Showrunners E12: The Foolscap for Killing Eve Season 1

This will be the final podcast where we discuss Season 1 of Killing Eve.

In the podcast we discuss the 6 Core Questions from the Story Grid.

Below is the foolscap if you want to print the document.

What’s Next?

We hope you enjoyed our podcast. Please leave us comments on what you would like to see in the future and Rate us in Apple Podcast and other platforms that you use.

Next week, we will do another 6 Core Questions/ Foolscap for the entire Season 2 of Killing Eve. We will compare the two seasons and determine if the story works and which one was better and why. So stay Tuned!!

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 this article for more information about 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. Also, check out my testimonials to see what other authors have said about my editing.

Selling Girls in America

I just teamed up with Guardian Group to make a podcast about Human trafficking. Subscribe now to Selling Girls in America on whichever platform you use to listen to podcasts.

Here are Episode 0 and Episode 1 if you want to listen online.

Episode 0

Episode 1

Story Grid Editing

If you are interested in having your manuscript reviewed by me, see my Editing Services. Also, check out my testimonials to see what other authors have said about my editing.

Showrunners E11: Killing Eve E8 and the Ending Payoff

This week we will discuss the 5 Commandments of Episode 8: God, I’m Tired and the Ending Payoff.

Recap of Episode 7: I Don’t Want to be Free

  • Villanelle gets free during the prison transport
  • Villanelle fails to kill Constantin and he escapes
  • Carolyn orders Eve and Kenny back to London but they go to see Anna
  • Eve and Kenny see Carolyn meeting with Villanelle in the prison

Review of Episode 8: God, I’m tired

  • Kenny and Eve confront Carolyn, Constantin and Carolyn are there together in her room
  • Carolyn tells Eve that Villanelle has escaped
  • Villanelle has kidnapped Irina, Constantin’s daughter
  • Villanelle visits Anna, Anna kills herself, and Villanelle sees that Eve stole her passport and money
  • Villanelle confronts Constantin and Eve, shoots Constantin and runs away
  • Carolyn fires Kenny and Eve
  • Eve decides to follow up on Elena’s lead that there is a Paris apartment paid from the same funds as Frank’s bribe
  • Eve breaks into Villanelle’s apartment and wrecks it
  • Eve admits she thinks about Villanelle and Villanelle does the same
  • Eve stabs Villanelle, and Villanelle escapes
Read More

Waylander – Fantasy Thriller

David Gemmell is one of my all time favorite fantasy authors. Unfortunately, he passed away a few years ago, but I loved every single one of his books which included historical fiction, sword and sorcery fantasy, and post-apocalyptic survivor. He is just a great story teller. I wish I could pick his brain on how he wrote his books and came up with his plots.

Waylander is one of his first novels about an assassin with a change of heart. Here is the amazon blurb:

The Drenai King is dead – murdered by a ruthless assassin. Enemy troops swarm into Drenai lands. Their orders are simple – kill every man, woman and child. But there is hope.

Stalked by men who act like beasts and beasts that walk like men, the warrior Waylander must journey into the shadow-haunted lands of the Nadir to find the legendary Armour of Bronze. With this he can turn the tide. But can he be trusted? For he is Waylander the Slayer. The traitor who killed the King…

If you want to read the book, buy it on amazon here.

I just reread the book, for probably the 20th time in my life, and I’m really interested to see how the 6 Core Questions pan out. So, let’s get to it

The Editor’s 6 Core Questions

This post analyzes Waylander by David Gemmell, part of his Drenai series. I will be using the Editor’s 6 Core Questions from the book The Story Grid by Shawn Coyne. The 6 Core Questions answer the following questions.

  • Genre
  • Obligatory Scenes and Conventions
  • Point of View
  • Object of Desire
  • Controlling Idea/ Theme
  • Beginning Hook, Middle Build, Ending Payoff
Read More

Story Grid vs Save the Cat

As most of you reading this know, I am a Certified Story Grid Editor. I love the Shawn Coyne’s Story Grid method. I use it for editing my client’s novels and for writing my own. I really get a lot out of the structure it gives my writing and the way I can identify the areas that are less exciting.

That being said, I’ve read a few books about writing, especially before my Story Grid days, and one of those books was Save the Cat Writes a Novel: The Last Book on Novel Writing You’ll Ever Need by Jessica Brody (Now referred to as STC for the rest of this post!).

First, let me address the elephant, or at least the large cat, in the room. Many writers claim either or both of these methods are formulaic, and that they write from their muse. That’s fine. However you write, planner or pantser or muser, that’s great that you are writing. But at the end of your first draft, you’ll undoubtably start to edit, and that’s when either or both or another method will help you to identify plot points and strengthen scenes. So I’m not here to debate how to best write your next great novel, I’m just happy you are writing. All I’m here to say is that if you want to try a self-editing method after your first draft, you could do worse than picking up one of these two books and reading what they have to say.

Now that’s out of the way, let’s get on to how these two methods compare.

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Showrunners E10: The Middle Build

This week we will discuss the 5 Commandments of the Middle Build of Amazon Prime’s Killing Eve.

The Core Elements of a Story


As a review, if you follow the Story Grid Method, most stories are made up of the following elements:

  • 3 ActsBeginning Hook, Middle Build, Ending Payoff
  • There are 5 Commandments in each scene, episode, and act that includes the Inciting Incident, the Turning Point, the Crisis Question, the Climax, and the Resolution
  • There are 15 Core Scenes that turn on the Global Value; 5 Core Scenes in each Act, and these Core Scenes are the 5 Commandments of the Act

Stated more simply: the 5 Commandments of the Middle build are the 5 Core Scenes of Act 2 which are the Inciting Incident, the Turning Point, the Crisis, the Climax, and the Resolution that turn on the Global Value.  

The Middle Build of Killing Eve occurs between episodes 3 through 7 and the Genre is Thriller, so the Global Value is Life and Death.  Therefore, all 5 Core Scenes of the Middle Build should turn on Life and Death.  

It is important to note that if the 15 Core Scenes of your story do not turn on your Global Value, then you may not be writing a story in your chosen genre or you might have to tweak some scenes to make the Core Scenes turn on the Global Value.  Something to consider when editing and writing stories.

Read More

Showrunners E09: Killing Eve Ep7

This week we will discuss the 5 Commandments of episode 7 of Amazon Prime’s Killing Eve. “I Don’t Want to Be Free”

Recap – Episode 6: Take me to the Hole

  • Set in Russia
  • Villanelle goes to prison to kill Nadia
  • Eve and Carolyn travel to Moscow to interrogate Nadia
  • They meet Constantin and Vladimir – two Russian intelligence agents and former boyfriends of Carolyn
  • One interview with Nadia granted – but Constantin interrupts before Nadia tells Eve and Carolyn about Constantin. Nadia gives them information about Anna.
  • Villanelle kills Nadia and is thrown in the hole. No one comes to get her out.
  • Eve uses Carolyn’s information to trade with Vladimir for his help to get Nadia out of prison
Read More

Showrunners E08: Killing Eve E6

This week we will discuss the 5 Commandments of episode 6 of Killing Eve. “Take Me to the Hole!

Recap – Episode 5: I have a thing about bathrooms

  • Frank spills bean: Organization of the 12 mentioned, Oxana
  • Villanelle was at Eve’s house, dinner together
  • Villanelle gets the location of the safe house from Eve’s phone and kills Frank
  • One of the assassins, who wanted to kill Frank,  is still unaccounted for
  • Villanelle is told by Constantin she has to go back to Russia
Read More

The Witcher – Intro

I frequently analyze episodes from television series using Story Grid’s 5 Commandments of a Scene. I hope that this analysis will help writers make better scenes for themselves. I saw the trailer for The Witcher and wanted to see if this story worked. The first episode comes out on Dec. 20, 2019.

Series Description

I haven’t played the Witcher games, which I know is where it is most popular. My son was very excited that the series is coming out and I watched the trailer, so I thought I might give it a try. I did read the first book of the series in order to have some comparison.

The series description from Wikipedia:

The Witcher follows the story of Geralt of Rivia, a solitary monster hunter, who struggles to find his place in a world where people often prove more wicked than beasts. But when destiny hurtles him toward a powerful sorceress, and a young princess with a dangerous secret, the three must learn to navigate the increasingly volatile Continent together


The initial trailer and the final trailer are somewhat different.


So, after reading the Wikipedia description and watching both trailers, this is what I expect as a viewer:

  • Lots of fight scenes, at least one per episode, this will be the core
  • a good character arc for the Witcher
  • I’m not sure this is going to follow the book, at least not the first novel
  • The series seems to have strayed a little from the books to where The Witcher is a killer of supernatural creatures, not a defender of princesses

I have some high hopes that they will make this good, we’ll see. Fingers crossed!

Story Grid Editing

If you are interested in having your manuscript reviewed by me, see my Editing Services. Also, check out my testimonials to see what other authors have said about my editing.

For All Mankind Ep9

This post will analyze the the Episode 9, titled “Bent Bird”, of the For All Mankind television series using the 5 Commandments of Storytelling and the Editor’s 6 Core Questions from the book The Story Grid by Shawn Coyne.


Obviously, I will be discussing plot points from the television series For All Mankind. So, check it out before reading further.

Recap of Episode 8 “Rupture”:

  • Ed’s son suffers a massive head injury and dies
  • NASA wrestles with the idea of telling Ed while he is on the moon
  • Ed finds out about his son from the Russians who found out from the press, and Ed refuses to speak with Houston
Read More