. We’ve all seen movies where a character is… Read more »

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Tracking the Scene

Story Grid

The next three columns on The Story Grid Spreadsheet pinpoint the mechanics of each scene. Essentially, the VALUE SHIFT, POLARITY SHIFT and TURNING POINT columns will tell you how each scene has moved the Story forward. You’ll identify what value is at stake at the beginning of the scene and the value by the end… Read more »

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Tracking the Global Story

Story Grid

Once you have a first draft, you’ll need to inspect each of the units of your Story and make sure you’ve used the right materials. Just like a building, you’ll want to make sure that your Story will stand up to the test of time. This is what The Story Grid is all about. It’s… Read more »

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The Editorial Microscope

Story Grid

Now that we’ve reviewed the five fundamentals of Story form (Inciting Incident, Progressive Complications, Crisis, Climax and Resolution) and the six units of Story (Beat, Scene, Sequence, Act, Subplot and Global Story), let’s take a step back to the very beginning of why this website exists in the first place. What does an editor do… Read more »

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