For Writers

Writers are alway looking for advice. I know I am. We’re hungry for that one tip that will change everything for us and make the words come pouring out, all the right words and in the right order. But, honey, I hate to tell you this. There is no secret. And anyone who tells you different is blowing smoke up your sweet ass. Writing is hard work. And then it’s more hard work on top of the hard work. There’s no cure for hard work. It’s just hard. Your goal shouldn’t be that it’s less hard. Your goal should always be that the writing is good.

So I can’t fix hard for you. But I can help you with making your writing better. I offer several different one-on-one services to help you achieve your writing goals. Here are the basics. Anything can be customized for your specific situation, so contact me and we’ll talk about what you need.

Let’s talk

Contact me and we’ll work out what’s right for you and your novel.

2 + 9 =

Manuscript Consulting

At the beginning, we’ll have a conversation about your manuscript, and I’ll ask you a lot of questions. Then I thoroughly read your manuscript and provide developmental notes on structure, plot, pacing, characters, scene-building, etc. This usually comes to about one single-spaced page of notes per 30 pages of manuscript, but there’s no limit. Then we talk again to go over the notes and discuss my suggestions for taking the manuscript to the next draft. After that, you’re welcome to contact me if you have questions. Cost: I charge $.03 per word. So an 80,000-word manuscript would be $2400.

Novel Coaching

Have you always wanted to write a novel? Maybe you have an unfinished novel in your drawer that you’ve always wanted to finish but can’t seem to get there. Maybe you just need someone to talk to once a week about your progress and to set goals for the next week. Whatever your situation is, we’ll work out a plan that will work for you. Cost: After we talk, I’ll send you a plan designed for just for you with pricing.

Writing Workshops

I sometimes teach half-day workshops near Santa Cruz, CA. If you live in the Bay Area. Sign up for my newsletter or follow me on social media to be notified when I have an upcoming workshop.

The problems with my manuscript were many, but I was too close to see them. I needed someone who could see the big picture but was also able to drill down into each chapter and character.  Shelly started with the most basic but necessary of questions: Just what kind of book are you writing?  I thought I knew but it turns out I was writing two different novels.  Resolving this most basic of issues allowed me to move forward much more quickly and with more purpose. She doesn’t shy away from what might be considered sensitive subjects particularly if it means helping the writer improve the product and his or her skills. In our follow-up meeting Shelly produced written documentation of all her observations and recommendations, as well as suggested reading. She’s also a pleasure to work with.  I could go on, but I’ll just say I can highly recommend her to anyone looking for editing assistance, advice and input.  By the way, do it sooner rather than later.

Steve D.

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