I've been a writing mentor for nearly 20 years. I've been a writer and editor for more than 30 years. I have helped hundreds of writers improve their writing and get published, often through a mentoring relationship.
I see at least 5 important ways any writer might benefit from having a private mentor.
Publishers have expectations. Whether you're writing a short story, a novel or a book of nonfiction, some conventions are set — for fiction, where a book begins, what the setup accomplishes, how the arc progresses, the prerequisites of particular genres, etc.
Publishers expect a distinct voice and consistent point of view and fresh, vivid characters. The writing should be dense and rich in detail, but not overwritten. Writers rarely see where their own work is overwritten.
The story must feel balanced with a strong story thread or question and a strong causal progression. Scenes must be deftly crafted with well developed stimulus-response sequencing and scene endings that propel readers into the next scene or chapter. For non-fiction, publishers will be looking at the premise itself, the logic of the argument and the value of examples, headings, subheadings, etc.
Even professional writers become so immersed in their work that it is difficult to see it objectively. A writing mentor helps a writers write more of what editors hope to see.
Running your ideas by a mentor allows you to discuss your work with someone who understands the writing process, as well as what you hope to accomplish. I've written two novels, numerous short stories, memoir, and thousands of targeted business pages. I understand the universal need to make an impact with words. You can brainstorm ideas and get helpful feedback about:
Writing is a solitary endeavour. You can feel lonely and misunderstood. As a writing mentor, I provide encouragement to writers who have lost their confidence in a project or in the value of their writing overall. Just knowing that I believe in you and see the potential in your writing can be enough to boost your morale and inspire you to keep going.
We've all had the experience of reading our work to friends or family members who murmur vague encouraging words (or not!) when we're finished. But that's not as helpful as solid, impartial feedback on the specific strengths and weaknesses of the text from someone who intimately understands the art and craft of writing.
Sometimes, when writers read their work aloud, they know intuitively that something is amiss, but they can't pinpoint the exact problem. In most cases, neither can friends.
An experienced writing mentor quickly spots issues and articulates what needs to be done to correct the problem.
Decades of reading and text analysis have honed my analytical and critical thinking skills. I’ve developed an ear for rhythm in language and an eye for accuracy and detail. As a result, I can quickly assess and strengthen your business or creative writing.
A writer's "voice" develops over time, as the writer gains confidence and feels secure enough to become more vulnerable.
Are you a witty conversationalist? Do you naturally joke with friends? Or are you more serious, a quiet person who sees the subtleties others often miss? Did you grow up in the south or the midwest?
The answer to those questions and more affect your writer's voice. As I talk to you and work with you, I can recognize when your writing is authentic and when you haven't quite got there yet.
Just having me point out the discrepancies is usually enough to help you gain confidence and distinguish between what rings true on the page and what doesn't.
If my services will help you reach your writing goals, please contact me to plan a mentoring strategy and to buy a block of coaching time. Choose from one of the three options below. All prices are in Canadian dollars.
$1999 — 20-hour prepaid block of coaching/editing time for novelists and advanced writers. Over a one-month period, we work intensively on all aspects of your writing, with the aim of having a finished piece of work to submit for publication.
As your writing mentor, you will have my full attention for 5 hours every week, in whatever way will be most helpful to you and your project—teaching, telephone, Skype, email, editing—whatever you need.
$237 — 2-hour prepaid block of coaching/editing time for short projects and varied needs, such as general feedback for new writers, read-aloud feedback, assistance with short stories, Skype discussions, editing, and whatever mentoring suits your situation.
$99 — For those who want to test the waters first. You may submit up to 2000 words to receive the personal "quick look" 50-point checklist. This fast, economical assessment of your writing uses a checklist and detailed comments to alert you to the strengths and weaknesses in a sample of your writing. Use this option to assess any piece of fiction, creative nonfiction, memoir or blog post.
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