Hi, I’m Randy Surles.
I’m one of only a small handful of Story Grid Certified Editors in the world. I trained as an editor under Shawn Coyne, who originated the Story Grid method based on his 25 years’ experience in New York publishing. I’ve been using Shawn’s techniques to write my own books for the past four years.
I spent over 20 years in the U.S. Army as a Ranger and Green Beret, working in the Middle East, South America, and Africa. While in the Army, I earned a Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from the University of Texas at El Paso.
While I am open to editing all genres, because of my background I find I am a huge benefit to novels with a military flavor. I am a big fan of Action, Thriller, Science Fiction, and Fantasy novels. I love a good story, but I want my clients to become writers of great stories. To do that, I give them recommendations on how to move their projects forward, identify those parts that are ‘just not working’, and make them better writers overall.
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.
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!