Book Review: The Story Grid

Shawn Coyne’s The Story Grid (2015) is an invaluable tool for writers. Let me tell you about the author. Coyne has been working as an editor for a number of years. When he was learning the craft, he wanted to be the guy who could spot a bestselling book just by reading the manuscript. He also wanted to learn how to turn a book into a bestseller. After many years of working as an editor for the big publishing houses, he learned how to construct a bestseller.

Before And After

I read this book after a couple of blogspots I read recommended it. I thought I’ll check it out whenever I can. So, after reading other books about craft, I got this book and started reading it. I was blown away. I was hooked from the first chapter. Coyne explains in his book the nuts and bolts of writing fiction. He goes into a detailed explanation on what a writer needs to do in order to fix the story structure of their book. It also gives a clear and concise manual on how to identify problem spots in your story. There’s two schools of thought about how structured a story should be. One school of thought is to write your story and see where inspiration takes you. There’s nothing wrong with writing like this, but there is a chance that the story might need heavy editing once the first manuscript is finished. Even then, the story might not be well-liked by the general public. Coyne aims to correct both mistakes at the beginning by using the second school of thought: writing to market. Writing to market means writing a story that you know is going to sell. It basically consists of finding out what type of story is selling and write something similar so it can sell. Coyne elevated selling to market to a simple system.


Coyne is emphatic about communicating the reality of writing a book. Even if a writer follows the advice in his book it doesn’t mean that the process isn’t going to require a lot of work. If you are serious about writing, you need to read this book.

Final Thoughts

Yes. Please read this book. Yes. Go get it, download it or whatever. I guarantee that you’ll never think about story structure the same way.

Ezra Carias is an author. You can find out about his latest book here.

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