May 2022 Meeting: The Story Grid

Join the Riverside Writers Club on 15 May to learn about how to structure your story using the Story Grid system.

We meet at 1 pm eastern via WebEx. Our meetings are open to the public, so please feel free to join us:

From the Story Grid webpage:

The Story Grid is a tool developed by editor Shawn Coyne to analyze stories and provide helpful editorial comments. It’s like a CT Scan that takes a photo of the global story and tells the editor or writer what is working, what is not, and what must be done to make what works better and fix what’s not.

The core of the Story Grid methodology is the Foolscap where an author can answer some global questions about their work and get a good idea, just by looking at a single foolscap page, if their story works, and if not, then where might the problems lie.

The Foolscap includes:

  • Genre
  • POV
  • Theme or Controlling Idea
  • Objects of Desire
  • Obligatory Moments and Conventions
  • The 5 commandments of the Acts

The talk will focus primarily on the foolscap.

About the Speaker

SGM Randall Surles (Ret.) (Randy) was born in Houston, Texas and served for nearly 32 years in the U. S. Army as an Army Airborne Ranger and a Green Beret serving throughout South America, the Middle East, and Africa.

After retiring from the U. S. military, Randy trained under editor Shawn Coyne to become one of a handful of Story Grid Certified Editors.  He currently works as a Podcaster, Developmental Editor, Ghost Writer, and Author. He specializes in editing military fiction and non-fiction books, but also enjoys editing/ writing Fantasy, Science Fiction, and Thrillers.

For more information about his editing and ghost writing, please see his webpage at You can also find articles he has written about how to writing more compelling stories and Veteran benefits on his medium page:

He hosts a podcast on editing, the Story Grid Showrunners podcast, and a podcast about human trafficking in the U.S., Selling Girls in America, in partnership with Guardian Group.

April 16, 2022

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1 Comment

  1. Jill Deming

    Do you have a critique group?


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