6 Core Questions – Mac&Win

This post explains how to combine the software of Scrivener with elements of the methodology explained in the book The Story Grid by Shawn Coyne.

Warning: these tips and techniques work best with Mac computer loaded with Scrivener 3.0 or higher; most of this can be done on a windows machine, but there are some advanced functions that are not currently available on the windows version

The past episodes of the Scrivener meets Story Grid posts have included methods to build the Story Grid Spreadsheet using the Metadata function. If you have not read those posts, here are links:

The Editor’s 6 Core Questions

Shawn Coyne describes the Editor’s 6 Core Questions as an indispensable tool to determine if a story is working. When I’m writing or editing a book, I like to map these out as I read through a draft of a manuscript, and this is how I do that.

To track the Editor’s 6 Core Questions, I’ll make another folder in the Binder that I call Story Grid after the Manuscript folder.

I make another folder inside the Story Grid folder (in the Binder on the left) called 6 Core Questions, and then a folder for each of the questions with the following additions: one each for Obligatory Scenes and Conventions, and 3 separate folders for the Beginning Hook, Middle Build, and Ending Payoff. This makes 9 folders in total, allowing me to see all folders on the cork board as seen above. If you have read the Story Grid book, then you know that Shawn Coyne’s goal is to have all this information on one foolscap page, this accomplishes the same by giving you a visual of all 6 core questions.

Additionally, I’ll make additional folders for other story assistance methods, such as the Hero and Heroine’s journeys. You can see these in the Binder on the screenshot above. Below is a screenshot with those folders open too.

As you can see in the Diner on the left, I have folders for the Hero’s Journey by Vogler and Campbell and individual folders for each element of their process, and since I have selected Vogler’s in the Binder, in the Editor in the center of the screenshot you can see on the cork board each step of his Hero’s Journey.

In the next Scrivener meets Story Grid post (on Aug 17, 2019), I’ll show you how to use document notes to help track the 15 core scenes and Obligatory Scenes and Conventions.

If anything in this post was not clear, or you need more detailed explanation, please write a comment below.

The Story Grid

For more information about the Story Grid, go to the Story Grid Webpage to find free videos and articles on how to implement the methodology.

Read these articles for more information about the 5 Commandments of Storytelling and the Editor’s 6 Core Questions from the book The Story Grid by Shawn Coyne.

For an example of how these techniques are used, read Jane Austin’s The Pride and the Prejudice with annotations by Shawn Coyne.

Story Grid Editing

If you are interested in having your manuscript reviewed by me, see my Editing Services.

2 Comments on “6 Core Questions – Mac&Win

  1. Randy, These posts have been life-changing. I learned a lot about Scrivener and I am now set up to write faster. Thank you.

    Did I miss the next one in this series? You wrote, “In the next Scrivener meets Story Grid post (on Aug 17, 2019), I’ll show you how to use document notes to help track the 15 core scenes and Obligatory Scenes and Conventions.” I would love to have access to this information also!

    Again, thanks for all your hard work on this and your willingness to share it.


    • Hey, thanks for the comment. No, you haven’t missed anything, life got in the way. But because of popular demand, I plan on writing another Scrivener + Story Grid post this weekend, so loo for it!!!
      Thanks again for your comment!

      Liked by 1 person

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