A Tribute to the Story Grid Podcast

I listen to a lot of podcasts. I do a lot of driving, and I do a lot of things that involve my hands, but not my mind. I constantly like to learn and gain information. So listening to podcasts really is perfect for me.

I generally like to listen to the news, especially news regarding the States since I’m abroad, I like to listen to science stuff, interesting little nuggest of discoveries, but really, I like listening to writing podcasts.

I think I’ve been listening to the Story Grid Podcast for about a year now. I’m not really sure when I started listening to it. The premise of it is Tim Grahl who is learning to write a novel based on Shawn Coyne‘s method of the Story Grid. This podcast has followed Tim from the planning stages through maneuvering through his first draft. Each episode is basically a conversation between Tim and Shawn, where Tim asks him questions about his novel and Shawn, an editor with decades of experience under his belt, answers and guides and trains him.

I generally skip episodes, but that’s fine. Mostly because I have a lot of things I want to listen to and so I just look for episodes that look like they might pertain to me in the moment. However, the nice thing is that I can still catch on to what they’re talking about without having to go back. There are a few times that it references other episodes, but rarely do I need to go back to them to know just what they’re talking about.

However, I just want to say what brilliance this podcast is. There are a few reasons that I recommend it:

  • Insight into the publishing/editor side of writing
  • How to shape your drafts and editing
  • Creative Marketing
  • Creating better Readers

I’m about to go into university to study English so that I can be a publisher/editor. This shows me what it means to be just that, and man it gets me revved up! This is actually what hooked me on the podcast.

But for those who are writers or even just avid readers, this is a brilliant podcast to listen to. It walks you through the ins and outs of the hero’s journey, and why you want to make sure you use it. It compares it to pop culture for points of reference. And really does go into depth for all those little rules that you read about that writers have to follow but with little explanation.

What’s more, Shawn is the author of the book The Story Grid, and really, this podcast is all about selling and promoting his book, which is really why I think this is brilliant. It’s a very informative and in-depth marketing scheme. He’s showing how affective his method is, he’s advertising himself as a skilled editor, and he’s selling his book. The brilliance, in my mind, goes on to Tim.

Tim Grahl is not new to the publishing world. In fact, he runs a company which is all about helping writers to sell their first thousand books on http://www.BookLaunch.com. All the while he’s learning how to write a book that’s going to sell, he’s already selling the book that hasn’t even made it to it’s phase two of revision.

The whole podcast is selling both The Story Grid and this soon-to-be young adult novel. The promotion of both has been going on for well over a year. It’s fantastic, really. You know how I know it’s fantastic?

I hate young adult novels.

I know, hate is a strong word. But generally, to me, they’re an easy way to sell books that don’t have much depth, and they’re just not interesting to me. I’m not into coming-of-age stories. I did that myself. I lived it. I don’t need to live it again through angsty teenagers.

But! I actually want to read this book that Tim is writing. I’m now fascinated by it, and I already know that once it’s published (and with the following already behind it, publishers would be stupid to refuse it, if he doesn’t already have a contract for it) I’ll probably have my name down to buy it.

But that’s what’s being demanded of writers in the publishing world now. You have to have a following, you have to be able to show that you have people willing to read your work before you even send off your first manuscript. It’s stupid. Publishing has become a popularity contest, or so I hear.

However, while annoying and superficial and demeaning to the art as it is, it does provide an opportunity. That opportunity is marketing creativity. It is getting your name out there in your own creative way so that you can get followers ahead of time. And I think podcasting is a fantastic way of doing it.

I mentioned earlier that this podcast was good for becoming a better reader. I”m currently reading a book that I’m struggling with. If I hadn’t already said I’d write a review on it, I would have already put it down. However, I was listening to an episode the other day, and I realized that what they were saying about character arc and story development could be applied to how I was reading this. I began looking at the book differently, and noting these elements that I just didn’t see before. While I was struggling to figure out not only how I was going to get through the book, but what I was going to even write about it because I just felt like there was nothing there, I now can see points that I can specifically talk about from a deeper perspective.

Any way, give it a go. There’s three reasons for you.

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