I’m old enough to know when to quit. I’ve been studying the Shawn Coyne’s Story Grid system for a few weeks now and I’ve learned a lot, but now I’m cross-eyed, tongue tied and generally pooped. I’m overloaded with analytical detail, which I understand has its use, but honestly the gargantuan amount of it is scary.
The general idea is that with my writer’s hat on I should create my story by plotting or pantsing or any combination of the two, and then I should put on my editor’s hat and analyse the story carefully.
The process reminds me of what Irving Layton wrote, and I paraphrase, critics are people who study the stains on the sheets left by lovers after a night of passion. That’s how I feel numbering, labeling, evaluating, sorting and balancing every beat, scene and act in my story.
Yes, I understand it’s good for me, like nasty tasting fibre is in the morning. But no, I don’t enjoy it.
I write because I love the rush of creating stories, of getting inside my character’s heads and getting to know what makes them tick.
I understand the process and the need for it, but I won’t be using the whole grid sheet model. It’s way over the top for me. I’ll stick with Blake Snyder plotting rules (from Save the Cat) and keep in mind additional details from Coyne’s work, particularly those that address genre rules.
Have I stopped reviewing?
No. I will be posting some more of my notes on the Story Grid process, just not this week. I’m working on the second draft of my next book and it needs my full attention.