Book coaching

Write the Novel of Your Heart

A Masterclass for Middle Grade and Young Adult Writers Learn to write your novel at a fraction of the cost of an MFA! I’m super excited to introduce my upcoming Masterclass, with a start date of early spring 2023. The class is based on my 20 years in publishing, my craft education including an MFA… Read more »

Critiquing Your Writing: Who Does What For You?

Do you have critique partners? You’ve probably heard that the way to improve your writing is to have partners who will read your work and give you feedback. Yes, that’s certainly true, and I’ve had excellent partners through the years. But good critique partners can be hard to find, and matching up with the wrong… Read more »

Show It! (Show, Don’t Tell, Explained)

“Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.” Anton Chekhov What do we mean when we say, “show, don’t tell”? Lately I’ve had to help writers with this concept, so I thought I’d share here. I’ll attempt to give you some clear pointers, definitions, and concrete examples…. Read more »

Character Motivation

I recently participated in a high-level writing workshop and something jumped out at me: I felt that many of the writers were not entirely clear on their character’s motivation. Let’s discuss. (Note: a lot of these ideas are inspired by GMC: Goal, Motivation, Conflict, by Debra Dixon, a craft book I highly recommend.) What Do… Read more »

How Long Does It Take to Write a Book?

I was having a conversation with some fellow book coaches recently when one of them described a client who was struggling. But the struggle wasn’t with plot or character or voice. It was with the idea that writing is a slow process, taking as long as it needs to take and sometimes a lot longer… Read more »

The Working Writer: Systems and Processes

As a “working writer”, I’m learning that it isn’t always about the craft. It isn’t always about the joy of creativity, much as we’d like it to be. Sometimes it’s about how to manage being creative in the face of all those other things on the to-do list. If there’s one lesson I’ve learned after… Read more »

Writers! Back Away Slowly…

I was listening to a writing discussion with Jennie Nash and Allison Williams the other night and Allison made a comment that the writers who succeed are the ones who can put the work down and come back to it with a fresh eye. I know from personal experience how important that fresh eye can… Read more »

What Brings You Joy?

For both writers, and teachers of writers, on the subject of “what do we write about and why”… I have a wonderful coaching client, who has recently finished her first novel (a fantastic and emotionally moving story, beautifully told, about a middle school girl recovering from grief). We were talking about what she would write… Read more »

4 Ways To Make Reader/Character Connections

As Lisa Cron says in her terrific craft book Story Genius, our brains are wired for connection. People need other people; readers need characters. When we read, we are looking to make a deep emotional connection with the main character of a story. Here are four ways – dos and don’ts – to ensure that… Read more »