Shawn Coyne

Art + Commerce = Better Art

By Shawn Coyne | 4 Comments

Here’s another post from www.storygrid.com about the relationship between an agent and her client.  And another reminder…Malcolm Gladwell has a course available from Masterclass.  I’m hearing great stuff about it! We’re deconstructing the invisible work behind media headlines like UNKNOWN WRITER GETS A MILLION DOLLARS.

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What Good Agents Know

By Shawn Coyne | 3 Comments

Let’s get back to my series about Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point from www.storygrid.com.  Once the magazine piece debuted in The New Yorker, it was smooth sailing from there on in, right?  Not exactly.  So a longform piece like Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point in the June 3, 1996 edition of The New Yorker is a slam dunk easy sell as a book project, right? It went from four thousand words in a magazine to seven figures worth of guaranteed book advance just based on its level of professionalism and readability.

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Getting in the Ring

By Shawn Coyne | 37 Comments

[We’re bringing this post back from December 23, 2011. With the launch of Steve’s new site and the launch of The War of Art Mini-Course it seemed time to revisit The War of Art’s backstory, as well as how Steve and Shawn starting working together, and the projects that followed.] At the end of the year 2000, I had it all figured out. I left my job as senior editor at Doubleday to start up a new kind of publishing house called Rugged Land Books. Rugged Land would publish a very small list of titles, twelve original books a year (one…

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Four Thousand Words for Seven Figures

By Shawn Coyne | 5 Comments

As I continue my series from www.storygrid.com in which I storygrid The Tipping Point, I’m pleased to report that the man himself, Malcolm Gladwell, is teaching a course at Master Class.  I’ll definitely be checking it out to see how his process compares to The Story Grid methodology.  My choice from the start of this series was to demonstrate how one can learn from a master without having access to the master.  So here’s more of my take as an obsessive fan piecing together this masterwork from afar. The title of this post is the kind of industry news headline…

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Storygridding 4,000 words of Big Idea Nonfiction

By Shawn Coyne | 4 Comments

For fun, over at www.storygrid.com a while back, I storygridded Malcolm Gladwell’s seminal article from the June 3, 1996 edition of The New Yorker.  I tracked the narrative altitude in the work that I described in my post from February 2, 2018. The vertical axis moves from the “street” level perspective at the lowest elevation through the “city” vantage point up to the “national” level and then all the way to the highest “universal” level. Four specific lenses that he uses to progressively build dramatic tension.

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Narrative Altitude

By Shawn Coyne | 8 Comments

From www.storygrid.com, here is the next piece in my exploration of Malcolm Gladwell’s seminal work, The Tipping Point. For over a decade, Malcolm Gladwell understood the opportunity and potential of the tipping point idea. And by the time he arrived at The New Yorker in 1996, chances are he’d explored many of its intellectual trails—GRODZINS ’57; SCHELLING ’69, ’71, ’78; GRANOVETTER ’78, ’83; MORLEY ’84; CRANE ’89. If only in his own head, while waiting in line for take-out coffee at The Red Flame Diner on 44th Street, he’d cleared substantial tipping point terrain of his own. But his goal…

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Recognizing Opportunity

By Shawn Coyne | 3 Comments

Continuing my musings on the evolution of The Tipping Point, here’s the next installment from www.storygrid.com… It’s time for Malcolm Gladwell to deliver a fourth piece for The New Yorker. He decides the moment has come to open up that tipping point sardine can that he’s had marinating in the back of his mind’s idea pantry for ten years. The question now becomes how does he make it interesting to a wide audience?

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Finding a Voice

By Shawn Coyne | 5 Comments

Here’s another piece from The Story Grid archives about how writers find their voices…using Malcolm Gladwell and the gestation of his wonderful book, The Tipping Point, again as my point of focus. So it’s 1996, about ten and a half years after the party in Washington D.C.’s Mount Pleasant neighborhood in the rented apartment where the young pishers Malcolm Gladwell and Jacob Weisberg formed a lifelong bond. To see just how young these guys were, check out this interview with Weisberg when he was an intern at The New Republic way back in 1986.

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Making Connections

By Shawn Coyne | 6 Comments

So it’s the mid-1980s and as young men do, Malcolm Gladwell and his friend Jacob Weisberg throw a lot of parties at their Washington D.C. rental on Adams Mill Road and Kenyon Street. At one such low rent Bacchanalia, Gladwell shoots the breeze with Jefferson Morley, an assistant editor and one of the supervisors along with Michael Kinsley and Dorothy Wickenden of the bright young politico Weisberg at The New Republic. Gladwell brings up a story Morley wrote for the July 9 1984 edition called “Double Reverse Discrimination.” In The Washingtonian “Gladwell’s Brain” profile by Chris Wilson on January 8,…

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Combatting the "DQ"

By Shawn Coyne | 4 Comments

How do you tune out dismissive quips about your work? Here’s an edited post from www.storygrid.com that explains and all too familiar event for anyone who has accomplished anything… Ten years ago, I had knee replacement surgery. As one is required to do after being made bionic, I imprisoned myself post-op at home. Rehab centers are strictly for the better insured. For the first two weeks, I remained doped up on Oxycodone in between grueling physical therapy sessions. A charming older woman, an emigre from the Philipines, came to my apartment every afternoon at 2:30. And tortured me…but in the…

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