How to Grow a Story: the Three Essential Processes

Copy of Video frame from "How to Grow a Story" video course
Copy of Video frame from "How to Grow a Story" video course

How to Grow a Story: the Three Essential Processes

247.00 397.00

An 8-Session Course by Doug Lipman

Have you noticed that most storytelling instruction treats stories as objects to be assembled (“Add one character with a problem, then stir in an obstacle, etc.”)—rather than as living things to be grown?

The problem with the “assembly model” is that it disables essential neurological processes that help us transfer experiences from our brains to the brains of our listeners.

It distances you from your listeners, increasing performance anxiety. It makes you rely too much on memorizing, increasing the fear of forgetting. It makes it harder to "practice,” increasing both procrastination and a growing sense of desperation.

Growing a Story

The story-growing process, on the other hand, engages complex, unconscious processes that have made storytelling the essential tool for the communication of human experience. In the “wild,” the story-growing process has two simple, usually unconscious processes.

But we can build on those processes to augment and accellerate them! That’s what I do in this video course: I don’t teach you recipes. Instead, I teach you how to consciously create the conditions in which your stories can grow naturally, with all their vitality and power. 

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What You Get

  1. Eight 90-minute, live online sessions, starting in October, 2019 and ending in January, 2020.

  2. Four of the 90-minute sessions are “Lessons,” in which I present fundamental story-growing processes along with key ways to implement them easily and effectively. You’ll have a chance to ask questions from time to time as each Lesson goes along.

  3. Each lesson also includes concrete ways to apply what you learned (story techniques to try out, or useful exercises to experiment with). I believe information alone is incomplete, unless you also get a supportive place to try it all out—and to get supportive feedback from me and your fellow students!

  4. Four more of the sessions are “Coaching/Question-and-Answer sessions.” These 90-minute sessions help you with any questions you may have about the content or the exercises. I will coach two or three people on their stories as part of each of these sessions, as we as giving in-depth answers to questions—and whatever additional help you might need.

  5. The schedule is relaxed, with every third week off, for you to catch up:

    • During the first week of the course, you’ll attend a lesson. These participatory sessions expose you to great information about the Story-Growing processes. They will also include assignments for you to try out.
      (There will be multiple sections each week, so you can find a day and time that works for you and your time zone. You’ll even be able to attend different sections on different weeks, if that’s what your schedule requires. See “When Will This Course Meet,” below.)

    • During the second week, you’ll attend a “Coaching/Question-and-Answer session.”
      (This is another chance to ask questions, to get help with the assignments, to be coached or to watch me coach others.)

    • During the third week, there will be NO event. You can spend this week catching up with the exercises, trying out stories on your own—or just living your ordinary life!

    • This 3-week cycle will continue for a total of 12 weeks (not counting time off for the U.S. Thanksgiving week—November 21 through Dec 1—and for the winter holidays): during the fourth week we’ll have a lesson; during the fifth, a coaching/q&a call; then another week off, etc. We should be done by the end of January.

  6. You’ll also have access to the private course website, where the video and audio recordings of each lesson and coaching call will be posted after they happen. Here’s where you’ll also be able to ask additional questions, post your assignments, comment on other people’s postings, etc. This way, you can put what you learn into practice, right away.

  7. The website will include all the files for the course—including the video (and audio-only) recordings of every live session. You’ll be able to download any or all of the files to watch or listen to, even when you’re away from the internet. You’ll also have access to the slides I use during the sessions, in case you want to study them with the audio recording, or later.

  8. If you choose, you’ll be able to comment on the Assignments of others. After all, one of the best ways of learning is to pass your learning on to someone else!

  9. Best of all, you will have unlimited access to the course website, even after the 12 weeks are over!


This course is guaranteed.


This is information I have learned over 40 years of teaching storytelling to professional performers, executives, self-employed professionals, educators, health-care workers, clergy, scientists, and many others.

I believe that I have learned to articulate this information in the clearest way it has ever been articulated.

If, for any reason, you attend the classes and attempt the assignments but don't get everything I have promised here, I'll refund your tuition in full. No hassles, no guilt! I want you to be satisfied and succeed, whatever it takes.

How Will This Course Be Presented? 

For the eight online meetings, we’ll use, a simple-to-use software that lets you see your other classmates as well as the graphics I’ll use to emphasize concepts and processes.

You can join via computer, tablet, or smartphone. You can even join via computer audio or telephone alone. (Need to join by phone from outside the U.S.? Worried about toll calls? Good news: Zoom has local numbers in over 90 countries!)

The assignments, forums, and files will be available 24/7 on the course website; when fall arrives, I’ll send links for the private course website to all who have registered.

When Will This Course Meet?

The course will start in October, 2019, and end in January, 2020.

We’ll have multiple sections, scheduled so that at least one section will be during waking hours in every time zone in the world. No matter where you live, there will be one or more choices for joining in.

The meetings (calls) will happen on weekdays (Eastern Daylight time [UTC-4] in October; Eastern Standard Time [UTC-5] beginning in November), either during the day or in the evening, depending on our mutual availability.

Once I have accepted the course members and surveyed you on your schedule needs, I’ll send you a survey of your available times, then create a precise schedule of the conference call times that work for everyone who has registered.

After I’ve sent you the schedule, you’ll have a chance to get a quick refund of everything you’ve paid, in case the final schedule doesn’t work for you.

What Does All This Cost?

The course includes the eight 90-minute meetings, the recordings, your posted assignments that I and other course members will respond to, the interactive course website (with lifetime access)—not to mention the cutting-edge approach to learning stories quickly and easily.

This is a bargain, I believe, at $397 $247 (through September 4). That's just $49 $30 per meeting, not even counting the value of the course website and your lifetime access to it!

If you care about how to learn, practice and tell stories of any kind, this course will advance your knowledge and your skills in new ways.

Essential Story-Growing Processes

I’m willing to share these essential story-growing processes with you for just $397 $247.

How to sign up for the course:

Add this product to your cart (using the "Add to Cart" button at the lower right), then follow the prompts for checking out.

In September, we’ll take the final steps to start the course:

  1. In mid-September, I'll send you a survey of what days and times you will be available for the 8 course meetings.

  2. The last week of September, I’ll send you the actual schedule. At that time, if the schedule isn’t good for you, I’ll give you a quick refund of your entire fee!

  3. Once you’ve accepted the schedule, I’ll send you instructions for logging in to the course website and for accessing the course files.

Yours in storytelling,