Making Big Idea Nonfiction Work

[00:00:00] 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’m 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. 

In this episode, we wrap up our discussion of the big idea nonfiction book and how this applies to Story Grid. So we continue walking through the editor’s six core questions and answer some other questions around the big idea nonfiction and how Story Grid applies to this genre. 

If you’ve been enjoying the last couple episodes, you’re going to enjoy this one as well, and we wrap it up with this one. So let’s jump in and get started. 


[00:00:49] TG: Shawn, we’ve been spending a few weeks looking deep at nonfiction and how that works with Story Grid, and we’ve talked through the four different subgenres of nonfiction. We talked about the differences in those and we started getting into some of the specifics, like the beginning, middle and end of the big idea and now we’re looking at conventions and obligatory scenes. 

Normally in Story Grid when we’re looking at these, there are kind of the 15 scenes that every book has to have, and then we’re looking at specific obligatory scenes for a genre, and then conventions. Do these same things apply when we’re thinking about big idea nonfiction, or is this not really something that applies in this case?

[00:01:40] SC: I think it does. Just as sort of a starting point for anyone is to constrain yourself with some principles that big idea book share across business big idea, personal memoir big idea, etc. After reading hundreds and hundreds of big idea books in my career, I have a list of conventions and obligatory scenes for big idea nonfiction too.

What I always say in terms of Story Grid methodology and Story Grid tools is that while you’re actually in the writing process, unless you get really stuck, it’s probably a good idea to just go with the flow and write the project and the way that you are best excited about. Then before you think that you’ve written a perfect book, then apply sort of Story Grid methodology on that draft and ask yourself a bunch of questions. 

One series of questions are, “Are the conventions of big idea, are they within the work that I’ve already done, or should I add some of these to make sure that I’m satisfying the audience for the work?” Remember, the big idea audience, they’re coming to a big idea book with a very specific purpose. That purpose is to sort of de-baffle themselves. They’re confused and/or they’re curious. 

One of those two sort of motivations brings us to big idea projects, is we’re either confused by a particular phenomena in some domain of our life and we want to figure out what’s behind it, why is it happening. What is the meaning behind this particular phenomena? Etc. We’re either baffled by it or we’re curious. Maybe you always wondered how chaos works, and so you probably went and read James Gleick’s book, Chaos, and he came up with a very big idea and he supported it with a lot of science and it’s a terrific book. 

When we are looking at big idea nonfiction, it’s always a good idea at the end of your first draft check to see that you have these things that the audience for big idea is looking for in the book. Let me to start flying through the conventions of the big idea book, and a lot of these conventions are going to be pretty self-explanatory once you think about it. 

The first thing is that it big idea, it’s a great idea to have some characters. You want to be able to tell a story within the big idea project. So characters are very, very important to a story, because if you don’t have any characters, you can’t really do much. The first character you want to really think about is you, the author. You, the author, is the protagonist of the big idea book. 

The author protagonist is it’s an extension of the writer and it’s a great way to frame what you’re doing and why you’re doing it, because if you’re constantly asking yourself, “Well, I am narrating this story. I’m narrating this book. To what best effect can I use my skills as a storyteller to tell it in a way that will keep people booked and interested?” 

We’ve already talked about the three parts of big idea nonfiction. The beginning hook is about analysis. It’s about identifying a phenomena and analyzing when it happens, when it occurs, what it’s like, what it looks like, smells like, feels like, etc. Then the middle build is formalizing a hypothesis about why that phenomena repeats itself. Why is there a pattern and how can we construct a form of that pattern? If X happens, then Y happens. That’s sort of a very simple formal representation of the phenomena, a cause-and-effect. 

Lastly, the payoff is mechanizing that form. If we could reverse engineer how to create a particular phenomena, that would not be great, because that would give us power. That would enable us to predictably bring back a phenomen that occurs naturally under certain conditions. If we create the certain conditions that create the phenomena and the phenomena occurs. Wow! That’s science. That’s power. That’s one of the great things about being a human being, is to be able to do that kind of thing.

The characters, the author protagonist, is the one driving the story. For example, in The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell is clearly the protagonist of the story. He’s the one telling the events by which he learned about the tipping point and he walks us through the various stages that he went through in order to analyze, formalize and mechanize that big idea. That’s number one. That’s the first character you need. 

The second character or set of characters that you need are sidekicks. When I say sidekicks, I mean those people or those scientists or research papers and those scientists who wrote those research papers, those people who help the author protagonist on his or her journey to the big revelation. The sidekicks in The Tipping Point, of course, we have all kinds of really fun characters. We have people like – I think his name is Roger Horchow, Lois Weissberg and Mark Albert. 

These are all normal, everyday human beings that we can all relate to who help Malcolm Gladwell formulate his ideas about the big idea. He tells these really wonderful anecdotes with these sidekicks present. For example, he goes to lunch with Roger Horchow, who explains how Roger Horchow finds things relevant in the world and how he shares what he thinks is relevant in a catalog, and it’s called the Horchow catalog. I think a lot of people get that catalog, and its Roger Horchow’s favorite things, basically. 

That was one part of Gladwell’s formulization of how to create a tipping point. Similarly with Lois Weisberg and Mark Alpert. Those are the sidekick characters in big idea. When you’re thinking about your big idea project, you should always think in terms of anecdotes. What little story could I tell to prove a particular part by which I figured out an element of the formalization of the big idea? 

Lastly, in terms of characters, we really need a force of antagonism. We need a villain, and the villain is really, really important big idea and it’s very esoteric. It’s often not a literal human being, but it’s the force of ignorance. It’s sort of the perennial problem associated with navigating the world to best effect. It’s that thing that we all understand when we have a goal. Oftentimes when we have a goal, we keep getting stymied. We can’t achieve that goal that we want. 

So we gain this sense of despair and we start to believe that the universe is out to get us and we start to get resentful and we think, “Oh! Nothing ever goes right for me. Oh my gosh! Every time I try, nothing ever works.” That’s the villain. It’s what Steve calls Resistance with a capital R. It’s that very strange thing that we feel, literally feel, is stopping us from applying our agency. 

I just want to take just a very short sidetrack here and talk about agency for a minute, because I think it will help a lot of people and they start thinking about their big idea projects. The way I look at agency is this, there’s a lot of psychological and philosophical theories that I find very helpful, and one of them is called the agent arena relationship. 

For example, we all have domains of life. We have our work domain. We have our home domain, our relationship domain, etc. We’ve got these big categories of life experience. Within those big domains are specific arena, and I think of them as the places in which we enter for a particular purpose. If you are – Let’s say you’re a book publisher. Now, to enter the arena means, well, you have to figure out the landscape of book publishing. So you have to figure out what are the retail markets. How can I actually produce a book? There’re all kinds of incredibly complex skills that a publisher needs to figure out in order to apply her agency. 

If she wants to be a publisher and she’s got some great ideas and she has a different way of looking at book publishing, she’s going to have to go in and figure out the landscape of the arena of book publishing. She’s going to have to learn about book production. She’s going to have to learn about sales. She’s going to have to learn about art direction. She’s going to have to learn about copyediting, proofreading, etc. etc. 

Before she can apply her agency, meaning her unique presentation of what a book should look like or a book should be published, she’s going to have to learn all of this craft. In order to apply our agency, it’s difficult, because we have to learn all these stuff before we can put our ideas into action. This is where people get hung up. They go, “Oh my gosh! I can’t figure out all these stuff. I quit.” That’s where the big idea book comes in. 

So big idea books are, for that moment, when some agents is trying to apply their agency in a particular arena. When our agency gets blocked, meaning we don’t have the skills yet to be a great publisher. That gets frustrating and we want to find a place where we can learn with minimum viable effort how to be a publisher or, say, an editor. Say, you want to be a book editor. That’s why I wrote the Story Grid, because it was a big idea book for an arena that didn’t have a working guide to walk somebody through the process by which you could become a story editor. 

That’s a really important part of a big idea book, is to identify the arena in which you are working your big idea and think about the agents who want to come into that arena and apply their agency but are stymied. They can’t figure out what’s going on. They don’t understand the phenomena of book publishing. They don’t understand how books come out, where they’re published, etc., etc. 

The villain, of course, is that moment of ignorance. It’s that force of antagonism that pushes people away. Somebody can go, “I’m going to be a book publisher,” and they come into the arena and they start getting frustrated. Every time they think they’re learning something, somebody else says something else. 

I mean, this is all over Twitter. People go, “Should I self-publish or should I go to the big five?” That’s all people trying to apply their agency in an arena that they’re not sure about. The force of antagonism is when we get to the place where we want to quit, where we want to give up. A great big idea book like, for example, your book, Tim, your first thousand copies. A lot of people who self-published, they knew how to write the book. They didn’t know how to market it. So you said to yourself, “I know how to market books. I’m going to write a book so that people who are confused can go to this book and get some enlightenment and actually get some agency.” You’re giving people agency to apply themselves and give them power in an arena of their choice. 

When you start thinking about big ideas in this very big abstract way, it can be very helpful especially when you’re concerned about, “Well, I don’t know if I should really go into that minutia of detail about how to pitch a very specific small sector of the retail marketplace.” 

If you take your step back and say, “Yeah, I’m not going to keep that in,” because you just want to bring people into the arena generally, and then once they get settled and they start to figure out how to mechanize the form of book marketing, then in the future, they can learn that minutia detail. That’s why in the Story Grid, I didn’t get into Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and how that’s where the content genres come from, because if I gotten into that in the book, I could’ve lost a lot of readers. A lot of people say, “I lost a lot of readers anyway, because of the amount of detail in the book.” But you can see sort of where I’m going here.

When you’re constantly reminding yourself, the antagonist of the big idea book is ignorance and frustration when an agent enters the arena, which is in the subject matter of your big idea, and they get frustrated and want to quit. If you know that really important idea, it’s going to help solve a lot of problems for you when you get stuck, because you can always go back to the thing like, “What about my agent entering this arena who’s getting frustrated? Is this sentence can I help them or is going to confuse them?” That helps you edit and move through the book. 

That was my quick five-minute discussion about the agent arena relationship, and when the agent loses agency, that’s the moment of despair and that’s why the big idea book is here to begin with. It’s to get people over their despair in a particular arena when they’re trying to apply their agency. 

[00:17:40] TG: I mean, at this point, you’ve talked about protagonists, sidekicks, antagonists. I mean, this gets me thinking about the hero’s journey. Have you found that to be helpful looking at as far as big idea nonfiction too or more distracting?

[00:17:55] SC: I think it’s distracting, because the great thing about the heroic journey is that we end up usually delivering 90% to 95% of the heroic journey in every story that we tell without even knowing it. All the archetypes in the heroic journey, people like shape shifters, and threshold guardians, and allies, and enemies, etc., they and up sort of accidentally finding themselves in the big idea book anyway. 

Could you take that heroic journey analysis and look at your big idea book and see if you’ve complied with the heroic journey at the end? Sure. That’s probably like the 12th polish of your project. At that point, you’re probably so exhausted that you’re going to know whether the thing works or not, and that might be something that an editor might say to you after they’ve acquired the book, “You don’t really have any moments where you, the writer, is stymied by a shape shifter.” 

What that would mean in a big idea book is you believe that one person or one sidekick in your story telling anecdotes is delivering you authentic and sincere information, but they actually aren’t, or they mistakenly lead you down a bad path. That’s a really interesting way to go in a big idea book, but now we’re starting to get into micro- levels of detail and specific scenes and sequences that I think are best left alone especially when you’re conceiving your idea. 

I mean, even the stuff that I’m going over now, this is kind of – I would suggest you look at these elements after you have a 20,000 word piece of first draft rather than trying to preprogram the project based upon these elements, although you can do that. It depends on the way you look at how you write. Some people like to plan obsessively and others don’t. But that’s a really good question. The heroic journey, yes, it’s absolutely a part of the big idea book, because let’s go back to the global value at stake. The global value at state moves from ignorance to wisdom. What does that mean? Well, it’s a revelatory worldview shift. What is that? Well, worldview is part of the content genre within the five leaf clover and it’s one of the content genres. 

Yes, you can backdoor into a lot of fiction using the big idea, but a lot of people, I suspect, the reason why they want to write a big idea book is they don’t necessarily want to write a novel. They don’t want to go near fiction. They just want to do something very straightforward. Ironically – Or, I mean, paradoxically, the great nonfiction, it has the same structural components as great fiction does. 

All right. Let’s keep moving on, because we’re starting to get a little bit too obsessive, I think. Another convention of the big idea book is the setting, and the setting is essentially the arena. I was talking about just five seconds ago about the agent in the arena applying their agency, and the setting is literally the arena. If you’re writing a project about for salespeople, then the arena would be going in to close the sale. 

In the tipping point, the arena is really interesting, and one of the reasons why it such a big bestseller and continues to be, is that the arena is multi-domain. That’s really cool. When I say that, what I mean is that the tipping point, what Gladwell really brilliantly understood is that it’s across domains. The crime level in New York City can tip to the positive in much the same way as Hush Puppies shoes can tip to the positive in sales. Much in the same way as a viral infection can tip to the negative in another domain.

We have three domains right there. We’ve got crime, urban crime. That’s one domain. Then we’ve got shoe sales. That’s another domain. Then we’ve got a viral infection medical domain. All three of those domains have a phenomena that happens. So when he’s talking about the setting, he’s talking about this really terrific intellectual adventure where this sort of gumshoe kind of journalist detective, named Malcolm Gladwell, decides to go on an adventure. He’s going to move from domain to domain to domain and see if he can find the tipping point. It’s almost like he’s a detective looking for phenomena across multiple domains. 

In his case, he’s doing a very abstract kind of agent arena relationship, and we’re very clear that the arena were in is Malcolm Gladwell journalism arena. He is taking us on a virtual adventure that a really intuitive and fun-loving journalist goes on. We are actually entering Malcolm Gladwell’s arena and he is the agent/journalist that’s applying his agency, which are his detective skills and his analytical reasoning to tell us this great story about how he found the tipping point and how he believes the tipping point works. That’s why it’s sold so many copies, because it was really hanging out with a really smart guy who has a sense of humor, who can tell us a lot a great anecdotes, and introduces us to a whole slew of really interesting people. It’s like spending six hours at a cocktail party with the most entertaining figure available in the city. That setting is really important.

Now, if you’re writing a big idea book about how to be an editor, this setting is story world. Story world is the setting of the story grid. It’s like almost like I open up this door and I go, “Come with me, and I’m going to walk you through how I figured out how the story world works for me.” I’m not saying I know everything and that I am the definitive answer about story. What I’m saying is, “Hey! I’m an editor who spent a long time in this arena, and I learned some stuff. Over a lot of hard work, I learned some stuff. Let me walk you through what I learned in 384 pages so that you don’t have to spend 25 years like I did learning it.” That’s a big idea book. 

If I do my job well, people will be engaged and they will read the whole thing even though sometimes they’re going to have to go back and apply the how-to elements within the story grid itself later on. But hopefully, and the one who told me this, of course, was Steve Pressfield, who said, “Shawn, you’ve got to walk people through with the store, your personal story, even if it’s just a couple of chapters and you throw your name in there every now and then. You have to walk them through like Malcolm Gladwell did.”

The setting is super important. It’s the arena by which the author protagonist is learning how to apply her agency specifically in a particular domain. I know that’s abstract, but that’s really the best way to look at this so that you can see it from a really great elevation what the big idea project is really about. It’s about helping people learn how to apply their agency.

[00:27:09] TG: I mean, those are some of the conventions we’ve talked about as far as the characters, the setting, but are there obligatory scenes as well? Again, the one that always comes to mind is the hero at the mercy of the villain scene in a thriller and action movie or a book. Are there those same kinds of scenes in a big idea nonfiction?

[00:27:32] SC: Yeah, absolutely, and they’re kind of self-explained. They’re self not explanatory, but you can figure them out yourself without really needing me to tell you, but let me just run through the way I see it. Okay. The obligatory scenes, the first is that you’ve got to establish the problem or the phenomena. 

If you don’t come right up front and explain, “Hey! I’m somebody who entered this arena and I found the following phenomena, which stopped me from being able to apply my agency. So this book is about me figuring out what the phenomena is all about so that – Or phenomena/problem, because it’s something that stops us from moving forward.” So that’s an obligatory scene. You’ve got to have that moment where the author protagonist clearly states what the problem phenomena is. So that’s number one. 

Then another clear – This is obvious. You clearly have to state what the big idea is in as few words as possible. For the tipping point, the big idea is that things tip like viruses tip. Small things add up to big consequences, big events. The smallest little – It’s kind of like the drip, drip, drip phenomena and then something hits critical mass and then it explodes. That was the big idea, that small incremental changes can lead to a moment that is a very large change, a big event. That was clearly stated within the first four pages of the book. It’s clearly stated on the cover. I forget what the subtitle is, but that’s the big idea. How small things cause big events or something like that.

The clear statement of the big idea is another obligatory scene. In other scenes within – It’s usually the formalization part, the middle build, is that you have to have scenes of evidence that support the hypothesis. The evidence is really key, and so you need to sort of figure out like what evidence am I going to use to support my big idea? How can I explain that evidence in a way that’s interesting and entertaining?

Gladwell does it really extraordinarily well. He uses everything from Sesame Street, to Blue’s Clues, to Hush Puppies, all kinds of domains, and he tells these really fun unique little stories within them. That is all evidence that supports his big idea. 

Another obligatory scene is you have to have entertaining or compelling anecdotes. Ideally, you want your evidence to be told entertaining and compelling anecdotes. So that way you can actually make people read the evidence as supposed to skipping it over. You don’t want your big idea book to read like a research paper or a lab report. You also need to have how-to advice. You’ve got to have a scene or some explanations of how to apply the big idea in such a way – This usually comes in the ending payoff, how to mechanize the big idea. How to create the conditions such that the phenomena will reoccur. 

Another one is the big reveal, and the big reveal scene, it’s the core event of the big idea book. It’s the moment when the author protagonist has that insight moment, that eureka moment, when he or she explains to the reader, “And at last, I finally put it all together.” If you add mavens and stickiness and blah-blah-blah-blah-blah altogether in a pot, then you are producing those circumstances by which a big idea event can occur. 

Now, the other big reveal in the tipping point for me is when he really makes the clear statement that tipping points happen not just in the positive, but in the negative. Beware of creating conditions for tipping, because you can tip things that will flush something right down the toilet. He does give a lot of really good examples about that, like there’s a great example about a shoe company that made skateboarding shoes in California and they wanted to tip things into the positive, when in fact all of the things that they were doing actually tipped it negatively. So they had a moment of success and then it all sort of fell apart, because they were diluting their brand by making their shoes cheaper and less appealing to the core market. That was a really great example of how our desire to tip into mass popularity can destroy the meaning of the thing in the first place. 

A shoe company that was devoted just to skateboarders, because the guys who started the company were devout skateboarders, it fell apart when that company decided to go large, when they decided to go to Footlocker. That’s when the skateboarders shoes fell apart. 

[00:33:43] TG: I have a question here that’s always kind of bugged me about stuff like this, because one of the things that you said that is one of the obligatory scenes is at the very beginning of the book, you’ve got to tell people what you discovered. A lot of times that ends up on the cover as well. My mind is kind of split on this, because on one side of my brain it says, “Well, that’s crazy, because you’re giving it away at the beginning. Why would anybody read the book?” Then of course the other side of my brain is like, “Well, you probably read 300 of these type books. So obviously it works just fine.” 

It reminds me of a conversation I had a long time ago with a guy that runs Bard Press. He publishes like one book a year. I forgot his name now. But he was making an argument to me that all of these books, like Freakonomics, like Malcolm Gladwell are basically entertainment books, because if we really wanted to just know the knowledge, we would read the research papers or we would just read the article that came out that explains it in a thousand words instead of reading something that’s 60,000 words long.

What do you feel like really pulls the reader through a book, a big idea nonfiction book, when in the introduction you’re given the conclusion? Again, there’s like more efficient ways to get the actual knowledge. What do you think is driving the reader through reading a big idea nonfiction book?

[00:35:18] SC: That’s a fantastic question, and I think you actually answered it a couple of episodes ago when you asked me about the War of Art. Yes. The answer is yes. When you give away the big idea on the cover, there’re a certain percentage of people who will say, “Well, duh! That’s obvious. Yeah, little things add up to big events. I’m not going to read that.” That’s fine, or they buy the cliff notes version of the tipping point, which is seven pages. It’s an executive summary and it boils down all the points into a very nifty, quick read that you can sort of download into your mind. 

That’s called propositional knowledge. I’m giving you a proposition that I’m going to prove or I’m going to work to prove or argue in my book. Here you go. People come to books, and those looking for propositional knowledge, yeah, they’ll probably not be so enthralled by it. 

[00:36:31] TG: Remind me what propositional knowledge is.

[00:36:33] SC: Propositional knowledge is just a statement of theory or fact. To say in order to find meaning in life, you need to work hard and enjoy the work that you do. That’s propositional knowledge, right? 

[00:36:51] TG: Yeah.

[00:36:52] SC: We could all say, “Yeah, I’ll buy into that. That’s probably true.” But it doesn’t do anything really for us. Why is that? Because it doesn’t touch the sort of core center of our being, which is part of our brain. We sort of have a brain 1.0 and a brain 2.0. The brain 2.0 is really good at sort of categorizing and filing away propositional knowledge. The problem is, is that we live in the landscape of emotional life. That’s what brain 1.0 is all about. 

Brain 1.0 responds to the environment and it adapts to the environment and it’s the part of us that gets really frustrated when things don’t go well for us. It’s the part of us that wants to throw in the towel or it wants to double down and work even harder. That’s the part that keeps us pushing forward. That part is the part that people who really love the War or Art or the Tipping Point or name your big idea book. That’s really who those writers are writing for. 

Steve Pressfield did not write the War of Art for people looking for propositional knowledge, because he would be the first one to say, “Yeah, I could boil it down for you. You got to work hard every single day. The end.” But the reason why people love the War or Art is because Steve walks them through what it’s like for him. 

We get a sense from page one, “Oh my gosh! Here’s this really successful writer and he experiences the same thing I do. I’m going to keep reading this, because maybe he’ll keep telling me other things that I can emotionally identify with. Yes, that’s true for me too. Yes, that’s true. Yes.” So we get excited, because we say to ourselves, “This guy or this woman is just like me.” 

Yeah, you’re not going to please everyone when you write a big idea book. Yeah, you’re giving it away for free on the front cover, but that’s not who you are writing it for. You’re writing it for people who feel they’ve lost agency and they want it back. They want to figure out how to get their agency back so they can do the things that they want to do. That’s called sort of experiential or procedural knowledge. 

Once you fall down on a bike six times and eventually you get it going and you’re able to ride it around the block without falling, that’s procedural knowledge. Now you know how to ride a bike. If you read a book about how to ride a bike, well, you do this and you do that. That’s propositional knowledge. That can’t really make you ride the bike. You’ve got to experience the emotional terrain of the writer as they are going through the process of figuring it out. 

The other thing about the reason why we put the big idea on the front cover and why we give it away in the first four pages of the book is – You know what it’s called? Mimetic repetition. If you could boil down something into three words and you can repeat it to other people and you can explain it very quickly, guess what happens? That sticks in our mind. That makes us go, “Hey! That’s interesting. I want to read more about that.” 

The mimetic repetition of a particular title or a big idea is actually the marketing fire that can make something work. For example, Steve and I, when we publish the War or Art, from the very start – Well, first of all, when we originally published it back in 2002, I didn’t have any money to market. I didn’t have any money to hire Tim Grahl to it on the bestseller list. I said to Steve like, “Look, we’re both taking a flyer here on this. We think we have a really good title. We love the book. We think people are going to attach to it. Let’s just do our best to reach 10,000 people with this book and hope for the best,” and we shook hands on that. Neither one of us thought that it was really going to become anything bigger than our nice little book.

We purposefully didn’t market it because we thought our title was pretty good and we thought the content would work and we got lucky, because it is mimetically repeatable. The War or Art – Oh! You mean the Art of War? No. The War of Art. That helps people sort of position it and it kind of twists the idea that art is a pleasant, easy experience, because anyone who’s created art knows it’s not. They know it’s really difficult, that it’s very painful, that there’s a lot of resistance that you have to overcome in order to create anything. That’s what makes that book work, and we purposefully don’t market the War of Art. We just let it sort of trickle out there. We don’t do advertising. We don’t sponsor podcasts. We don’t do anything like that. 

So far so good, that’s the way it works. I actually think if we did do the marketing, it would blow up in our face just like the shoe company that made shoes for skateboarders tried to make shoes for CEOs. It doesn’t work. 


[00:42:42] TG: Thanks for listening to this episode of the Story Grid podcasts. As I mentioned last week, we are doing a brand-new seminar this coming February and it’s all about nonfiction big idea. If you’re interested in writing nonfiction work, I highly recommend you join us for this. It’s a three-day event, except that Shawn has never taught before, and there’re only 35 spots available. So you can see a lot of the information at storygrid.com/nonfiction if you’re interested, but we only have the 35 spots available. We’ve already sold several of them. If this is something that you’re interested in, I highly recommend you go take a look. The information is at storygrid.com/nonfiction. 

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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.

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.