Analyze Story Like an Editor

Learn to supercharge your own work by analyzing successful and masterful stories from others


Tiffany Yates Martin


Live on July 13, 2022, or watch recording


Beginning to intermediate fiction writers


Closed captions by Otter; transcript provided with recording

Writers read—it’s advice authors are given only slightly less often than “writers write.” But reading for enjoyment isn’t the same as reading (or watching) analytically as a writer to understand and learn craft.

Just as athletes learn from analyzing video of other games, or musicians learn by studying past performances, or artists learn by studying the masters, writers develop their craft by studying other storytellers and analyzing how they elicit reaction and engage their audience.

That mental and emotional distance you might struggle to achieve with your own work is far easier to achieve with someone else’s because you aren’t filling in the blanks as you go (because you know your own story so well).

With someone else’s story you’re seeing—and evaluating—only what’s there, a crucial skill to develop in your writing and editing of your own work, spotting things you may have been blind to.

Analyzing other stories teaches you how to gain perspective on yours to figure out where it may need strengthening or further developing, and how to make sure those intentions are coming across to the reader.

This presentation offers specific techniques for developing and deepening your knowledge of story craft that you can practice every day, by doing things you’re already doing—reading books and watching movies and television—but shifting your focus from simple enjoyment to objective analysis. These skills will deepen your mastery of story craft and make you a stronger, more skilled editor and writer—without ever touching the keyboard (or even getting off the couch).

This workshop will cover:

  • How to take in stories in a whole new way with an objective eye, using examples from books, movies, TV shows, and more, to clearly identify a story’s strengths and weaknesses so you can translate that skill to creating and honing your own manuscripts.
  • How to monitor your own reactions to stories to trace back the techniques storytellers use to create them.
  • How to dissect those concrete techniques to understand how they are effectively used to elicit reader reactions like building emotional investment, developing and sustaining stakes, creating rock-solid plots that keep readers guessing, etc.
  • How to practice attaining the objectivity you need to see what’s actually on the page, versus the version in your head.
  • How to assess the strength of key storytelling elements in your own work, and learn how to apply these skills to your writing to create a tight, effective, compelling story.

Who should take this class

Whether you write fiction, memoir, or narrative nonfiction, the basis of each genre is story. If you are a storyteller, this course is for you.

This class isn’t suited for

  • People who already analyze every book, TV show, movie, and story they consume to see what makes it tick (and wish they could stop)
  • Anyone who has taken Tiffany’s class titled How to Train Your Editor Brain. If you’ve taken that class, do not register for this one. There is not enough new/different information here to justify taking them both.

What’s included in all of Jane’s classes

How do I attend the live class?

This class uses Zoom webinar technology (see system requirements). You will join through your Internet-connected computer or mobile device.

When you register, you will receive an email from Zoom on how to join the class. If you don’t receive it within 1 hour of registering, please contact us.

  • When: Wednesday, July 13, 2022
  • Time: 1:00–2:30 p.m. Eastern / 10:00 a.m. Pacific
  • Fee: $25

The webinar is broadcasted via the internet with live audio delivered through your computer or mobile device speakers. The visual presentation is displayed directly from the presenter’s computer to your computer screen. The Q&A is managed through a chat-style submission system with questions read and answered by the presenter for the entire class to hear.

Closed captions are provided during the live class. We use Zoom’s automated closed caption service (powered by Otter), which is about 80%+ accurate. We also use Otter AI to generate an unedited transcript, provided with the recording.

About the instructor

Tiffany Yates Martin has spent nearly thirty years as an editor in the publishing industry, working with major publishers and New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling, award-winning authors as well as indie and newer writers, and is the author of the Amazon bestseller Intuitive Editing: A Creative and Practical Guide to Revising Your Writing. She’s led workshops and seminars for conferences and writers’ groups across the country and is a frequent contributor to writers’ sites and publications. Under the pen name Phoebe Fox, she’s the author of six novels, including her most recent release, The Way We Weren’t (Berkley/PRH).

Tiffany’s presentations are very well planned, organized and beautifully delivered. Her slides touch on just the right number of key points, which she explains in depth. The excerpts illustrating her points are extremely helpful. I’ve learned so much in each presentation.

Nancy A.

This was so valuable. There is so much in this presentation. I can’t wait to watch it again and again—and again!! Thank you so much for offering this.

Barbara G.

I am always amazed at what great value you offer. I am a senior wanting to write and have no other way to get this high-quality information. Thank you!

Caridad W.

All students receive the following

  • Access to the live class. After roughly 75 minutes, Tiffany will take questions during class using in-class chat/text. The class will end after roughly 90 minutes.
  • A recording of the class—audio and video. This is especially helpful if you have a conflict with the class time or something comes up and you can’t make the session. Each registration comes with access to the archived version of the program and the materials for 30 days. You do not have to attend the live event to access the recordings. You will receive an email from Zoom with information on how to access the recording.
  • Presentation slides. All participants receive a copy of the slide presentation in PDF form.
  • Rough transcript. We use Otter to create an automated transcript of the entire webinar, which we’ll share with you in addition to the audio and video recording.
  • List of specific questions to ask yourself in assessing other people’s stories.

Event Attendance & Anti-Harassment Policy

We strive to provide an environment where all present—whether attendee, presenter, or staff—can feel supported. In order to ensure a welcoming event, here is what we expect from all who participate.

  • That the presenter and the presenter’s work be treated with respect by attendees and that all attendees treat each other with respect and a generosity of spirit.
  • That attendees will refrain from harassment of any sort including (but not limited to) comments or questions of a racist, homophobic, sexist/sexual, or threatening nature. This includes actions that disrupt or interfere with anyone’s ability to participate. Offenders will be disconnected from the live event.