Pride and Prejudice - The STORY GRID edition - Annotated by SHAWN COYNE




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What It Takes

What It Takes

Nonfiction Objects of Desire

By Shawn Coyne | Published: September 1, 2017

We all know that fiction requires objects of desire for the protagonist and the antagonist. 

What about nonfiction? 

Are there objects of desire at play in a Big Idea nonfiction work? 

If so…what are they? 

And how can we clearly think about these wants and needs before we structure our work? 

Below is the next post in my continuing series about Big Idea nonfiction using Malcolm Gladwell’s masterwork The Tipping Point as my case study. Just to remind everyone, this is an edited version of something I wrote over at a while back.

We’re moving down our Foolscap Global Story Grid for The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell and we’ve reached Objects of Desire.

Which reminds me of that great line from Bob Dylan in “Stuck inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again:”

Your Debutante knows what you need, but I know what you want.

Gladwell also knows what we need, but he’s wise to give us want we want first. Guess which object of desire hooks our interest and which one lies underneath?


Posted in What It Takes

What It Takes

What It Takes

The Definition of Crazy

By Callie Oettinger | Published: August 25, 2017

It’s back to school time, which means I’m back to yelling at my wall because I don’t like yelling at people.

Every August, as freshman start moving into dormitories, the last minute phone calls and e-mails from campus bookstores start flying into Black Irish Books. (more…)

Posted in What It Takes

What It Takes

What It Takes

Nonfiction Points of View

By Shawn Coyne | Published: August 18, 2017

In my last post, I reviewed controlling idea/theme as it applies to the Big Idea book.  Now let’s take a look at how to best present the Big Idea to the reader. The following is an edited adaptation of a previous post I wrote over at

Just as in fiction, the choices the nonfiction writer makes about Point of View in Big Idea Nonfiction are make or break decisions. (more…)

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