Write Scenes with the Storygrid

At the beginning of every scene I put the following header:

Location:           Time:
Global Plot Point:
Sequence Plot Point:
Hero’s Journey Milestone:
Sub Plot Point A:
Sub Plot Point B:

Inciting Incident:
Value at stake:
Value Turning Point:
Additional complication:

When I have a decent image of a scene in my mind I put it in writing as best as I can, ignoring the header. When I’m done, I return to the header and check where the scene needs formatting.

A couple of comments:

  • Scene/background: an orientation for me, the writer
  • Goal: this is the goal that arises from the Inciting Incident. It’s good to keep the character’s intention/need clear in mind
  • Additional complications: I found that a Turning Point does not necessarily cause a Crisis right away. It’s nice to vary the distance between the Turning Point and Crisis.

I sit and meditate on my header while keeping the scene in mind (visually and emotionally). I do this for thirty minutes to an hour going from point to point in no particular order. I allow my subconsciousness to stream in suggestions. Usually, I get two to three suggestions per point. Mind that Shawn recommends settling on the tenth suggestion, so this entire process needs to be repeated two to three times.

I sometimes need a whiteboard.

This way of working limits me to one scene a day. If I try to meditate on a second scene, my subconsciousness will mess up the two. The additional advantage of doing one scene a day is that my subconsciousness can work through the night, and when I wake up the next morning it presents half a dozen new suggestions.

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