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Grant Ferguson

Our vision is to give writers equal access to the best of what top authors already figured out.

A unique writing system to master story structure and write a book readers will love.

Grant Ferguson

A Unique Writing System

Here’s how it works…

The Trellis Method Phases

Use the first phase to:

  • Choose your genre.
  • Turn an idea into a premise.
  • Develop interesting characters.
  • Design your intriguing plots.
  • Form external, internal, and philosophical themes.

Story Genres Development Workbook

Story Genres Development Workbook

Your chosen genres give you an understanding of what your target readers expect.

Story Premise Development Workbook

Story Premise Development Workbook

In a sentence or two, the premise gives a story’s big picture and writer’s development strategy.

Story Characters Development Workbook

Story Characters Development Workbook

The preparation step includes selecting the best characters to tell the story and creating backstories that shape their thoughts, choices, words, and actions.

Save Time! Get the Character Template

Story Plots Development Workbook

Story Plots Development Workbook

The story plots highlight key events (i.e., turning points) within your chosen genre that cause conflicts and steer the story toward the climax.

Story Themes Development Workbook

Story Themes Development Workbook

The external, internal, and philosophical themes convey what your story is about.

Phase II. Outline Your Book

The second phase helps you:

  • Understand your story from start to finish
  • Develop the story and evaluate its appeal
  • Determine whether you should write scenes

Story Spine, Body, & Beats Development Workbook

Story Spine, Body, & Beats Workbook

Use three writing tools to envision your entire story and then make an informed decision whether to write the scenes or search for a premise with more appeal to you and your audience.

1. Build Your Story’s Spine

Based on your premise, the Story Spine lays a firm foundation, naming the hero, defining the problem, giving the narrative’s beginning, middle, and ending, and hinting at external, internal, and philosophical goals and themes.

2. Develop Your Story’s Body

Use the Story Spine as the base to strengthen the Story Body, the short version of the entire narrative and structure for organizing the contents of the Story Beats.

3. Outline Your Story’s Beats

Master a proven structure divided into eighteen Story Beats, guiding you to outline the scenes and sequences.

Story Scenes Development Workbook

Story Scenes Development Workbook

Draft your story scenes, grouping the action and people into a logical order, advancing the story, and completing the first draft.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Why can’t I just write a book instead of following a plan?

I felt the same way, and didn’t let my lack of knowledge stop me from self-publishing four books.

When all I heard were crickets instead of ringing cash registers, I realized there had to be a better way. I read books, visited websites, took courses, and attended webinars, devoting the time and money to learning our craft.

Today, I break down my notes into practical tips and to share those principles with you.

Q: Why use a phased approach to write a book?

For many years, I led teams merging mega-sized corporations, so I learned to value a project plan.

When you write a book of 50,000 to 100,000 words, you’ve got hundreds of moving parts and dozens of issues to resolve. A project plan divided into phases helps you avoid the frustration of writing a novel no one wants to read.

When you’re busy, and have to hit the pause button on writing, a project plan allows you to pick right back up where you left off.

Q: Where did you discover these writing methods?

In the corporate world, learning from books enabled me to move up in the ranks from a humble beginning to a senior position.

I’ve used that same process to discover techniques, record notes, and apply the best of what top writers already figured out.

Q: How much do you charge?

Nada for the blog posts because I dislike subscriptions.

Unless you purchase one of my books, templates, or take a paid writing course, the information is free. To support the cost of maintaining this site, I have affiliate links for writing tools and how-to books, and when you buy, you’ll not pay one penny more even though I might earn a small commission.

By the way, I only recommend apps, books, and courses I’ve purchased and tested.

Q: What do you provide subscribers?

Besides writing tips, explore the links above and check out the free Character Template.

“The true meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit.”
Nelson Henderson

Write a book readers will love!