Month: May 2015

Patience and Faith

By Shawn Coyne | 16 Comments

[Join www.storygrid.com to read more of Shawn’s Stuff] The other day, Loren Kleinman at IndieReader sent me a bunch of questions about The Story Grid and about Steve and my publishing philosophy at Black Irish Books.What’s surprising about doing interviews is that the most fundamental and well-worded questions can make you reconsider exactly what you’re doing and why. Loren’s full interview should run shortly, but in the meantime, I thought it would be fun to share just one of her questions with you. Keep in mind that the opinions in here are mine only. I can’t speak for Steve or…

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Hardbacks vs. Paperbacks

By Steven Pressfield | 10 Comments

Paperbacks and hardbacks: this is an area, I confess, that I’ve been absolutely clueless about. You write a book. It gets published. The hardcover comes out. Then a year later comes the paperback. The paperback always has a different cover. If the hardback had a classy cover, the paperback usually has a slightly-less-classy cover. But maybe (you hope) it’s a more commercial cover. Sometimes your book appears in its second life as a “trade paperback,” meaning a quality piece of workmanship, on good paper, weighty, only slightly smaller than the hardback. Other times it shows up as a “mass-market paperback,”…

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Ranger Up Leads the Way

By Callie Oettinger | 10 Comments

[This post ran last November. This week, Ranger Up helped share a special giveaway of The Return, a Black Irish Books title by David Danelo.  We just wanted to thank the Ranger Up team for sharing The Return — and Nick Palmisciano for sharing Ranger Up’s backstory. Working with Ranger Up is always a reminder of what can be accomplished when someone fights for his passion.] Nick Palmisciano was earning a quarter million a year when he learned he was being promoted — a promotion that would add another hundred thousand or so to his income. The promotion announcement landed on a Friday. The…

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Files I Work With, #4

By Steven Pressfield | 10 Comments

Writers are always obsessing about “narrative drive.” We know what it means. It’s the propulsive, page-turning momentum that we all hope to generate in our readers. But how do we create narrative drive? A priest, a rabbi, and an alligator walk into a bar … That’s narrative drive. There’s no way you and I are not gonna stick around to hear the rest of that joke. Why? Because a question has been planted in our minds, an open-ended question that has hooked us and makes us want to know the answer. (By the way, I just invented that set-up; if…

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A Black Irish Satsanga

By Shawn Coyne | 13 Comments

[Join www.storygrid.com to read more of Shawn’s Stuff] A brief post today to follow up on Steve and my Hamlet-esque Seminar contemplations… For those of you who took the time to fill out our survey, we are eternally grateful.  It’s no small thing today to actually think through and constructively ask yourself… What exactly is it that I want? It’s hard enough to concentrate when the kids are fighting in the yard, the sink’s overflowing with dishes and the ledger you promised your boss is due the next morning. And then to literally and concretely state what you want from…

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Files I Work With, #3

By Steven Pressfield | 13 Comments

We’ve been talking over the past couple of weeks about the five files I have on-screen when I’m working on any project—fiction or non-fiction—and how the use of these files dovetails with the principles Shawn puts forward in his new book, The Story Grid. The files are my idiosyncratic way of applying Shawn’s universal principles. To refresh our memory: 1. The actual working file of the story. 2. Conventions of the Genre. 3. Scene by Scene. 4. MissingMissingMissing. 5. Culls So far we’ve talked about Conventions of the Genre and MissingMisssingMissing. Today let’s turn to Scene by Scene. In The…

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Deep Sixing Permission

By Callie Oettinger | 34 Comments

How much time do you spend at the beach? a)    Five Minutes b)   One Hour c)    One Day The question above was on a test my first grader took last week. She came home, saying that she would have picked “one hour” because she doesn’t like the beach, but that her teacher had “gone over this one a bunch because it was a hard one” and the correct answer is “one day.” Let’s just skip over the ridiculousness of this question being on a test framed to gauge a child’s understanding of time (and the fact that the answer was…

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Files I Work With, Part 2

By Steven Pressfield | 13 Comments

We were talking a couple of weeks ago about my own idiosyncratic way of using the principles detailed in Shawn’s new book, THE STORY GRID. Specifically I mentioned five files that keep on my screen from Draft #2 onward. 1. The actual working file. 2. Conventions of the Genre. 3. Scene by Scene. 4. MissingMissingMissing. 5. Culls. The post from two weeks ago was about Conventions of the Genre. Let’s talk today about Missing Missing Missing. I had a boss in advertising in New York when I was a copy cub. His name was Bob Froelich. He was in charge…

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A Day or Two in the Life

By Shawn Coyne | 13 Comments

(The Story Grid deal ends at Midnight tonight!) [Join www.storygrid.com to read more of Shawn’s Stuff] Years ago I was in a slump.  The big “R” of Resistance had gotten the best of me and I just didn’t have the energy to dive into another editing or writing project.  The thing that got me out of it was attending Robert McKee’s STORY SEMINAR. The four-day lecture was outstanding (McKee in action is a theatrical experience in and of itself) and I’ve since gone to a number of other daylong or more events from McKee, Seth Godin and others. The thing…

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