How to Finish Your Book

[0:00:00.2] TG: Hello and welcome to the Story Grid podcast. This is a show dedicated to helping you become a better writer. I’m your host, Tim Grahl, and I am a struggling writer trying to figure out how to tell a story that works. Joining me shortly is Shawn Coyne. He is the creator of Story Grid, the author of the book Story Grid and an editor with over 25 years’ experience.


This week is a great follow-up to last week when I was basically ready to quit on my book. Shawn, give me some advice. I followed that advice. Then this episode he does a really good job walking me through how to finish this book. How to look at it from a different perspective? How to apply some story grid tools to it and how to get me over that finish line and finishing the second draft. So it’s a really great episode. I think you’ll love it. So let’s jump in and get started.




[00:00:50] TG: So, Shawn, first of all, thank you for talking me off that very high ledge last week. I like hung up the phone and I felt like a weight had fallen off my shoulders. There are several things you said that were super helpful, but I think just overall, like of upholding me up out of the weeds and telling me like – Just everything was just really great. I felt like, “Okay, this is something I can actually do.”


So I sat down with the manuscript and the first thing I did – So I did a couple things. So I started just kind of sketching out an outline of the rest of the story and what it would look like. So I spent some time going back through the spreadsheets of made of other stories, some of the other like stories I’ve looked at is kind of in the vein, like Hunger Games, that kind of thing. Thinking through and then just sat down and kind of sketched out the rest of the book.


The other thing that – I mean, it’s just my process, is I have to worry about these things, is I went into my Scribner where I have my book and I cut the final word count, because they have like a word counter and you put a goal in. I cut it down to 80,000 and realized I’m basically – I’m at like 57,000 words now and I’m not even out of the middle build yet.


So once I cut it to 80,000, I’m like, “Oh, man! I just need to do the last severing, and I’m 75% there, and that kicks me right into the ending payoff.”


I was like just that little tweak made me feel like, “Okay, I’m on track. I’m on track,” and this where it’s like these things were you’re like walking through a fog and trying to like – I don’t know, get home, and you finally give up and like when the fog clears you’re like laying on your driveway. I was like, “Oh, okay.” Because you said to come up with a plan of what to do to finish the book by the first of the year. So that gives me over three months.


So I started with just doing a basic outline of the story events of what’s left to do. So I put it in the next severing. I put in kind of the aftermath of the severing, and then I think I kind of figured out what’ll kick us into the threshing. I also think I’ve figured out – I don’t really know the setting yet, but I figured out how the threshing is going to work and then some story elements that I need in there. Then I think I figured out – Because the other thing, as I was thinking through this, that I was kind of struggling with when I was comparing it to like – Again, I was looking at Harry Potter and Die Hard, is that there was always this final showdown with a bad guy, and not like I was making the showdown almost with the system itself.


So I tweaked everything to where there’s basically a final showdown with Marcus, and I put a clock on it, because he’s going to basically execute everybody. So she has to make a decision very quickly on what she’s going to do. Then all the way through this end, when she goes back to New York, and she’s now in charge, but everything’s fall apart.


So I was going to go through and do, “Okay, if I write this many scenes each week, then that will get me done by the first.” But like I only have about 30,000 words left, a little over. Once I’m writing, like I wrote Running Down a Dream in like twenty something days. So it’s like once I’m rolling, three months is plenty of time to write 30,000 words. It’s how often I’ve been getting stuck. So I didn’t bother putting dates or anything, because if this is the outline of the next 30,000 words, I’m just going to push through and finish the draft.


Anyway, I sent that to you. Actually, after I send it, I realized, I was like, “Oh man! I didn’t put any dates on it.” But I’m like, “I’ll get the writing done.” It’s mostly those kind of my outline work to get me to the end.


[00:05:21] SC: I think it’s definitely a good starting point. The thing that – We talked about it last week, but the thing you’re confronting is how do you get out of the belly of the beast. This is a critical moment for every writer, and there’re all kinds of sort of psychological strategies that you can use to figure out how best to do it.


One of the things that I do when I hit it is I’ll just say just do this one task. So I think some of the choices that you made in the outline were more really smart. Whether or not you want to literally have Jesse go into unconsciousness to the point of death, I think you’re making the right choice by not literally doing that, especially in this last severing, because it could boomerang back against you because how you’re going to kind of top that in the threshing itself?


You’re right. You’re looking at it like 10 to 15 scenes left, and I would almost like try and put the rest of the novel out of your head and say to yourself, “Look, I’ve got a novella I have to write,” and the opening, the inciting incident of my novella is this contest, this severing. Look at it that way. So then you’re not sort of bogging yourself down with all of the continuity issues that inevitably start to interfere with your creative energy. Because this is the thing, it’s like once something starts to have its own mass, it starts to have a gravitational pull. This is just physics, right?


So the larger something is, the more gravitational pull it has. I know that’s technically may not be correct. I haven’t checked my physics in a while, but my point is, is that once you have that 57,000 words, it becomes this thing and it starts pulling you and weighing you down in ways that you don’t even consciously understand.


So to kind of make a break with that work for a little while, like I was trying to explain like when I hit a belly of the beast moment a couple months ago, and I had the full-blown anxiety panic attacks, sweats, wake up in the night, can’t go back to sleep, panic, anxiety to the max. So in those moments you have to say to yourself, A, “What’s the worst that’s going to happen?” Give yourself the freedom to just quit, right? Say, “What if I quit right now? What’s going to happen?” and this is what you were doing when you were going to send me that email, which was perfectly the right thing to do, “What happens if I quit? Well, I’ll let down Shawn. I don’t want to let him down. That’s going to be terrible. But then again, he’s probably been let down before. He’s 15 years older than I am. I’m sure a lot of times people have let him down. He seems to be able to function in the world after having people let him down. He’s going to be okay. Probably, he’s not going to not be my friend anymore, because I hit a creative wall.” So that’s one. You can sort of talk that off of your negative feedback loop.


Then the second one is, “Well, I’m going to have to –” And this is what Seth Godin calls sunk costs, right? Where you’ve invested a lot of energy and a lot of capital in creating the work that you’ve already created, years. So you have to say yourself, “Well, I’m going to have to let that go. I’m going to have to write off all of that work and say, “Hey, it’s not going to ever bring me any cash flow.” So can I live with myself if that happens?” Well, yeah, you can, because you have cash flow from other reserves that your family isn’t going to suffer because don’t finish this –


[00:09:08] TG: They may be better off.


[00:09:09] SC: They may be better off, right. These are things to think about, like am I driving my kids crazy by being so cranky all the time because I can’t stop thinking about this novel? If I throw away the novel, I won’t be so cranky at home anymore. So there’s all these really important things that you have to walk through and you have to be able to let it go.


One of the things that always surprises me about Steve Pressfield was, “I’m an editor so I can complain about people not finishing the work until time stands still.” I was like kidding around with Steve one day and I said, “Hey! You know what I can’t stand is these people who made these commitments and then they never ever deliver,” and Steve kind of smiled and he goes, “You know what? I have nothing but sympathy for these people.” I’m like, “What are you talking about? You’re the do the work guy. You’re the War of Art guy.” He’s like, “Oh my gosh! I can’t tell you how many books, how many projects I threw away in my life because I just couldn’t finish. I couldn’t get it done. I have no negative feeling towards them in the least, feel their pain. 

Once you start doing your own work, then you start to understand that. So give yourself your brain the ability to serve – I think I talked a little bit last week about brain 1.0 and brain 2.0, and brain 1.0 is your emotional systems, and brain 2.0 has a lot of power over brain 1.0. A lot more than we give a credit for. When you start going through these lists of reasons why I could quit, it starts to silence brain 1.0, because all brain 1.0 wants you to do is to deal with the freaking problem, right? It just want you to deal with the problem. It doesn’t care how you solve it. It just doesn’t want to be bothered with it anymore. So it’s just going to keep sending you panic signals and fear and anxiety until you deal with the damn thing. So that’s what we did last week. We just put that thing on the table and said, “Look, you can throw it out. Do you want to throw it out?” It’s possible. The world isn’t going to end because you didn’t finish your novel. 

But then you start to say to yourself, “Why don’t i, just as the devil’s advocate, just take a look at this thing objectively? Objectively, I’ve got 50X thousand words, and I want 80. I’m far more than halfway. I even have an outline to finish the thing. I can write a scene. What if I want scene-by- scene, one scene at a time?” Then you can say, “You know what? Let me –” And this is what I always do, “I’ll just do one scene and then I’ll check in with myself again. I’ll do one chapter. I’ll write 2,000 words and see – I’ll take the temperature then. Is it going to kill me to do another 2,000 words?” Then you just sort of string it out and say to yourself, “After this 2,000 words, i’ll have the same conversation with myself. So my goal today is just to do the 2,000 words.” Then when you finish, you try not to think about it and you go, “I hit my goal. I’m going to go for a walk,” or whatever. 

So just to circle back to your plan, it might be worth considering just sort of like putting the 57,000 word rock to the side and saying, “I’ll attach that rock to this rock later,but what i’m going to do now is say to myself, “If someone said to me, “We only one want a 15,000 word book. It begins with the third severing. How would you do that?” You would say, “Well, i’d probably do like 10 to 15 scenes and the inciting incident would be X and then I would take it through –

The beginning hook would be something like the end of the severing. The middle build would be the thrashing, and then the ending payoff would be the resolution. I could probably do the resolution in one scene, maybe even 500 to a thousand words.” 

So that’s one scene done, and look at it in terms of like the global macro as opposed to the specificity of the micro idea. So you would go, “My inciting incident is the thing that pushes Jesse into the severing. My second scene is a progressive complication that happens either right before the severing or in the severing itself. The third crisis of my beginning hook for this new novella is going to be a really best bad choice horrific situation where she does X or Y and whichever choice she seems to make would seem to be the worst choice, but she makes this choice. Then the climax is the choice and the resolution is that it wasn’t as terrible as I thought. In fact, it was the critical moment that made her win. Then, bang! Then I have to get into the inciting incident of the thrashing. Maybe there’s X.” You know what I’m saying? They get up a little bit so that you don’t say to yourself, “Oh! This is the moment where Jesse doesn’t die, because then what can happen is you can get a little locked in to the plan, and I’m all for plants. Don’t get me wrong. But I think there’s a time when you can use the language of story grid and of story structure to keep you focused, but not too focused. So it will give you options, right? So when you’re doing your progressive complication scene, you can go, “What’s a progressive complication? Oh, it’s that turning point thing where the value shifts and it’s either an active or revelatory moment. What action could I have one of the characters take that would really mess everything up? Or maybe I want to drop in a revelation. What do I want to do? Do i want –” and that way you can start sort of like thinking in the right part of your brain and say, “What are my options? Well, I could have Az do something. I could have the other guy do something. I could have the president do something. I could have Randy do something. Do I want it active or do i want it – Oh, this is the moment where Jesse finds out that 83 is behind the glass door. That would be amazing, but 83 actually was never a part of the numbered. She was a plan. That could be a big revelation that I could use here that would either help her or harm her in her goal.”

Now, the other thing to think about is the goal situation for Jesse, right? You could say to yourself, “Okay, that 57,000 words, i’m putting that aside from a minute. How would I define Jesse’s goal from here to the end of the book?” Well, her goal would be to – And you actually did this in the last scene I read where you had 61 or whatever stated, “Jesse, look, there’s only one thing you can do. You gotta to win the threshing. You in the threshing, then you can get Randy home. There’s no way you’re ever going to escape this world running away from surveillance cameras. It’s just never going to happen. Even if you do make it back to New York, it’s only a matter of time before someone gives you up and betrays you and you’ll be back in prison and Randy. So there’s only one way. The only leverage you have is to win this damn thing for the faction.” 

So Jesse, at this point, at the beginning of your new kind of novella, she’s laser-focused on her target, right? All she’s saying to herself is, “Got to win this severing. Got to win this severing. Got to win severing. How am i going to do it?” 

When you’re looking at the scene from her point of view, it’s like one of those, “Got to get the car washed. How do I get the car washed? I got to find the car key, and then I got to get in the car.” It’s like we do these micro-focused laser amazing things all the time and it’s literally bringing that sense of obsession to this story that will get people to really connect with the character. 

Last week you were talking about you’re worried about her emotional valence and whether or not the reader is going to attach to her. The one super duper trick I can always tell everyone is, once it’s clear to the reader what the mission of the protagonist is in the particular scene, in the particular sequence, in the particular act, in the particular story, once they know that, they’re locked in, because we always love when people are on a mission. 

So Jesse’s mission is, “I’ve got to win the severing. In order to win the severing, I have to get the right cocktail of drugs from Alex. I got to talk to him about when to kick in the epinephrine and when specifically to do it, because there’s going to be a moment where i’m going to need that extra jolt. So I got to talk to him first and say, “I’m going to say the word tarantula, and that’s the moment when you kick in the epinephrine in my system.” 

So she works at this deal with the people who are working with her so that they’re invested too, so that they need to help her on her mission. Then you set up all kinds of like, “What if Alex doesn’t do it, or what if –” Do you know what I’m saying?

So once you start thinking of the mission for the scene then all of these micro-little bits and actions can start to just tumble out of your mind, because that’s what we do. I’m sure what you did this morning is when you woke up you said, “Got to get the kids to school. It’s time to get the kids to school. Got to walk upstairs. Got to brush my teeth first. Wit, I have 38 seconds.” You don’t literally say this, but that’s the way your brain is operating. You kick your feet over the side of the bed and you’re gone. You’re on a mission. You got to get Candice through the door, because she’s got class today. She’s got to have her cup of coffee. You better make that pot of coffee before you go get the kids. Then you wake up the kids and you get them to brush their teeth and you set up their clothes. You make sure that they’re dressed. You go to get them something to eat for breakfast. Then you make sure that you had – Last night, you made sure you had gas in the car to get them to school, right? 

So these are all these habitual things that we all do all the time. When you bring that habitual sensibility to the story, people will lock into it, because they can relate to it. So Jesse, if she’s on a mission, she’s going to be like, “Alex, here’s the deal. I’m going to be doing this, this, this and this. When I say tarantula, that’s when I want the epinephrine.” “Now, Ernst, when I need this, you’re going to do this, and I’m going to give you a signal to do that.” 

So she is going to brilliantly become like a field general for these moments so that by the end of this novel, your readers are going to be like, “You know what? That Jesse, she really kicked in. I don’t think she’d be a bad leader. At the beginning of the story, she was kind of a loser who really was a baby who was only always pouting. By the end, she’s got her shit together.” 

So thinking about the micro actions that build to mid-level goals, and the mid-level goals build to macro goals, is a way of really firing your brain so that it’s – It’s like when you do this right, you will get into the flow. You will start thinking like Jesse. You will start – A lot of writers say, “I don’t know what happened. It was like I was taking dictation. The characters were telling me everything that they wanted to do, and I literally couldn’t type as quickly as they were speaking to me.” I think the way to get to that flow moment in writing is to really think about the missions. What is the mission of this scene? 

What’s funny is that what just occurred to me is that Steve did an interview with Oprah Winfrey a couple of years ago, which was fantastic. It was about the War of Art, before he went on the trip to meet with her, I’m like, “Steve, you got to be super nervous, because it’s like Oprah Winfrey, like the smartest person on the planet. She’s going to suck – You’re going to start crying within five minutes.” He goes, “Yeah, yeah, I know that.” I go, “What are you going to do?” He goes, “Well, I’ve got one really important question that I’m going to ask her so that I can focus on that one question, and I’m pretty sure she’s going to give me a really good answer.” I’m like, “Well, okay. What’s the question?” He goes, “I’m just going to ask her, what is your one goal of every interview you do? Do you have one goal?” 

So I’m like, “Wow! That’s going to be a great question.” So he went and right before they went on to start taping, Steve said his hands were drenched in sweat. He could barely hold himself together. So then he remembered, “Oh, ask Oprah the question. Oh!” He goes, “Before we start, I just wanted to ask you something. How do you handle interviews? Because they’re so effective.” She looked at him and she goes, “Oh, it’s pretty simple. I have one intention.” He goes, “What?” She goes, “Yes. Before every interview, I do all of my research and I say to myself, “What is the one intention that you have for this interview?” She said, “So, for example, for you, my intention is to get you to explain to me what resistance is, because I think that that is what my audience would be most interested in. So whenever we get off top off topic, I’ll probably go back to resistance.” 

So the reason I bring that up is that Oprah has a mission every time she sits down to interview someone, and this is why she is probably the most popular cultural figure today, is because her mission is so clear, that all of us look at her and we say, “Man! I wish I was like her.” We don’t know why, but that I think is the reason why. She always – She’s never phoning it in. She she’s always right there. She’s pounding on the mission. At the end of every interview, she wins. She gets that intention across the person sitting across from her does interviews that they could never conceive of ever doing in their life, because she’s so good at doing it. It’s a really good thing to remember when you’re writing to think about it, when you’re writing fiction, what is the intention? What is the mission? What is the want? What is the need of this character in this moment? 

So I think you’ve already said to yourself, “Look, I can throw the book out. Shawn it’s not going to get mad at me.” I have to put the thing away for 10 years or never ever see it again, I can do that, but what hell? Here’s an idea. Why don’t I write a novella from the third severing until the end? It’s only 15,000 words. It’s maybe 10 to 12 to 15 scenes. If I look at it as, “What’s the inciting incident of the severing? What is the progressive complications scene of the severing? What is the crisis scene of the severing?” Then you’re going to be able to resolve the ending of your – You already know what the ending is. I think you make a really good point in your notes to me about today’s episode, is you got to have a showdown between Marcus and Jesse, because you need the hero at the mercy of the villain scene, and you don’t have to solve that right now, but you got to have the villain and the hero in the same room with the hero seemingly against forces that she would never be able to overcome. 

Then the revelation for her is that in order to re-create the world, sometimes you have to destroy it, and that is a really excruciatingly painful decision to make. No one does that, unless they’re generally malevolent or evil, I do think that there are certain people who are that way. No one really takes pleasure in destroying something. 

St’s like on the big, big value in a hierarchy, it all comes down to do you believe in creation, or do you believe in destruction? Now, we can believe in creation and destruction both and we understand that there’s a time for creation and there’s a time for destruction. But for the global heroic myth, heroes are on the side of creation. It doesn’t mean that they don’t understand sometimes they have to destroy something in order to re-create it, they have to refresh it. But the villain believes that there is no meaning whatsoever on this planet, that we’re all here. It’s a zero-sum game.

So the person with the most money or the most power or the most whatever wins. So they look at life as a consumption process. So if there’s only a big enough pot, they want as much of that stew as they can possibly get. So Marcus, you need to sort of think of him in terms of that paradigm. This is a person who does not believe that there’s anything really meaningful about life. That we’re here by accident, and because we’re here, we want to have the most pleasure. So that’s why he’s the president of the faction, because you get more food as the president of the faction. The more power you have, the more resources you get. This is what so many of these nasty people who are being found out today who have done things really reprehensible and criminal, they’re finally – They’re being revealed for who they are. They are believers in the system of, I want to have as much as possible, and there’s only so much to go around. The more I get, the more I win, the happier I’ll be, the more privileges I can have. So kind of Marcus’s point of view. 

Now, Jesse’s point of view, she’s a hero, and this is always a great thing to remember when you get stuck. Who’s the hero of my book? Who is the protagonist? Oh, Jesse is. Okay, if heroes believe in creation, Jesse is the hero of my book. Then Jesse believes in creation. Oh, excellent! So now you have the standoff between, and you’ve got the makings for a great speech and praise of the villain, right? Because Marcus could make this statement, “Hey, Jesse! You know, this world is being held together in a very, very thin line, young lady. Because of your arrogance and your refusal to get in line, you’re threatening the lives of millions of people. There’s only so much food to go around. If you don’t play along, you’re going to make other people stave.” 

So he’s going to use the arguments that he believes will destroy her ability to understand that she has to take out the grid and she will have to make a reckoning and say to herself, “You know, sometimes you got to knock things back and start all over again.” 

So knowing global story structure, knowing what a thrill it is, knowing all these things can really help you when you hit the belly of the beast, because you know a lot more than you think you know and you have a lot of answers that will come to you as long as you say, “The answer needs to fit within this paradigm,” and that way you can allow yourself to say, “I’m going to answer that later, and I’m going to start with this scene,” which is the inciting incident of the third severing, “and my only thing is, Jesse is on a mission and she is going to really be able to manipulate the situation so that she wins. When obstacles arise, she’s going to twist them so that they become tools for her,” because that’s what happens when you’re operating in kind of like a flow situation, is that things that seem like these obstacles, you can go, “Oh! I can use that to do this and turn it.” 

So that’s generally what I think a good approach would be, is to – And I think you intuitively knew that because you went and you changed, you checked in to see what your word count was. Those are all ways in which we’re convincing ourselves that, “You what? This isn’t the belly of the beast. I’ve been here before. Let me just take it one step at a time. I’ve got 12 scenes. Gees! 12 scenes? Seriously? I’m freaking out over 12 scenes?” 

[00:30:30] TG: Yeah. I like the idea of looking at it as a standalone novella too, because those are the times where I start to get kind of sucked in, because that to me is the most overwhelming part of this, is like I feel comfortable writing 1,500, 2,000, 2,500 words that tell a story, but trying to string together 80,000 words to tell a story is just – That’s where I just start to crumble. 

So looking at this is kind of a standalone thing, and it reminds me of like all the times you’ve talked about how these are like the Russian dolls. So looking at the last bit of the middle build is the inciting incident to a novella. Then just finishing a novella, yeah, it’s like the same thing. It’s like, “Oh, well, it’s got to have a beginning, middle and end, just like the entire story.” It’s all the same stuff. 

So it feels like so many times with these things with all the story grid tools you identified and developed, is like it’s like a good hammer where like if you know how to use a hammer, you end up using it for things the hammer was never intended to be used for. But it’s like the perfect tool for this whatever problem you’ve come across during a project.

So I’ve already like – I planned out this, we’re recording first thing in the morning, and I’ve already like have my schedule clear, like the next thing I’m doing is going to work on this. So yeah, I’m looking forward to it instead of like, “Oh my God! I got to work on this thing or everything is going to fall apart.”

[00:32:12] SC: Yeah. I think if you really just say to yourself, “Jesse is on a mission. She’s taking charge. She’s no longer a little girl anymore. She knows what has to be done. The only way that she will be able to save the life of her brother, who she loves dearly, is to win. She just needs to win, and she might even say that to herself, “Just win. Just keep moving forward. I’m going to get over that,” but she just needs that very, very clear, “All bets are off.” There’s no – It’s like that moment in Apollo. Failure is not an option. For her to fail means that her brother is going to die and she’ll probably die and everything that she holds dear in the world will be destroyed.”

So a young contender boxer doesn’t want to fight an old guy who’s this is his last fight and his last reasonable paycheck, because you know that guy is not going to quit, especially if he’s incentivized to go a certain number rounds. The Rocky movie was built upon the desperation of someone who doesn’t want to be bum. That’s kind of where Jesse is. It’s like, “Hey, there’s just no reasonable way I can lose. I won’t lose or I’ll die trying.” That is the heroic mission where you finally reached the point, “You know what? I’ve been in the belly of the beast. I’m out of it now. I’ve now risen from the surface, and now I got to do what I got to do, and whatever happens, happens, but I’m just not going to stop until I’m dead. I’m just going to keep going until someone kills me,” and that is a powerful thematic idea for a writer, because if your hero refuses to quit, I mean, your hero is – She has a part of you now, and she wants to finish the book. She wants to win this damn thing and she’s getting a little tired of your backing and forthing and not sure. She’s like, “Jesus, Tim! Let me loose. Just let me loose, because I know how to win this thing,” and she does, and I don’t mean to be woo-woo and cheesy, but it’s true, because all of our creations are parts of ourselves. So she is really committed to making this book work and she’s ready to go. All you have to do is let her run, and whenever you get nervous, say, “I wonder what she would do in this situation. She’s somehow made it all the way to this 57,000 words into this book. What’s she going to do now?” 

It’s kind of like whenever you’re younger or even when you’re older and somebody gives you an opportunity and you’ve already come out of the all is lost moment and you’re just sort of like, “Yeah! Okay, I’ll do that,” and then you just work and you work and you work and you don’t think about it. You’re like, “I’m just going to keep pressing forward. Yeah, that’s disappointing, but so what? I’m keeping going. I’m keeping going. I’m keeping going.” You will reach the goal and Jesse will reach her goal and she’s going to find out that the responsibility of the hero never ever stops. You have to keep going beyond the safety of the campfire. You have to keep going in there and coming back in new campfires, but you have to keep moving. 

So I would really just sort of say to yourself, “When I get stuck, I’m just going to say, “What would Jesse want to do in this situation? How would she get out of it? Because she’s on a mission. She’s going to take the grid down. She’s going to outsmart Marcus. She’s going to free her brother, and then at the end of that, then she will discover exactly what she’s really gotten into, and that will kick into perhaps the next novel.” 

You’ve planned this thing to a tee. You know what you need to do. You intuitively got rid of the part where she dies, because it’s just extra stuff that you don’t need. You know it’s now a race to the finish. It’s 15,000 words and just go. You know the story structure, so feel good about. I think you’re going to do great, and it’s not the big monster you think it is. Actually, you might even enjoy it. 



[00:36:41] TG: Thanks for listening to this episode of the Story Grid podcast. For everything Story Grid related, check out storygrid.com. Make sure you pick up a copy of the book and sign up for the newsletter so you don’t miss anything happening in the Story Grid universe. If you’d like to check out the show notes for this episode or any past episodes, all of that can be found at storygrid.com/podcast. If you would like to reach out to us, you can find us on Twitter @StoryGrid. Lastly, if you would like to support the show, you can do that by telling another author about to show and by visiting us on Apple Podcast and leaving a rating and review.


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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.