• The Story Grid

  • What Good Editors Know
  • By: Shawn Coyne
  • Narrated by: Dan Portnoy
  • Length: 8 hrs and 9 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (76 ratings)

1 title per month from Audible’s entire catalog of best sellers, and new releases.
Access a growing selection of included Audible Originals, audiobooks and podcasts.
You will get an email reminder before your trial ends.
Your Premium Plus plan is $14.95 a month after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
The Story Grid  By  cover art

The Story Grid

By: Shawn Coyne
Narrated by: Dan Portnoy
Try for $0.00

$14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

Buy for $19.95

Buy for $19.95

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

What is the Story Grid?

The Story Grid is a tool developed by editor Shawn Coyne to analyze stories and provide helpful editorial comments. It's like a CT Scan that takes a photo of the global story and tells the editor or writer what is working, what is not, and what must be done to make what works better and fix what's not.

The Story Grid breaks down the component parts of stories to identify the problems. And finding the problems in a story is almost as difficult as the writing of the story itself (maybe even more difficult).

The Story Grid is a tool with many applications:

  • It will tell a writer if a story "works" or "doesn't work".
  • It pinpoints story problems but does not emotionally abuse the writer, revealing exactly where a story (not the person creating the story) has failed.
  • It will tell the writer the specific work necessary to fix that story's problems.
  • It is a tool to re-envision and resuscitate a seemingly irredeemable pile of paper stuck in an attic drawer.
  • It is a tool that can inspire an original creation.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2015 Black Irish Entertainment (P)2019 Black Irish Entertainment

More from the same

Author

Narrator

What listeners say about The Story Grid

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    50
  • 4 Stars
    15
  • 3 Stars
    10
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    1
Performance
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    32
  • 4 Stars
    11
  • 3 Stars
    9
  • 2 Stars
    9
  • 1 Stars
    6
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    45
  • 4 Stars
    14
  • 3 Stars
    5
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    1

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

good story, but audiobook needs an editor

I loved the idea of the storymap and how it works out for silence of the lambs. however: where's the editor? ;-) there were lot of errors in the audio cuts. repeated sentences, difference in audio quality, etc..

9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars

Ironically, "where was the editor?"

The material is top notch. The book is a must-read for any novelist. The narration is almost painfully sloppy, distracting the listener (at least this listener) from the material. Much of the time it's rushed, pronunciation often appears to be a hurried guess (especially for Latin and French terms, but also a fair bit of English), phrasing is occasionally bizarre to the point of erasing the meaning of the content, and edits are clumsy, mismatched, and sometimes missing. It feels like a well-intentioned but hasty effort by an amateur narrator and editor. I'm grateful to have this book in audio, but it's a chore to listen to.

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

An audiobook on editing that was poorly edited?

The information in this book is okay. Not great. But okay. There are a few golden nuggets. The real problem is that there are half a dozen or more mistakes in the reading of this book that apparently the editor forgot to take out before publishing. Considering the topic, that seems unforgiveable.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Not sure if I can use this

This was a very interesting idea, but with the same problem as in every other book that talks about knowing your genre. He only gave information for one genre, and figuring out what he suggests for mine is mind bogglingly difficult (at least for me).

The actual story grid also is a lot of work, but it sounds like it might be worth it.

The recording had a lot of problems. There were spots where the narrator said the same thing twice, like an old broken record. Then, there were places where the voice changed, like it was recorded in a different place/time/with different equipment or mixing. It almost sounded like two different voices. Like they'd found a mistake in the original recording and then just edited the correction in, without doing it well. Very distracting.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

I'm Amazed this Passed Audible Review

First, my review does not reflect the actual content by Shawn Coyne. Personally, this book turned me into a Story Grid fan as a novelist and editor. I have found this book ridiculously helpful and have subsequently purchased a number of books from the Story Grid Universe. As such, I don't want my review to reflect negatively on the content of the book itself.

Second, where was the editing. For the most part, Dan Portnoy does a good job narrating the book. HOWEVER, and this is a pretty substantial however sadly, there are some horrible editing moments. You'll be listening to the book, and out of nowhere the audio level changes and you can tell that information was added in after the original recording because the audio level jumps. Audible is known for its audio standards, so I am really surprised that this book passed their quality control team.

Ultimately, would I still recommend this audio book? Yes. I would recommend the book because it's a great way to get a brief overview of the world of the story grid. However, I would highly recommend any listener also purchase the ebook for reference purposes. You're going to want to use the information in Story Grid, so the audio isn't necessarily the best way to really get the full experience.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Interesting, but edited poorly

The recording was obviously post edited/rerecorded in sections, which isn't a huge issue, but there are multiple instances of the recording backing up and repeating itself or skipping. Since this is a work of academia it is less irksome than a narrative.
The content relies on a downloaded PDF it references often, so this is not a passive listen to engage entirely with the content.
The content itself is very helpful for looking into writing as a profession, and not a hobby of creative excellence. I am thankful Coyne emphasizes that this is not a formula for success or a miracle engine. Just a helpful tool if you are versed in narrative language.
Huge spoilers for Silence of the Lambs and other works of fiction in case that bothers you (and have gotten to the aging material for some reason, haha)

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great info!

Loved all of it. Will definitely be going over it again and again as a tool and reference. The audio was obviously recorded over a few times (intermediate change in voice/audio quality, and saying the same thing twice). It was a little distracting at times. But I would still highly recommend this title.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Great & Bad

When it's good it's very good and when it's bad it's very bad. The narration is awful (see other reviews). Spending lots of time on things that add little (e.g. ad nauseam analysis of Silence of the Lambs) helped only marginally if at all. Discussion of structure (which prompted my purchase) is worth the price of the book (one just has to find it within all the rest.) I get that this is part of a larger "program" but I don't have time to look into that. Still, glad I bought it and sent it to a writer friend with advice of what to read and what to skip.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

The book, and the audio, needed an editor

There are repeat sections, repeat sections, as though the narrator did a retake, but the sound editor didn't catch or cut it. There are clearly parts where a line or two was recorded after the fact, the sound quality is obviously different, and it was just inserted in.
Coyne said the book came to 100K words. It could have been trimmed to 45K without any meaningful loss. At least half the book was an explanation of how great the book was.

If I hear one more thing about "and just wait until I break down Silence of the Lambs, later in this book" I'm going to scream. I never though an audiobook needed a clickbait element, which is all this brings to the table in terms of innovation.

His genres are basically Fantasy (this includes Science Fiction), Western, Romance, Hard boiled detective, amature detective, master detective, cat detective, teenage detective, you get the idea. He makes a clear distinction between Miss Marple and Sherlock Holmes, but for Romance, he breaks to stalker, new relationship, and marriage on the rocks. So Pride and Prejudice and 50 Shades are in the same genre, and Persuation fits nowhere. While he cites authors for nearly every type of mystery novel ever written, for romance, he doesn't even mention Jane Austen.

For Fantasy, he includes all the quest narratives as one genre, so Fahrenheit 451 and Big Hero 6 are the same genre.

If you like writing mystery, and you're willing to sit through a lot of fluff and self-referential advertisment, it's great. If you work in any other genre, don't bother. If you like writing mysteries, but consider your time valuable, go to the story grid website and watch the much shorter videos. They cover it all with less padding.

As for me, I'm likely going to return this train wreck for a refund.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Exceptionally brilliant

As the author says, this isn’t a formula, but a tool to make sure your writing is on track and help you find what to fix. It will make a good writer better.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Mr Stuart Fanshaw
  • Mr Stuart Fanshaw
  • 05-23-21

Fascinating concept, well worth a listen

I really enjoyed this book. It's full of ideas I hadn't come across before and a few nice twists on well known ones. As a writer I've read loads of books on editing, but this one really has inspired me to look again at my work and editing methods.

Well worth a listen in my opinion.

Note:
Some other reviews have pointed out problems in the production, and I can't deny there are some, hence the 4 stars for performance. It could do with a really good going over, however I would encourage anyone to persevere and use the PDF for clarification. I personally found it worthwhile.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Mr Socko
  • Mr Socko
  • 06-29-21

good, but needs an audio proof

useful book, if a bit overwhelming and technical at points. The audio has lots of errors and retakes are kept in. ironic for a book about good editing

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for A. P. Hughes
  • A. P. Hughes
  • 11-26-19

confusing and badly needs editing!

The audio quality changes multiple times, over and over again in a single section so it's obvious it was recorded on several different days, then botched together.
It's virtually impossible to follow without reading along with the pdf, so I would recommend simply buying the book instead.
Finally, the narrator voices the punctuation, therefore says 'slash' out loud instead of waiting a beat (which is no doubt what the author intended). I counted the narrator saying 'slash' 32 times in one section. Incredibly annoying!
I gave up after four hours, completely lost track of the endless lists & slashes!
It's a shame because I'm sure there's valuable information here, it's just not accessible in audio format.

1 person found this helpful

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Jacob Henwood
  • Jacob Henwood
  • 10-29-21

This might have changed my life...

... but I'll have to let you know how things turn out at a later date.