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What’s Next?

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What I’m going to write about next is something that you’ll either be very excited about…or you’ll find infuriating.  For the infuriated, I’ll completely understand if you hit “unsubscribe.” No hard feelings.

There is nothing more upsetting than someone telling you that he can help you solve your problems (My big Help Me, Help You! come on…) and then discover that he’s decided to help someone else solve hers instead. I hate that!

But here’s the thing that I’ve learned too about the wonderful Story universe.

It doesn’t matter what kind of Story you storygrid. [How pretentious, I’ve turned my methodology into a verb!]

You will learn something new with every single project!

I shit you not.

With every project I’ve ever storygridded, I’ve learned something remarkable. Not just about the Story I’m analyzing either. But you know, like deep stuff, about why I’m attracted to the art in the first place. And why I sometimes wake up in a cold sweat… All that borderline personality stuff in The Silence of the Lambs cut a little too close to home.

Before I tell you what I’m going to analyze next, I think it’s a good idea to explain why I’ve decided to do what I’m going to do.

I thought about doing some kind of contest and asking everyone to vote on the next Story Grid project and then I’d do that one, and I’ll probably do that someday for fun, but I wanted something a bit juicier to bite into next.

The big confession is that I’m going to storygrid something that I personally want to explore.

And the next Story Grid project I’ve decided to tackle terrifies me.

That terror is the key, the deciding factor. It’s that telltale sign of Resistance. And as Steve Pressfield counsels, when you feel like running away from something because it’s scary and threatening, take it as a message from the collective unconscious that it’s exactly the thing you need to barrel headlong into.

That’s why I’m going to do it.

Why does it terrify me?

I’m not sure if everything I hold dear and write about here and in the book will apply to this brilliant Story! Many of the things I’ve thought and learned about Storytelling could prove insufficient. And the tools that I’ve used to guide me may not work.

What in the hell am I going to do then?

Maybe I won’t be able to come up with the pithy analysis and step-by-step deconstruction of the work in a way that makes sense to everyone? Maybe this is the one that will break me? Maybe this is the one that defies everything I’ve spent decades constructing? Maybe this is the one that destroys my beautiful machine? I might have to build a new one!

I’m not going to be able to hide out in my shed for three years either figuring it all out before I drop it online, either! I’m going to publish before I’ve got the whole thing in the can. Ugh!

Hell, I might confuse everyone instead of giving them guidance? And then what kind of Story guru am I? I’ll be revealed as a fraud, a hustler selling healing tonic at the county fair!

And so on.

So with all of the above flat out on the table, here’s the Story/Book I’m going to storygrid next…

The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference by Malcolm Gladwell.

That’s Next.

For new subscribers and OCD Story nerds like myself, all of the Storygridding The Tipping Point posts and The Story Grid posts are now in order on the right hand side column of the home page beneath the subscription shout-outs.


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About the Author

SHAWN COYNE created, developed, and expanded the story analysis and problem-solving methodology The Story Grid throughout his quarter-century-plus book publishing career. A seasoned story editor, book publisher and ghostwriter, Coyne has also co-authored The Ones Who Hit the Hardest: The Steelers, The Cowboys, the '70s and the Fight For America's Soul with Chad Millman and Cognitive Dominance: A Brain Surgeon's Quest to Out-Think Fear with Mark McLaughlin, M.D. With his friend and editorial client Steven Pressfield, Coyne runs Black Irish Entertainment LLC, publisher of the cult classic book The War of Art. With his friend and editorial client Tim Grahl, Coyne oversees the Story Grid Universe, LLC, which includes Story Grid University and Story Grid Publishing.