The Story Grid 624 is a process to help us level up our scenes so we can write stronger stories. SCENES are the building blocks of stories, and learning to write working scenes is the first and most important skill writers should pursue. When we use the Story Grid 624 consistently, we learn to identify and diagnose problems within our scenes so we can fix them and deliver stories that satisfy readers.
The Story Grid 624 is comprised of six levels and 24 questions.
Five Genre Leaves
The GENRE FIVE-LEAF CLOVER is the tool we use to define the genres of our stories. Each of the five leaves helps us determine a different element of the reader’s experience. The Five Genre Leaves include CONTENT, STRUCTURE, REALITY, STYLE, and TIME. Choosing we can deliver on reader expectations
Proposition of Possibility
The Proposition of Possibility (POP) is part of Story Grid’s NARRATIVE PATH and allows us to identify what our story is really about. It consists of four parts: Context (or setting), Protagonist, Inciting Incident, and Protagonist’s Goal. Knowing our story’s POP will help us test whether our story’s major components work together and which scenes belong in the story.
The NARRATIVE DEVICE is a scenario or mental model that helps us craft a coherent narrative. In this model, an Author shares a story (based on the POP) to SAM (a Single Audience Member) to help illuminate a DOUBLE FACTOR PROBLEM. An effective narrative device helps us to choose the right point of view and choose the relevant events, AVATARS, and context details for our scenes.
Point of View
POINT OF VIEW is a combination of technical choices writers make to present our story to the reader and create the effect of the Narrative Device on the page. Point of view includes the Person, Tense, and Mode. Effective point of view choices support rather than undermine our stories.
Scene Event Synthesis
The SCENE EVENT SYNTHESIS is a comprehensive summary of what happens in a scene, allowing us to identify, analyze, and synthesize Story Grid’s PLANES OF PERCEPTION. The scene event synthesis combines the following elements:
- On the surface literal action or what the AVATARS are literally doing
- Above the surface essential tactics or how the avatars are pursuing what they want
- Beyond the surface VALUE SHIFT or the relevant change in the scene that affects the CORE VALUE
We combine these three components in the scene event synthesis, which becomes the Story Event we add in our STORY GRID SPREADSHEET. The scene event synthesis helps us to plan and revise our scenes and connect them to the global story.
Five Commandments of Storytelling
Every working scene abides by the FIVE COMMANDMENTS OF STORYTELLING, which form the fundamental structure of every UNIT OF STORY. Writers use the Five Commandments to dramatize the scene event synthesis on the page through the planes of perception. The Five Commandments include the INCITING INCIDENT, TURNING POINT PROGRESSIVE COMPLICATION, CRISIS, CLIMAX, and RESOLUTION. They provide a clear and objective test of whether our scenes are working.
Another way to level up our storytelling with the Story Grid 624 is to apply the process to scenes in MASTERWORKS. This deep study shows us how successful writers solve the same problems we face. We can uncover how the writers of our favorite stories create the experience we enjoyed.
- Episodes 252–260 of The Story Grid Podcast
- For an in-depth study, join the Story Grid Guild, where members learn scene writing using the Story Grid 624.
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