Gentleman Jack Ep3

My analysis of television series’ episodes use Story Grid’s 5 Commandments of a Scene. I hope that this analysis will help writers make better scenes for themselves. Additionally, I will cover the 6 Questions Every Editor Asks, also from the Shawn Coyne’s book The Story Grid.

The 5 Commandments of Gentleman Jack: Episode

These are the 5 Commandments of Storytelling as outlined by Shawn Coyne in his book The Story Grid: What good Editors Know.  These commandments can be found in all stories that really work.

Inciting Incident:

Anne Lister’s visits Ann Walker at the Lake while Walker is with her cousin.

Progressive Complications:

Walker’s relative catches them in the act of making out


Will Walker be ashamed or embrace her feelings for Lister


Walker embraces her feelings for Lister


They continue to make out

A note on Value shifts.  Scenes need to turn in order for a story to work, if it doesn’t turn in value then nothing is really happening.  See the following two articles on value shift in scenes and stories at

Love Story Value Shift:

+/++ attracted to physical
The two women make out and have sex

Society Value Shift:

+/++ more and more successful

More successful dealings with coal.

Obligatory scenes and Conventions are expectations the reader or watcher have when they watch specific genres.

Obligatory Scenes and Conventions for a Love Story

  • First Intimate Connection – The woman make out and have sex off screen; first kiss; walker asks lister to spend the night
  • Confessions of Love – Walker tells Listers that she loves her at the end of the episode
  • Harmer – Walker’s relatives; an unknown person who sends an anonymous message
  • Secrets – Lister tells Walker that she doesn’t have much experience with women and kissing (lies)
  • Lister’s Aunt appears to be a Helper and maybe a Mentor, unclear right now

Obligatory Scenes and Conventions for a Status Story

  • As the coal situation develops, Lister learns the Antagonists’ Object of Desire – the Rawson brothers want to steal her coal interests; this would mean that Lister goal is to stop them, and she makes numerous moves in this episode to do just that
  • Lister’s Aunt appears to be a Mentor, unclear right now

More Story Analysis

If you want to see more applications of the Story Grid methodology, below are links to my analysis of various novels and television shows in blog posts and podcasts:

Story Grid Showrunners Podcast – Parul, Melanie, and I analyze hit TV series using the Story Grid methodology.

My blog posts analyzing other Television series – my person take using the Story grid 5 Commandments to look at my favorite TV series – Jack Ryan, Batgirl, For All Mankind, Hanna, and more.

Novel analysis – I analyze some of my favorite books using the Story Grid 5 Commandments and 6 core questions – First Blood, Old Man’s War, Waylander, and more to come!

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