If you’re interested in joining a critique group and getting instruction in a workshop setting, check out my Writing Workshops page.
Looking for a developmental editor? I’ve got one terrific online offer going right now—The Essential Fix: Your First 5,000 words. Working on your story beginning can save you a tremendous amount of time in writing and editing the rest of it. In fact, getting the foundation set for your book might even ensure that your book gets written at all, and it’s a great value for writers who might not be able to invest in a developmental edit of their entire novel or memoir.
The Essential Fix: Your First 5,000 Words
Roughly 80% of your story troubles are going to be front-loaded in your book. In fact, most of what goes right or wrong in a book can be traced to the first chapter. Issues of point-of-view, characterization, tension, pacing, style, and a host of other problems tend to appear early. If you’re writing a memoir, your beginning will reveal if your scope and structure are well-thought-out and if your reader will continue reading.
The decisions you must make as a writer are challenging: Should you write in the past tense because a writing guru recommended it, or in the present tense because the consensus in your Facebook writers’ group is that it’s more “immediate”? Is your prologue deepening your reader’s investment in your story or might your reader have heard, like you have, that prologues are a no-no? And what about where you’ve chosen to begin your story, and your setting, and your premise, and your writing in general? Is it any good? Will anyone want to read it?
I know you’re excited to write your novel or memoir, something so many people say they want to do yet never do. And you’re ready to do the hard work of not only setting words to paper, but also investing time to study and learn the skills that good writers know.
I’m here to help you get clarity on your project. We’ll examine the exact things you need to address to strengthen that first make-or-break 5,000 words. We’ll look at story issues such as your inciting incident, scene development, dialogue, the internal and external desires of your main character, whether or not your MC faces sufficient opposition, and more.
When we’re done, you’ll have a clear plan for taking on the next 75,000+words, whether you’re writing them fresh or revising existing work.
As a result of our work together, you will:
- Understand what makes a great book beginning
- Be equipped to incorporate the 4 qualities every successful story opening needs
- Feel excited to continue writing your book or start your revision process
- Have clarity about how to evaluate the plot and structure of your entire book
This Package Includes:
- 2-3 pages of notes from me on what I think is working well in your first 5,000 words and where you could improve the most. My critique will help you capitalize on your strengths and address problems that might hinder your reader’s ability to bond with your story.
- Specific comments, questions, and proposed edits marked on your manuscript.
- A planning sheet that will help you map out your entire book, whether you’ve already written it or not.
- BONUS: Light Line Editing. I’ll highlight places in your manuscript where I think your prose really sings and where it suffers from a lack of clarity, confusing syntax, or other imprecisions.
- BONUS: (optional) 30 min follow-up Zoom call. If you’re game for chatting 1-1, we can discuss my feedback and any additional questions you may have.
Investment: $499/up to 5,000 words
If you’re interested in working together on The Essential Fix, fill out the contact form below and let me know a little about your project (including how much of it is written/planned) and any questions you have. I’ll get back to you with logistical and payment info. Wait time to start working together is usually around two weeks. Once I begin, I will return your manuscript and feedback to you within a week.