Story Grid for Non-fiction

Story Grid isn't only for fiction. Learn how to write an amazing non-fiction work with the tools of Story Grid.

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Nonfiction's Big Genre Silos

So, I’m going to storygrid The Tipping Point. Where do I start? The first thing I want to do is define the broadest, but most specific (I know that sounds contradictory, but hang in there, I’ll explain) genre category I can for Gladwell’s masterwork. Remember that Genres are those things that tell the audience what... Read more »

What to Expect from a Big Idea Book

So, I’m feeling good about my broad Genre classification of The Tipping Point as a Big Idea work of Nonfiction. But what does that mean exactly? Like in practical terms? As I know that Genres manage audience expectations and that the ways Genres do that is by having conventions and obligatory scenes in fiction, can... Read more »

Ethos, Logos and Pathos

Now that I’ve categorized the global genre of Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point—Big Idea Nonfiction—and the conventions and obligatory scenes generally associated with that global genre, I need to think about the foundational building blocks of Big Idea Nonfiction. Why do I need to know the building blocks now? Before I’ll ever be able to... Read more »

The Internal Genre of The Tipping Point

Soon after I committed myself to storygrid Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point, I had heart palpitations. I had a handle on the global external Genre (The Big Idea Nonfiction Book) and a sense of the conventions and obligatory scenes inherent in it, but I didn’t have any idea of what the overarching “Story” of the... Read more »

Nine Must-Haves

Here is our progress so far on our Foolscap Global Story Grid for The Tipping Point. We’ve just begun to fill out the “Obligatory Scenes and Conventions” we’ll need to abide.  Remember that the reason why we list the OS and Cs is to have a list to source and identify exactly where the writer... Read more »

Four Nonfiction Points of View

Moving down the Foolscap Global Story Grid for The Tipping Point we’ve now reached Point of View. Just as in fiction, the choices the nonfiction writer makes about Point of View in Big Idea Nonfiction are make or break decisions. What is the best way for the writer to address the reader for his particular... Read more »

Want and Need in Nonfiction

We’re moving down our Foolscap Global Story Grid for The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell and we’ve reached Objects of Desire. Which reminds me of that great line from Bob Dylan in “Stuck inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again:” Your Debutante knows what you need, but I know what you want. Gladwell also... Read more »

Big Ideas

A few posts back, I wrote about the conventions and obligatory scenes in a Big Idea work of Nonfiction. One is what I call the Blatant Controlling Idea. Now we’re at the place on our Foolscap Global Story Grid where we’ll want to jot down the controlling idea/theme of The Tipping Point. Once we’ve completed... Read more »

The Tipping Point on One Piece of Paper

We left off last week asserting that Malcolm Gladwell relied on the power of three to reason an explanation of how Tipping Points work. Remember the conundrum he faced? He needed to find a simple way for readers to understand how small linear cause and effect changes lead to a dramatic moment that exponentially and... Read more »

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