Episode 270: Getting the Protagonist Right: When and How to Switch the Main Character

Click here to read Tim’s scene.


Hello, and welcome to the Story Grid Podcast. My name is Tim Grahl. I’m your host, and I am a writer trying to figure out how to tell a story that works. Joining me shortly is Shawn Coyne. He’s the creator and founder of the Story Grid methodology, the author of the book, The Story Grid, and along with him is Leslie watts, our editor in chief of Story Grid Publishing, and Daniel Kiowski, the Chief Academic Officer of Story Grid University. Now, before we jump in today, I want to mention that coming up in just a couple of weeks, we are opening up the registration for the Story Grid guild. So I hope you’ve been enjoying this new series that we’ve been doing on the podcast, which started with the 624 analysis of eyewitness by Ed McBain. Now, a lot of times when you hear this stuff on the podcast, and you hear these tools on the podcast, they kind of feel like they just came just intact, right? Like we have this 624 analysis. It’s these six sections, it’s 24 questions, it’s how we analyze stories.


But as you’ve seen, what you see on the podcast isn’t the origins of where it came from. It’s the same thing with the BT analysis. So if you followed along the weeks, we were looking at the BT analysis, and we’re looking at input and output, we’re looking at the valency of them. And we’re looking at the Miss attunement and all of that, again, it’s we’re kind of teaching this whole sale, so we’re looking at it, we’re looking at iWitness through that lens, and then we’re looking at my writing through that lens. But this stuff, you know, just didn’t come out, you know, this stuff didn’t exist even a couple years ago, these tools. And I think we forget that sometimes. And so like the original Story Grid material, if you’ve been following along, this is episode 270. So we’ve been doing this for a while now, the original book, The Story Grid, that was based on, you know, decades of Shawn actually working with writers, and helping editing their book and all of that. And so when you first look at the spreadsheet, and you see the 13 columns, and how he analyzes the scenes, again, it’s like when I see it now I’m like, oh, yeah, that makes total sense. But that was like him actually deciding one day to sit down with a spreadsheet, and analyze a book, which is probably not anything that occurred to you or me, before we came across Story Grid. And so, but for when I heard about that stuff, for the first time, when you heard about that, for the first time, it already existed, right? It was like this is how we do spreadsheets. This is how we do the full SCAP. This is how we do stuff inside the Story Grid.


Well, last summer is when we first started developing what would become the beat analysis, the trope analysis, six, the 624 analysis that you’ve been seeing on this podcast. And it started, very similar to what you’ve been watching on this podcast now, especially if you’ve been watching on YouTube, which is I get on a zoom call with Sean, Leslie and Danielle, and we start looking at my writing. Except in this case, we didn’t have the tools yet. We just were they were figuring it out. They were meeting every day, they were analyzing the Hobbit, among other things, and they were starting to develop this methodology around Beats in tropes and how a scene is structured and how to actually teach this line by line writing. And it was really, really frustrating for me because I was writing it and they were using my writing to figure out if they had developed a methodology far enough. And so it was months of just back and forth back and forth, where there was one week in particular, that always stands out to me, because these calls would often last three hours. And we spent the entire first hour over an hour. And we had only gotten to the second word of the first sentence in my writing. And so it was really hard. But what it developed into was this methodology for looking at Beats and tropes, and how they build into a scene to really help writers understand the line by line writing. And again, I think it’s hard to for me when I would tell people about it. And especially as it was starting to come together, and I would start to tell people about it, I would say like, it’s really hard for me to talk about without slipping into hyperbole, because it is just so powerful. And I’ve never seen anything like this. I’ve never seen anything that systematically teaches line by line writing in a way that actually will help you get better. Right, so much of writing advice outside of Story Grid is squishy, and it’s soft. And it’s lots of kind of like aphorisms that don’t actually make sense when you actually try to go and do something with them.


And it’s a lot of people talking about it in a way where they don’t really understand it right. And so, when we’re doing it inside of Story Grid, we’re being very systematic. We


understand what we’re talking about. And we have this really clear way to help writers level up their line by line writing. And it’s really, really powerful. And so you’ve been seeing this in the podcast, we’re going to keep going here. This is just another week of the podcast. But I want to what I want to let you know is, we’re opening up registration for the guild this month. So there’s a new, a new semester, starting September 4, the first Sunday of September. And we only open up registration three times a year for the guild. And so I highly recommend, if any of this has sounded interesting to you, if you want this kind of training for you, and your writing that includes weekly homework that includes cohorts that you work together on, that is weekly training, in all, its all kinds of stuff, I highly recommend that you check out the guild, it is the most powerful training we’ve ever done. And it really focuses in on that line by line writing, looking at Beats tropes, and building into a scene, which is the real powerful thing that you as a writer have to master that I as a writer have to master as well. And I have seen and we’ve seen, we’ve actually gone back and looked at early stuff that I’ve written stuff that I was writing just a year ago. And I’ve had more just leveling up of my writing in the past year than ever before. It’s been really, really amazing. Again, you’ve seen it on the podcast as well. Now, again, right now, the registration isn’t open when this episode first comes out. But I want you to still go look at the guild and learn a little bit more about it. And there’s actually a waitlist there that you can sign up for so that you can be the first to get notified when we do open up registration here in a couple of weeks. So you can go to story grid.com/guild To see more about what the guild is and sign up for the waitlist. So in a couple of weeks, when we open up registration for the next semester, you can jump in and join us. Okay, that’s it on the guild. Let’s go ahead and jump into this week’s podcast episode, where we start looking at the controlling idea of my theme, and looking really closely at how you hand off the protagonist inside the scene. And I had a lot of insight from this and I think you will too. So let’s go ahead and jump in and get started. Oh great. So


So we’re back with Ed McBain and eyewitness and what we’re doing this week, Tim, is to take a look at your second draft of your short story. And the difference between this draft and the previous draft was that we gave you some instructions to really do your best to follow the the complete rubric of Ed McBain 624, which we’ve you know, analyzed at nauseam. And with a couple of major things for you to focus on, the first thing that you needed to focus on, was the clarity of the protagonist shift from your Detective Detective Watson to your witness, which is Randall. And so in a second, I’m going to turn it over to Danielle to see how well that worked. So that was the first change that you needed to really focus on. The second one is that we want to compare and contrast your controlling idea with Ed McBain is controlling idea to make sure that your controlling idea is is is coming through. If the signal of that controlling idea is powerful enough for Sam or a single audience member to understand what the point of your story was. So I’m going to want you to think about what your controlling idea is again, now you don’t have to answer this and I’ll probably ask Leslie to walk you through this. What what the controlling idea was in your estimation versus what McBain was. And then probably Lesley Danielle and I can discuss whether or not your controlling idea is clear from what we read. And then we can we can pick it apart and see if if there are recommendations that we can make to to make it clear.


So I think that’s a good place for me to stop and turn it over to Danielle. And so what we’re going to want to do now is take a look at the effectiveness of the transition between the protagonist from dark detective Watson to the witness whose name is Randall. So over to you Daniel. Okay, thanks, Shawn. Yeah, let’s take a look at how you handled this switch off Tim. So the idea was that we would follow the pattern of Ed McBain story and do that transition from


The detective as protagonist to the witness as protagonist at the point that the detective walks over and starts to engage the witness. So we can take a look at where you had this happen. So after Dawson swivels this chair back. This is Watson’s point of view. I stepped toward the breezeway and the man stopped rocking, eyeing me wearily. I pushed the door open and joined him inside. Breathing through my mouth. You’re the captain. I’m Detective Taylor Watson. The man shook his head and commenced to rocking again. No, no, no, nobody but the captain.


So let’s take a look at how McBain did this. So here capelli leaves Magruder, I left McGruder and walked over to the little man. He looked up when I approached him and then blinked. Mr. Struthers? Yes, he said wearily. I’m Detective capelli. My partner tells me you have some information about the you’re not the lieutenant, are you? Okay, so we want to compare those two passages


and see how the mechanics that are the the mechanisms shifted


between the two protagonists. So when I read your draft, I can tell that you’re trying to shift to Randall but the the shift isn’t coming off. For me.


It’s an I think that this is worth spending time on one because it’s really important. That’s why we had we had to do that because Randall needs to own the five commandments.


But also because when we look at


making these shifts, especially to avatars who are in distress, like Randall is,


it’s not comfortable.


And so it’s, it’s going to be I think


they’re small changes. But it’s worth noting for you and for other writers who are trying to go through this process, that often these are uncomfortable moments. And when we’re writing, we tend to shy away from that discomfort and not want our avatars to have to sit with silence the things that we wouldn’t want to do. But these are critical to getting to understand our avatars and setting things up the right way.


So I can just go through the things that I’m seeing here. So when we look at McBain we have that he walks away.


And the first thing that I’m seeing, I want to go through a couple of things here. I walked over to the little man.


So the idea that we get is he’s walking over and looking at Struthers


so when Struthers looks up and blinks, we know okay, these these guys are face to face with each other. This is a confrontational moment where they’re negotiating how their interplay is going to be.


When we compare this with your draft, I pushed the door open and joined him inside, breathing through my mouth. Well, let’s start a little earlier. I stepped through towards the breezeway. So immediately the difference here is that the object he steps toward the breezeway, he’s not stepping towards Randall, he’s stepping towards this area. And so already it’s they’re sharing a context, but they’re not in direct conflict.


And then


Randall reacts by eyeing him, but they’re still not directly conflicting. So this is similar to what you had going on before, where they’re, they’re passing. There’s this sort of, instead of a head on, it’s this passing, parallel kind of feeling to it. And the effect that that has for Sam is that she does not


the possibility of conflict is there, the possibility of interaction is there, but she, she wouldn’t miss it if it didn’t happen.


So if Watson said, you know, then I continued on, I decided to get coffee before I talked to this guy, she doesn’t feel like anyone has broken the pattern, she doesn’t feel like anyone has failed to respond to something that they were required to do. Whereas when capelli comes up and look Struthers in the face, this is something that you can’t just break that and go off to the break room without it being weird. So, this is what I mean about it being uncomfortable, we need to create that space for there to be some weirdness.


So this is the first place to change some of that wording to make it to make that setup more confrontational, so that they have to deal with each other.


So then the next thing is that we have


another point on that is that he joined him inside. And so this again is reiterating that they are in a collaborative space instead of a confrontational one.


Can I so


why is it important in the handoff that


That be


confrontational. Is it because that’s how Ed McBain did it and you’re wanting me to do it the way Ed McBain did it, or is there a specific reason why there’s a confrontation in order to hand off the protagonist. This is setting up this particular mechanism of handoff, handoff. So I think I can answer that question by going to my next point. So this is about creating a strong foundation for this handoff to happen. But when we look at the actual handoff, that’s where it becomes really important that they’re already in this position so that they can do the handoff. So let’s let’s take a look at that. So here you have Randall say you’re the captain.




Watson says, I’m Detective Taylor Watson. And so what we have here is that there are a couple of things going on.


One is that


in order for this, hear you the captain to be a reaction or response, it needs to be required, Sam needs to expect that Randall has to say something he has to be forced into saying something


for that to work otherwise, as it functions now it’s an input. Because he’s he doesn’t have the duty of response. They’re just sharing a context. And then he spontaneously says, Are you the captain? That means that he’s inputting, and then Watson is still in the responder position. Because I was reading this as him entering was the input. And then his output was you the captain. So you’re saying the fact that he could enter and he could just not do anything? And that wouldn’t be a breakdown. Right? So it wasn’t a struggle. It wasn’t. Oh, okay. Can we go back and look at Ed McBain again. Yeah. So see he he looks up when I approached him. Then he blinks. This is where the handoff happens is when there’s a breakdown. Struthers blinks. And then the first person to speak is capelli. Mr. Struthers? And he says yes. So this is another another thing to look at here is the first speaker here is capelli. So I would get rid of you the captain, we don’t need that. So I would make this binding, more confrontational. Get rid of you, the captain start with I’m Detective Taylor Watson. And then No, no, no, nobody but the captain. Now you’re going to be in the right space, just by getting rid of that one line. You already do the handoff. But it’s going to be more effective if you adjust this finding. And I want to talk a little bit about why that is too. Because


if you have Randall say you’re the captain. Is that a breakdown?


Okay, so. So what we have here is that he has the sky come into his context. And he’s in an active build up mode.


And that means that he is


psychologically somewhat stable. So you’re creating a very different feeling to their interaction than you have with Struthers who is broken down at the beginning of this. So you have him devolve into this breakdown. No, no, no, nobody but the captain. But you have this really big shift between Are you the captain? No, no, no, nobody but the captain. So you want to get rid of that line so that he’s in constant breakdown mode. And that is the heart of the mechanism of this handoff of the protagonist is that we connect Sam, we as Sam and Sam. All that Sam connects to people, simulated people avatars,


through their role as protagonist, and that is supercharged, when they undergo a breakdown beat. Because Sam is experiencing novelty, they’re experiencing novelty. We want to we want to connect to those avatars that we see undergoing these breakdowns. And so because we’ve already had this connection with the detective, we’re going to need that extra oomph of the breakdown to do the shift properly to have a clean break because otherwise we’re kind of going to our sympathies are going to be between the two of them. And we’re not going to be able to shift into that alignment with Randall as cleanly as we do in the McBain story in aligning with Struthers. Okay, that was super helpful. I’m gonna try to say it back to you to make sure I understand.


So it’s not that okay, so it’s not the


The confrontation itself is the actual thing that’s needed.


It’s the fact that there is a breakdown on the behalf of the eyewitness because that that breakdown is what will shift Sam into that protagonist into looking into basically connecting with that person. And then once they’re connected there, you keep them as the output or to keep them in the protagonists seat. So,


because that’s what I was struggling when you’re talking about the confrontation, because I’m like, Okay, I don’t understand how I understand how the word no, I don’t think I even did understand how the confrontation made the switch. But once you put it in those terms of you have to have the person break down, because that’s what makes the switch. That makes a lot of sense to me. And then then I have options out, I’m not, I may still do a confrontation. But then it feels more like okay, I have options, I just have to have


Watson give a clear input that can’t be skipped over.


Like him just moving towards the breezeway. And then I have to have my my new character random, in this case, no new protagonist breakdown, and I have options for how they can break down. But that’s that’s the function is I have to have a clear input that can’t be ignored. And as a result of that input, I have to have random breakdown in some way. And that is what actually does the handoff. Yes. And and I would say that the confrontation is important, because it creates novelty, that will give Randall, the reason to break down. So when you say that you don’t necessarily need the confrontation.


You need something weird, something novel. So that confrontation is what enables the breakdown.




I’m thinking I’m trying to just off the cuff run through some simulations of other things you could do, I think something that is weirdly over the top, like kind might work like he’s he goes and tries to play the buddy or something like that. That could do it as well. But you definitely it needs to be


done. It needs to be novelty, that will force Randall into that breakdown. So it can’t be just middle of the road. Hey, man, we need to do some paperwork kind of in the middle it needs to be an extreme thing that’s going on. So here we have in McBain we have this wordless confrontation, where they’re sizing each other up, and then




and then capelli breaks that. And you’re going to want to choose something that is weird, either in that way or in a different way. Now, I think one thing to consider is that


capelli is transitioning from a trope that we call sizing up the team to sizing up his new conversational partner. So we see this consistency of strategy as he moves from one to the other. And as I’m seeing your first trope, I don’t think that your that the the interaction between Watson and Dawson is as cleanly delineated as it needs to be. So whatever the novelty is that he’s introducing into Randles life that needs to be set up by the quality of the interaction that he has with Dawson and trope one? Well, like the first thing that comes to mind is basically he could offer him some money. Right? So that would be a way to see if he’s there just to get some attention or get some money or get something out of the interaction. Because he cut, even though so and let me talk through this and you tell me what you think. So part of me wants to if I have to push Watson one way or the other, I want to push him to being a super nice guy. He’s a, he’s a good earnest cop, who’s kind of the opposite of Dawson, right? So he’s not ground down by the job yet. And so he still sees homeless people as less than but he’s he considers himself a good person that tries to treat them well. So to me a really easy way to test somebody in this situation by being kind to see if Randall is actually there for the right reason is to just try to hand him a 20 to get him to leave.


And then if Randall breaks down and doesn’t take the money. Now, we know something about Randall. And we know a little bit more about Watson and I could set that up a little bit more with Dawson where he’s trying


To be the good like he is. He’s not unconsciously the good cop. He’s consciously trying to be the good cop. So he offers some money. And then what what would Randall do


not take it. I’m not going to fight hard for it, because it is the first thing that came in my head. What I was thinking is


that is what 99% of interactions with homeless people are is them asking for money.


And you give them money. And that’s a really good way to get them to leave you alone.


Because you just gave them what they wanted. And so if they’re all wondering why this guy is there,


a great way to test them would be to try to hand him money, because if he takes the money and walks out, then I just saved myself a lot of time and I can go home.


Can I jump in here for a second?


So this, this might


I’ll just throw it out there.


The there’s a difference between


reporting and describing.


And so when you right, Dawson swiveled his chair back to his monitor and started tapping the keys. I so this is this is the key sentence here. I step towards the breezeway, and the man stopped rocking, eyeing me wearily, I pushed the door open and join him inside, breathing through my mouth. Now that is a that’s a report.


It’s not a description of behavior, it’s a reporting of behavior that is happened.


So when you describe you would say, I walked through the breezeway,


the man shot me a look.


So you’re describing behavior as it happens, as opposed to reporting behavior that has already happened. So this is another way, this is just another lens to support Danielle’s rubric that she just walked through, right. And so that can sometimes be helpful. And you have to remember that interaction. When one person is in the presence of another person, there’s this, this this momentary sort of sizing up.


And so if you don’t have both sides of the sizing up of the interaction, then we’re only getting one viewpoint because you describe the behavior of the one person and then the other, and the others. So sorry to be so abstract, you’re, you’re describing the behavior of Watson. I walk through the breezeway.


Then you describe the behavior of Randall, he shot me a look.




So, now we know there’s there’s there’s this thing where, like, Randall is looking at, at detective Watson. And he’s like, What do you want? And then


we get Randall


that then,


then we have


the input from the detective, I’m Detective Watson, then we have the breakdown. No, no, no, no, are you you know, that is a clean


it’s a clean transition of protagonist. And it happens in the interaction as opposed to a report of something that has already happened. So Sam starts to, for lack of a better word, watch the action, as opposed to hearing what happened.


So, this is another way of of, of trying to say the same thing. And interactions can be nonverbal interactions. So he shot me a look means it’s a nonverbal communication.


What right and it also indicates a sort of PTSD kind of what what was that? It’s a sort of a shocky. He shot me a look like Oh, my God, what do you want?


And it’s an as Daniel said, these are these are subtleties, but the the effect of the subtlety shifts Sam from hearing to watching, if you will, they’re hearing what’s happened and now they’re


They’re in it.


They’re watching the behavior skywalks through the door guy shoots him a look. I’m Detective Watson. No, no, no, no. So then you move from a nonverbal break down to a verbal breakdown, and you get a double whammy of break down, that now says, novelty, novelty, novelty, pay attention, Sam. And now Sam is starting to look through the eyes of the output, or who is now switched to Randall. And she starts to get a little bit. This goes to what Daniel was saying at the very beginning. A lot of times, we don’t like to put this on the page, because it does make us nervous. So these strange moments in our lives when we’ve all been sort of like in the bank line, or somewhere in line, and there’s somebody acting a little bit strange, and what do you want to do? Don’t look at him, right? Don’t make eye contact. Why? Because that’s a nonverbal interaction that can have,


you know, crisis moments. So this is what happens when you’re in the subway. You learn this when you live in New York, right? Like, don’t engage with the person who’s not mentally stable.


The last thing you want to do is say, Hey, how you doing, because that could really blow up in your face. So you don’t have the money, you just sort of like, pretend you push the I’m not there button. Right? And then then the person won’t engage with you. Because you’re, you’re not opening up your frame to them.


And people, you see people walking down the street in Manhattan, everybody’s got a closed loop. Nobody’s open. And, and if you need help, you have to be pretty loud to someone, excuse me. Because we were assaulted so much with these, these interaction jabs


that we close it down. So


I hope that’s a little i hope i added clarity and not confusion here. But these are the very, very clear moments that you’ve got to nail so that the signal gets to Sam. Oh, wow. That’s weird. What’s going on? Now? He’s shot him a look and wonder why you shot him a look. Why this? So the behavior?


So maybe if he does, like, Hey, buddy, how about 20 bucks and you take a hike?


Then, then Randall would be like, get that stinking money out away from me or something? I don’t know.


And that way, that’s a breakdown, because he sees the other person, someone who’s offering kindness. And when you get back negativity, it’s a disconnection that Sam is going to perk up to. And go, I wonder why he’s not taking the money and getting along, you know? So


I’ll stop there. Well, I want to, I want to talk about as much as about a year ago when you guys were raking me over the coal with my verb choices, and I just wanted to do anything but talk about verbs.


I do want to talk a little bit about what you were saying with because


I understand in theory, but I don’t think I understand and practice because so like, The man stopped rocking, eyeing me wearily.


is comparing that to he shot me a look right? To me. So I’m 100% clear on why that’s just a better sentence anyway. But can you? Is it because stopped is a past tense verb and shot as a present tense verb? Is that the main thing you’re pointing out? That’s different, or is it something other than that?


I’m just, I feel like I don’t. It’s like, what here’s here, I can feel the difference in this now. Or like, I look at that be like, Oh, that is a better sentence. And then I’m going to go write one just like the one I just wrote. So I’m trying to get clear on like,


because you were saying the difference between what this describing and reporting and describing and reporting is more past tense. No, just just telling somebody, and then I went in and I you know, and then I have my lunch. And then so it’s, it’s a, it’s a collapse of lots of, of, of stuff. That’s not important. So when we’re when we’re reporting something, we want to get to the point. The point is the interaction of the press


Some tents, and then he says to me, fu Shan.


Right? And then you’re like, wow, what did you do after he said Fu, right? But if I go, and then he said, Fu and then I walked down the streets and then before I got to the, and then you’re like you’re passing your IT’S THE FU was almost irrelevant, right? Yeah. But if you stop and you you do the present describing of the interaction in as it’s happening in present tense. Then he shot me a look that’s still past tense. He shot me a look right. But it has the feeling of watching. Because it’s it’s a it’s a verb,


the technicalities that syntactical grammar escapes me right now. And I would not advise you to try and program a computational syntactic grammatical understanding of language in order to execute this, because it’s too technical. And you’ll forget it. But if you can, if you can grok something like, oh, that’s reporting, and that’s describing, so describing seems like you’re watching it. And reporting seems like somebody is telling me what happened. You know, I was on my way to the beach, and then when I got there,


so I was on my way to the beach. And then I got there. That’s a lot of happening, right? Because it embeds like, I had to get the car keys. Right. And then once I got to the beach,


guess who was there?


I heard this voice. Sean, how you doing? I turned. It was Bill McGillicuddy. From high school, you know, I’m making it up as I go. But the reporting and the describing is a good heuristics, so that your verb choices get more powerful. So description is just the facts Jack. He shot me a look. Instead of


I walked through the breezeway, he shot me a look because walking through the breezeway is a lot of actual physical movement. And you collapse it into a phrase and he shot me a look has more urgency to it, because you can see the person


pushing the energy towards the other, if that makes sense. So if


Okay, so if I cut the whole, I stepped through the breezeway, blah, blah, blah.


I pushed open the door and joined him inside. I’m Detective Taylor Watson. The man shook his head, he convinced the rocking again, no, no, no, nobody, but the captain does that technically, I think we could probably Pump It Up. When you read through it. I’m like, Oh, do I have the elements there? I just need to cut out all the boring shit. Or like.


And I don’t know how pedantic, pedantic to get on all of this. But, I mean, we’ll probably spend this entire episode talking about three sentences. So


what are we going to say, Daniel? I was gonna say, I mean, I think like, yeah, that was the recommendation is just amp up the word choice and then cut out you the captain. And then you just you do your, your hand off. Right? So the question is, like, do you want to change the nature of the interaction, you don’t need to, you can just cut that and amp up your binding. But I did want to say a couple of things about the word choice, because I think we don’t want to get a computational rubric. But I think there are a couple of things to point out that could give you some heuristics for how to do the description instead of the reporting. So one thing to notice is that in Shawn, what you’re coming up with here with he shot me a look things like they’re shorter sentences. So when you have those periods, that allows


it gives Sam more of an opportunity to shift her internal camera.


So that full stop of the period is a natural camera shift point. So anytime that you have that conjunction, I did this and he did this, it tends to blur that handoff from from one half of the interaction to the other. So it starts to meld the input and the output together. That’s not a hard and fast rule because sometimes you will have sentences with conjunctions that have input and output distinct in them, but they have to be more powerful. So that’s one thing is that blurring just from the the sentence construction. Also, what I’m noticing with your


your verbs here


is you know, as we were talking about, it’s all past tense. But here you have stopped rocking. So.


So shot is this momentary verb. That’s why it gives it the present tense feeling that Shawn you were talking about is like, it happens in the moment. Whereas stopped rocking is the discontinuation of a process. So to experience stopped rocking, Sam has to go back in time, imagine the rocking, and then stop it. So there’s some like time high jinks going on, right? So you want this point in time thing, where, you know, either you have already set up the process before and then you can say, you know, he froze in the middle of a rock or something like that. Another thing is that Sam has to do extra work to imagine negative action. So if he shot me a look, that is a thing he is doing, if he stops rocking, that is a thing he is not doing. So that requires more work.


And, like, just a final point is like,


so if he said, If I


because I do set up the rocking in the second sentence, I think or something up there, but that doesn’t matter. It’s a long time ago. Yeah, a long time ago. So I’m just saying here, it should say in the man froze. Right. So that’s him taking an action verse stopping an action? I’m not.


Yeah, I mean, that’s better. I think Frozen is a little nonspecific, you would want to get more into, like the, the particulars of the situation. But that’s, that’s what I’m saying. Yes, is that it’s more a positive action, as opposed to see seeing something else. And so I would look out for these IMGs, right, that anytime that you have rocking, eyeing, this is stretching out that verb and making it more reporting. So just like just giving, you know, kind of some of the mechanics of this, I think could help you this is not an exhaustive list of things that cause these feelings. But if you can start to notice the way that those words influence Sam’s construction of the scene, then it can help you to pick


better words, I think, are better constructions. So I think when what you know what we’re talking about these specific mechanical adjustments that we’re making, at the at the sentence level, that are conveying that


description versus reporting, just one, one sort of footnote I’ll add here is that when I think about reporting, I think about someone telling me about what happened, versus telling me what happened, which is more describing. So that’s just kind of one another way to think about that.


But I think these mechanics are amazing.


And I would say they all come under the umbrella of executing the narrative device. So why did these make sense? If we can come up with a way to make them all make sense? Then that will help you when you’re making the Oh duel in the future? Do I pull out the IMGs? Or do I leave them in? Oh, does it make sense in light of my narrative device? So if we go back to your narrative device for this if this is an okay time to do that,


then we can maybe come up with reasons why these mechanic goal decisions make sense for the for the story.


So what So if we go back to your your narrative device, we have an author, we have a single audience member and we have a problem that the single Audience Member Sam is trying to solve. So who is your author?


What we had before for the author was a sovereign Threshold Guardian detective explaining the system as if in a report and I believe we’re keeping that the same.


I think there’s some nuance to it though, based on the shift in the controlling idea.


Okay, what what would you add or take away there?




I think what I’m and this is


I was trying to figure out what the control the controlling ideas in this because, you know, we’ve shifted a few things around and what I landed on


what can we start with the problem? Sam is trying to solve the third question their narrative advice and then back into it. So what Okay, so what I put down was


Is it worth fighting for justice when the system and the people in the system see you as worthless?


Is that a good problem? Do you feel like that comes through? I think, overall, that we’re in that we’re in that neighborhood, we want to, you know, perhaps think about how that’s a little bit different from what what was going on in eyewitness and how that changes? What’s happening on the ground?


Or, you know, at the at the sentence level. So for eyewitness, we were talking about how does this How does a witness signal injustice in a corrupt system without becoming a target?


And so, in that, you know, in that story, Struthers, as protagonist is really worried about himself becoming a target.


So with this adjustment, who’s the target? I mean, I think it needs it needs to stay the same.


Which would be Randall is the target.


Okay, so


is it worth fighting for injustice when the system and the people in the system see you as worthless? So is that targeting? Or is that more of marginalizing? Oh, when you say targeting, okay, so targeting is specific and marginalizing is more


broad and vague.


Well, I think you could have a story about marginalizing. I mean, I think that and that would be an important story to tell but I think it is a different mechanism here. It’s different Struthers is worried about being killed or having his family killed.


But here, it seems like Randall is worried about not being under this controlling idea. It seems like he’s worried about not being taken seriously. Which is a different level of problem. Yeah, and I don’t think that I tried to write it in a way where he is specifically concerned for his safety and the safety of those around him but the safety


so if I’m comparing an eyewitness, the the system itself is corrupt and they know that the police will hide things or seek retribution for people that come against them or this kind of corruption that I’m trying to put in my system is not


that is not exactly that it is a more like a corruption of


they’re not specifically breaking the law. I don’t know how to put it I feel like I’m getting lost. Right. So let’s see looking at your


your the context in the pop you’ve got the system as a whole as corrupt in that members of the hierarchy are given discretion about how they treat individual citizens. Can I put up a pipe up here a little bit


your SAM




your single audience member the device that the author the person that your author is talking to is is getting more specific than the McBain the McBain person. Remember that the idea here was that we had


these two cops that go to a bar, there’s a younger cop and an older seasoned detective. This is the narrative device setup, right? The younger cop says to the older cop, I don’t know what to do.


I have this information. And I know if I give this information away, I’m going to get in trouble and I’m going to be targeted. What do I do?


And so the older, the detective says, hey, you know what, I’m gonna go grab a beer, check out this report I wrote awhile back. I just happened to have it in my briefcase, and he hands over the report. And that’s the short story.


So now, let’s take a look at your two cops. Right. So let’s say Watson is taking out somebody who works at the police department, but isn’t a detective. Maybe they’re in the cleaning staff. Maybe they are someone who nobody really pays attention to who has


As a problem,


and they say to him, Dr. Watson or detective Watson, how do I get this information out?


And and be known as a valuable source of information in the department. So now that Sam or the is it Sam Yes Sam’s problem. So that Sam has changed from just a fellow cop who is sort of in the same category as Detective capelli, to someone who is not in their, quote, unquote, hierarchical rank. But dark detective Watson is trying to give them advice about how best to not be to no longer be marginalized as someone who is worthless in the department, by giving them this report, hey, let me tell you about another person who came in to the police department who had been marginalized, who ended up cracking the case.


So if you start looking at as, as Leslie brilliantly pointed out, the narrative device is going to help you circle back to how to put the verbs in your story. Because now you’re going to have a cleaner understanding of who Sam is, and what their problem is. The problem that Sam has is the problem that we all have. When we go into certain environments, we are not at the level of other people, and yet we want to contribute. But we’re not taken seriously. So how do you how do you get around not being taken, taken seriously, because you’re marginalized in that environment. And, you know, and that is not just because a lot of people can contribute to the justice system, without being PhDs in criminal, you know, jurisprudence.


And I think that’s part of what your story is about. That is what your story is about, is that when if we’re seeking justice, we need to bring everybody in, because they can all contribute to it’s, it’s the probability of it getting better. But when we marginalize people and say that they’re worthless, and that they can’t help, that’s when we get into trouble.


So I hope that lent lent some clarity and help to the situation. Well, you know, I think it did, because then I start going down a path, path, a couple different paths in my head. So one is, I don’t need to nest, I don’t need to put Randles life in danger. To get that message across. What I need to do is rewrite it in a way where the whole the whole interaction between Watson and Randall is just trying to get this fucking guy out the door.


What by doing the least amount of work, and then I almost rewrote it. And I just thought it wouldn’t be dramatic enough. Where instead of him actually coming face to face with the captain. They’re like walking down the hallway to look at the mugshots, and he sees the captain’s picture on the wall. And basically,


that’s how he indicates that that’s the guy. So he’s never even put in danger. But that’s the moment when we realize like, Oh, this guy is useful.


And the whole time through Watson’s just trying to push them out the door as fast as possible, so he can go home because there’s no way this guy is actually going to be useful. I mean, is that,


to me, that’s a better way of getting that message across than the way I did it here. Because


this is where like, I, I’m still.


It’s like, I’m trying to do the tropes without understanding what I’m trying to say. And that gets murky, right. As I look at the, the 624 analysis, there are some places where things are not fully aligned.


And, and part of that is you’re working it out and you get an insight in one part. Oh, yeah, I’d like it to be this. And then


and then probably you’re not sure how to make how to adjust what’s happening in other places to align with that insight that you’ve had about, oh, I’d like the story to go this way. And so that is That’s perfectly understandable. And those are things that we can you know, that we can align.


And yeah, I think that that’s a that would be a good. A good next step is to really clarify the signal you want to send that controlling idea


And then look at, you know, look at the levels of your, of your 624. And make sure the context makes sense. And make sure that that Sam’s problem makes sense. And make sure that the, the, I skipped a level, the, the, the inciting incident that the protagonist is facing plus the goal state, like make sure all of that makes sense. And some of the things that I’m seeing in the, in the text that you I think that will help


are things where the intention, you know, the, the motivation of the avatars is not always clear. I’m a little confused about,


for example, about Watson and what his goal is, and, and if he is, you know, if he’s this earnest, good cop, who just wants to do the right thing.


That’s great. He tells, but then he tells Dawson, I’m just gonna get rid of this guy.


Now, he may be saying that to Dawson, just to get just to get clearance to go talk to Randall. But that’s not something he would put in a report. So there are places where he kind of makes Dawson look bad kind of makes himself look bad, that don’t quite fit with that narrative device of a police report that he’s recorded, and that he’s then sharing with Sam to help Sam solve the problem. Does that make sense? Yeah, um, it actually makes me think of stories, Shawn, you’ve told in the past where like, somebody turns in a boat to you, you read it, you come back to the author and say, I think this is what you’re trying to say. And the author is like, oh, yeah, that is what I’m trying to say. And now they have to rewrite it saying that on purpose is I mean, so that’s part of this is it’s like, well, what do you think? I’m trying to say? Because I’m not sure. And if you’re like, Well, we’re reading this into it, then like, Okay, now, let me go back and try to rewrite it with that problem in mind, and see if I can do a better job of it. And it’ll probably be a little easier. Or come through clearer. I don’t know how easy it would be. Okay, I was gonna say, I, I have a different a different thought on this problem, because I think that


it. So we’re looking at this at the narrative device level, and it works to like, look at the marginalization and have this different way of navigating. But I don’t think it works when we take it up to the pop level. Because at the pop level, in the context, everyone has to be dealing with the same double factors.


And I think that there’s a misalignment if we say there was a murder, and now people are worried about whether they’re taken seriously or not. And so we’ve talked about how in a short story, we need a very


impactful context. Like we need to be gripped by that context immediately. So we have this murder. And I think that you can still play in the same space with that marginalization, you just have to take it to the end of the line, and the end of the line. So if you take marginalization, you say what does that look like, in a life and death situation? I think what you get into is the space of expendability.


And I think that that makes sense. In a in a world where a murder has taken place. But I don’t think I think that when when a murder takes place, everyone is less sure about their lives. And that needs to be at the crux of your double factor problem is that there is there are murders afoot. And so when you have someone like a police officer gets killed,


that can still work with expendability, that the reason he got killed is that he got in the way of this captain. And so it’s you know, the the uniform guys are not as are expendable in the eyes of this captain. And if a uniformed police officer is expendable, then a homeless person has absolutely no chance of being seen as valuable enough not to be killed. And so I think that it’s good to reframe it in terms of the marginalization, thinking about that controlling idea, but just amp it up so that it fits with your inciting incident. Well, but so if everybody has to be dealing with the same double factor problem, when did that mean that Watson in this case is dealing with a problem where he’s not? He’s also not because then when you started saying that I thought


Well, I should probably make the person who got murdered a homeless person, because then Randalls not only trying to get them to take him seriously, they’re trying to get trying to get Watson to take seriously that this person was murdered.


Or is like it’s getting too literal. Okay, so the way that the double factors work is that you have just factors that are endemic to the context that everyone is dealing with. And these can be pretty abstract. And then when it narrows down to Sam’s problem, this is how a particular person in a particular role


is dealing with, like how that how those factors influence them, and how they relate to those factors. So I would take it to the level of obstruction that people are worried about being expendable. And I think that the police officer works with that for the same reason I was saying that it’s uniform.


It works for the murder rate. So if if someone is threatened, third position is threatened by someone else, that means they’re expendable, it means they’re seen as a commodity, that they can be replaced. And they have to fight for their position. That’s why they might murder. It works. I think it works for for Watson as well, that if he’s having to prove himself in this hierarchy, he’s worried about being drummed out. So it’s, it’s about refocusing the way that you conceive of your avatars, so they’re all dealing with the same problem space, but it doesn’t have to be so narrow, that it’s all about homelessness, it’s about it’s about the factor that is


the sharpest for your protagonist. So everyone’s dealing with expendability. But who is that most important for? It’s most important for Randall, and he’s your protagonist, and he’s aligned with your SAM. So I want to make sure though, that that is all true. And I absolutely agree, we need to make sure that the double that the double, everyone in the context has to deal with the double factor problem, because it is going to rear its ugly head, in all domains within the context. But I want to make sure that that is your what we would call a non negotiable, right. So when we, when we come up with a story idea, we’ve, we’ve got a protagonist or in a context, and they’ve got a problem. And we’ve got that, you know, that’s the way we set the pop up. And, you know, the problem gives rise to the goal


within the pop as well. So


what we need to make sure of is that they all align. And that’s exactly what Daniel is talking about, has still aligned from, you know, the context, the protagonist, who is also the single audience member in some fashion, right, has the has the same problem is in the same position, as the, as a protagonist. And, and yet, all of those pieces are a lot in alignment.


In order to do that, we need to have one of those elements, the context, the type of protagonist, or the, or the problem that the protagonist faces as one of those as the non negotiable, okay, this is my, this is what my story is really about. It’s about this type of context, or it’s about this type of protagonist, or it’s about this type of problem. And then we adjust all the the, we adjust the other two pieces to make sure they align. And then, and then we can build out all the other all the other pieces. So if you think about the context, and you think about the protagonist, and you think about the problem that the protagonist has, which is the most interesting to you, what is the you know, what’s really pulling at you to tell the story? Definitely the third, don’t care all that much about the context. I’m happy to switch out the protagonists. But I’d like that I like the problem that we’ve identified and about the marginalization. Perfect. So you want to work on marginalization as Danielle, Danielle said, we need to make sure that’s going to the end of the line in order to make it compelling. So that you know that marginalization with the threat of extinction, you know, you’re just you don’t get you are so marginalized. You don’t get to be here. Okay, so we have that problem. Then you can think about who’s the best protagonist to face that problem. What qualities do they need to have


What you know, because you want to push that protagonist to the very limits of their experience where they face a crisis, that crisis between life and death within the context of justice. So if I choose to pursue justice, I am putting my life at risk. If I choose not to I’m, I’m setting myself up for a kind of damnation. I mean, I think I’ve chosen a good one for that. I feel like if we’re looking at somebody who I think a homeless person is the person that would fit that protagonist role well, of being marginalized. Yeah, yeah. I think I mean, as as, as people go, you know, we talked about one week about how Randalls not even technically a taxpayer. Right, so.


So he’s even, you know,


McGruder, and eyewitness wouldn’t even give him that much credit. So, so you have that you have Randall as that protagonist. And then


you want to work the context, make any adjustments we need to in the context, that ensures that every avatar in the system, so that includes Dawson, that includes the captain, that includes anybody else who is coming within the


is, you know, is what inside the context, that doesn’t necessarily mean that every person in the context is being marginalized, does it? Well, what it means is that every person is dealing with the fact that marginalization is happening. So there are citizens who are experiencing injustice, not because they themselves are necessarily marginalized. But because people like Randall are marginalized, and therefore, justice is not happening. I would just want to sort of add a little bit here, if possible. And it it seems to me that the the trouble that I’m having is I don’t know why Randall is there. I don’t know why he chose to come to the station. What’s what’s at stake for him? I mean, if he doesn’t show up, then his life just continues the way it is. If he does show up, then he’s he’s kind of putting himself in a really bad position. So the reasons why he would show up, we’ll have to sort of emerge. There’s a crisis before he even shows up. If he doesn’t come and try and give this information. Something’s going to happen to him that he doesn’t like. I think this was my issue with the with eyewitness is I I couldn’t tell you right now. I’ve thought that several times about the story is like why did Struthers even show up? Because it seems like his life would have gone on fine without showing up. So why did he show up? And I just I think at one point I even said I was like he must have just felt guilty that it was his fault. She got killed, and he’s trying to make that right. But I don’t remember that. Actually. I don’t know where that went. But there’s a spot in the story that answers that question very clearly. And it’s, it’s like the fourth or fifth trope when Struthers sort of gives too much information about his squeaky shoes or his rubber soled shoes, and it gives away the fact that he feels responsible for the death of of the lieutenant’s wife, because he was having an affair with her and the lieutenant killed her because of him.


And so that that opened up a whole can of worms for Struthers oh my gosh, what do I do this maniac might come kill me. So I gotta get him off the streets but I don’t want to admit to my corruption. The What am I going to do? Geez. And that’s why he goes to the police station because he has the best bad choice for him is to go report on the lieutenant so that justice can be served, but he doesn’t want to be caught as as a as a cheating philanderer or husband. And he could lose not. I mean, yeah, he could physically get harmed but he doesn’t want to lose his wife either. So it’s this very big bucket of worms that he walks in, he walks in with to that police station and that’s why he’s so he breaks down so much. So technically we can identify that for you. And on on your reading you You did not identify it which is probably


not your fault, but


McBain kind of could have made it a little bit better so that it didn’t require Lesley and Danielle and I to read it to enjoy it at the level that it should be enjoy. If that makes any sense. Yeah. So I mean, I feel like I tried to embed some of that in there, my thought is that he and the captain, were involved in something and the cop walked in on them basically. And so


it was a combination of


the killer knows who he is, which I put in there explicitly. And also, the reason the killer was there to get caught was because of me. You know, maybe that doesn’t work because he’s so low on society’s totem pole that he would he still wouldn’t put himself at risk for that where Struthers would and I can work on a better version or something. But


that was my thought too, is that once we you know, we’ve gone back and forth. But once we put this back where it’s like, Okay, we got to make Randall the protagonist, okay, that means he can’t be innocent. And so I tried to write in I put in a couple places I felt like signaled that he was not innocent in this. Yeah, I think I think that’s not clear. If that’s not coming through, I think what you just explained to me starts, it’s starting to form in my mind as a as a viable idea. As so


maybe Randall hat was having a relationship with the captain and the captain was having a relationship. I mean, the victim, the person who was murdered, and then maybe the captain was having a relationship with that same person. And so now it’s getting a little bit more juicy. Because then it’s it’s continues to be a crime of passion. Like the Struthers McBain story. And now we see that somebody’s trying desperately to cover up a part of their identity that they don’t want anybody else in the police department to know because then they might be marginalized. So you’ve got a nice set of snakes here playing around. It’s just that I couldn’t identify, you know, how were they were wrapped.


And now that you sort of say that to me, is that is that is that when you were going for that Randall was for lack for just for lack of a better term was having sex with the captain’s confidant or the captain’s boyfriend? No, he was having sex with the captain. And Randall was Randall was having sex with the captain or beating him. They’re okay. And the cop came upon them.


And so the captain had to kill the cop to see because obviously, the cop knows who he is. So why would Randall go to the police station to only talk to the captains? If he doesn’t know has the ability and he doesn’t he? It’s just a guy. It’s just a trick to him. Oh, I see. Right. Like the captain would never reveal to him that he’s a police captain.


And so to me, he shows up, wanting to relieve himself of like, I got this cop killed.


Even though I hate cops, I still got the cop killed. Because if I wasn’t there with him at that moment, the cop would have just walked by on his beat doing whatever. Okay, I have to digest that. But I that that does seem




But you just you’re gonna have to have some signal in there that that reveals all of that to Sam, which is going to be tricky. Without I mean, that you might have to use?


You know, I don’t know. I’m not sure yet.


That that’s closer. So Randles crisis would be if I, if I don’t report, then I’m going to feel responsible for the death of another person. And I’m going to be got I’m going to have cognitive dissonance about that.


Versus if I do report, I’m going to be physically threatened by who?


So the crisis matrix at that at the level of the at the green level? Is is confusing to me. I’m not sure what it is. I’m not sure.


The turning point.


So, look, let’s just go back to the beginning.


The problem we wanted to solve today


was to effectively teach you how to switch out a protagonist. Right. And I believe we got pretty close to that. And one of the So Danielle spoke to you about


The necessity of interaction as the means to make that happen, and interaction as break down and confrontation to break down. And then I dropped in with the idea about the difference between reporting language and descriptive language. And so then you started to get some heuristics about how reporting language sounds with lots of ings to the verbs rocking, stopped, right? Whereas the descriptive had hard stop, you know, periods. That would be like, he shot me a look, which is a very short sentence, and it has a very descriptive particle transfer of energy. So if I were to play the quantum mechanic game, I would say, reporting has wave functionality of its of its sending signal to Sam, which is a little bit of toast. And then particle energy is more of descriptive. Alright, so we got that. And hopefully, you’ll be able to execute that transfer in a better way using Danielle and my and Leslie’s advice, then Leslie brilliantly said, Okay, another way to handle thinking about language is to think about your narrative device. So then we shot up to the narrative device level, and started thinking about who the narrator of the story was, who the single audience member was listening to it, et cetera. And then we Poff then we had an a combinatorial, explosive number of issues that emerged from that, which is okay, but we got it, slow it down, take some care and go one step at a time. And I think the good thing here is that you’ve now successfully transferred the protagonist from Watson to Randall. And so the next stage would be, well, what’s the next thing that Randall is going to do? What is the next trope? What is the next sticking point that we can we can focus on to address in the next in the next round? So I’m going to I’m going to leave it at that for me and open it up to Lesley or Danielle, if they had any other comments, and then maybe we can figure out what what we’d like you to do next. For your for your homework assignment.


Yeah, for me, I think that that absolutely makes sense. I think we accomplished a lot today. And I think that thinking about next steps. Sounds good.


Nothing more to add?


Yeah. So I would say that switching out the protagonist, effectively, you know, in that moment during the handoff is a really important skill. And I would say that,


clarifying the 624. And really making sure that it’s go that everything’s aligned from top to bottom and back, again,


is where I would recommend spending time because once you have your once you have your signal locked,


and the channel locked, right, so the signal is the controlling idea, the channel is the narrative device, then it will, then you’ll when you get in there, you’ll have a better you’ll have more useful constraints for that will enable you to make the decisions about those about those verbs. And we’ve talked generally, right, that you need those, you need all those sentences to make sense in the context of a criminal, you know, a police report.


But then what details?


Where are you focusing? It? That depends on Sam and Sam’s problem. And so that is, you know, for example, one of the things I was going to talk about was that, in the, the single audience member that we came into with today’s work is like, is a young black officer in the south who’s choosing between seeking justice at the expense of his career or keeping his head down to avoid negative consequences. We’re making some adjustments away from that. But what I want to say is that every detail you add in there, means that you change or alter slightly or more the details that you’re pointing to in the in the police report. And so that like really seeing it, and putting yourself in the position of Watson trying


too, to send a very clear signal to that, Sam, who is that? Sam? What are the details that matter about that Sam? So then you can,


you know, then you can make those decisions in the in the actual sentence by sentence writing. My advice for for homework would be to


is to look at the protagonist of your story, which is Randall. Now the protagonist of the story controls the five commandments, right? So Randall is the source of the inciting incident of the story. Randall provides the turning progressive complications of the story. Randall hits a crisis, random acts, and then Randles action resolves the story. So the place where I think you should put your concentration is the crisis. What point? What is the crisis matrix for Randall? Where, where is, what virtue? Is he going to come down on? So you’re going to look for the wellbeing of his own life? Or is he going to look for the well being of the truth within his mind? Is he going to sacrifice cognitive dissonance to save his life? Or is he going to give up his life to serve the truth?


And that might be something to think about? And how if he does make the choice of saving himself, then you have to signal to Sam that that’s the choice that he has made.


If he’s going to take the choice that he is going to sacrifice his body in order to live the truth, then that signal has to be clear. So


I would I would suggest that you take a look at the crisis matrix matrix that that we went through with


with McBain and try and fill in those blanks, using Randall, as your protagonist and see where we are. And as far as the next draft goes is, please tweak the beginning of the story so that you do that hard. Transfer that shift from protagonist. And then we’ll we’ll take another look at that to see how well we believe you. You nailed it for the next episode. Does that make sense? Yes, yeah, I feel good with that. Thanks for listening to this episode of The Story Grid Podcast. For everything Story Grid related, go to story grid.com, where you can sign up for the newsletter, see lots of resources there. If you haven’t been to Story Grid in a while, we’ve updated a couple sections of the website, the homepage, the training page, the resources page, trying to make it easier to find the content on the website that you’re actually looking for. Along with that, if you want to get daily videos from us, you can subscribe to our YouTube channel. Follow us on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, all of those places. Along with that if you want to see any of the past podcast episodes or download the transcript or any of those things, you can go to story grid.com/podcast. And don’t forget, like I mentioned at the beginning of the episode, the new guild semester is coming up September 4, and we would love to have you register for that and I really think you should. Right now you can’t actually sign up, but you can goes learn more about it and sign up for the waitlist so you can jump in as soon as it opens. So you can check that out at story grid.com/guilt Alright, thanks for listening to this episode, if you want to support us, besides signing up for the guild, you can go into Apple podcasts leave a rating and review that goes a long way towards letting other writers know about the podcast. And if you have some writer friends make sure they know about about the podcast as well. Alright, we’ll stop there. Thanks for listening. We’ll see you next week.


The Book

Is this your first crack at writing and finishing your book? Are you lost on how to tackle this project? This is the place to start.

First Time Writer

Is this your first crack at writing and finishing your book? Are you lost on how to tackle this project? This is the place to start.


Is this your first crack at writing and finishing your book? Are you lost on how to tackle this project? This is the place to start.