As a love story, this series works very well within the parameters of Shawn Coyne’s Story Grid Processes. Here, we’ll discuss the 5 commandments of the last episode and then answer the question “Does the story work?”
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.
Lister does not receive any mail from Walker and is obviously disappointed.
Walker finds out that the man who sexually assaulted her, who she is contemplating marrying, is poor and unhonorable.
Walker must decide whether to marry the man, which she believes everyone wants her to do, or return to be with Lister.
Walker leaves her family and insists on seeing the doctor Lister recommended in order to get better from her mental problems and eventually pursues Lister.
The two women are married in secret.
Lovers start separated and end the episode/ series wedded
Proof of love: Lister writes Walker a very emotional letter with feeling and advice. Walker leaves her family against their wishes (at least her male relatives) and insists on being treated by the doctor that Lister suggested originally so she can get better and be with Lister.
And, the two lovers are ultimately reunited in the end.
The Beginning Hook, Middle Build, and Ending Payoff
Beginning Hook – After suffering a heartbreak when her lover weds a man, Lister returns to her home to find her inheritance, Shipton Hall, struggling financially and seeks to seduce Walker initially for her money to help her in her business dealings, but ultimately finds herself falling in love for Walker.
Middle Build – After an initial steamy love affair between the two women, Walker begins to see and hear things because she is concerned that their relationship will cause them harm and Walker is finally forced to move away to Scotland with her family in order to rest and heal from he mental trauma.
Ending Payoff – After Walker attempts to commit suicide, she must decide whether to accept a proposal from a man who sexually assaulted her, but she decides to leave when she realizes that normally married people (men and women) aren’t always happy, so she returns to her home and confesses her love to Lister and they get secretly married.
The End? Does the story work?
In the end, this first season is very satisfying, it meets all the required obligatory scenes and conventions in unique ways (especially since it is one of the only popular shows that presents a true life lesbian affair) and reaches it’s inevitable and surprising conclusion in style and, if I do say so myself, with some excellent acting. The series was renewed for a second season.
Starting next week, I’ll start a new series, the Action Series on Amazon Prime – Jack Ryan. We’ll start with an introduction and then move to the individual series.
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!
If you want to learn more about writing a story using the Story Grid methodology, go to the Story Grid Webpage to find free videos and articles on how to implement the methodology.
These articles contain information about the 5 Commandments of Storytelling and the Editor’s 6 Core Questions from the book The Story Grid by Shawn Coyne. They also give details on obligatory scenes and conventions for specific genres, such as the thriller, love story, war story, crime story, and more.
For an example of how these techniques are used, read Jane Austin’s The Pride and the Prejudice with annotations by Shawn Coyne.