(THERE'S A STORY IN YOU)
That story is pacing like a tiger in a zoo, and no one can *looks at gif* grab the tiger by the scruff of the neck and jump out of the cage with it like a boss except you. I'm willing to bet there's more than one story tiger in there, too. Once you set that one free, the rest will notice that escape is possible and come running.
You are a writer. You know it as deeply as you know yourself - either you've always wanted to but never did, or you always have - but writing is as much a part of you as breathing, even when you're not actively doing it. Yet, you have doubts. If you’re not writing the stories you always wished had existed for you to read, or the story you want to read right now — think about why.
I will tell you this first, foremost, and forever -
if you’re not writing for yourself, you’re asking for disappointment.
Do you know what yourself cares about? I’ll give you a hint: it’s not the cover or the keywords or the sales rankings.
It’s the story.
But somewhere along the way we got caught up in the idea that the story is secondary, that the story has to fit a certain set of requirements to be “worthy.” It's not like the invisible writing police will sneak up on us while we're daring to write for the love of writing, is it?
- Perfectly capable writers composing perfectly wonderful stories will freeze up and stop writing if the word count goes too high, because everyone knows that longer stories never get picked up by the big 5 - not written by first-time authors, anyway.
- Absolutely talented and eloquent writers bemoaning the fact that they haven’t written a novel, only short stories, and are therefore not “agentable.”
- Eager, adventurous young (or old) writers pouring their heart and soul into a complex, sprawling fan fiction only to stop entirely when enough people tell them that’s not “real” writing.
Stories aren’t about length or depth or real or imaginary. Stories just ARE. They live outside of ALL of that.
Don’t think I don’t understand. I do.
I can tell you all about the FOUR YEARS in which I didn’t write a WORD - after a critique session in which I was told my imaginary fantasy world didn’t follow established laws of physics, which somehow negated any story that might be told in it. (Ten years removed from that event, I’d now like to just say: “fuck you, Gary.”)
My point in sharing that is just this - I’m not different. I’m not special. I’m fallible and flawed and human and I learned the very, very painfully hard way that critique groups are not a resource that works well for me.
You know what? They don’t have to.
Not every tip or trick or suggestion or recommendation is going to work for every writer.
That’s why there are so many of them!
If writing was a one size fits all formula, there would be more of us. It’s not. There aren’t.
It takes a certain kind of person to try and fail and keep going. To write and hear all the voices listing all the reasons to stop or give up or make major changes before you’re even halfway in and still keep writing.
You are that person. And you’re tired.
You’ve been beating yourself over the head with “should” until you dread going to the page. You’ve been comparing yourself to others for so long you’ve forgotten who you were when you weren’t defined by your relationship to them. I got you, fam.
The Intensive 10-Week Adventure (Just Tell the Damn Story) is for you.
You're ready to dig in your proverbial heels, refusing to get caught up in everyone else's "wisdom" that has so far only caused creative paralysis and crippling self-doubt.
You don't want a critique group, you don't want another book full of formulas and checkboxes for scenic elements and plot points, and you sure don't want some slick, smooth, polished mannequin telling you that you too can make six figures with your writing if you do it exactly like they did.
I'm right here with you, doing the work - and still excited to get to the page every day. I want that for you, I want you to be so stoked about your own writing that you sneak to it on your lunch breaks, you skip the new Netflix show and write instead, or you bring a notebook to breakfast because you woke up with some great ideas.
I want you to immerse yourself so deeply in the world you're creating that you forget there are people out there who think you "should" do things differently.
Let me help.
I will only work with 5 writers at once.
I want to give each writer the most individual experience possible, so when the slots are filled, there will be a wait list.
Ten full-length video calls with me, each addressing (in the order that makes the most sense to YOU) one of the following topics:
- Overview: This session is where we talk about where you are with your idea/story, and discuss the various components. If you're unfocused or stuck, we'll pinpoint the problem and work to resolve it. If you're in the idea stage, we can talk about how to best turn the idea into the story you want to write. We'll get super clear on what you have, what you need, and how to get to your end goal. (This is always the first call, and it's 90 minutes long, to cover all the housekeeping stuff as well.)
- Primary Characters: (AKA: "The Care and Feeding of the Voices in Your Head.") Do you know them, or just think you do? Have they surprised you and you don't know how to roll with it? Are they resisting your attempts to direct them where you want them to go? What makes them tick? What makes them click?
- Secondary Characters: (AKA: "The Care and Feeding of the Voices in Your Primary Character's Head.") It's hard to be both mirrors for AND windows into the primary characters when you're made of cardboard. How to find the balance between developed supporting characters and scene-stealers.
- Plot: Do you have one? Is it a strapping young thing, or will it crumble under the weight of casual logic? Did you lose sight of the plot entirely? Does yours need help? Do you in fact have any control over this story at all?
- World Building: How much do you know? How much should the readers know? How much actually matters to the story? How much is too much? How do you communicate it? How subtle is too subtle?
- Tension: There's a balance to be struck between big tensions and little tensions and their rhythm as they appear throughout the story. Is the challenge justified, or contrived? Is the struggle worthwhile, or disappointing? How do you do it all for multiple characters?
- Tone: How you tell the story is almost as critical as the story itself. Where YOU choose to point the proverbial camera, that's your own special kind of magic. Is your tone interfering with the story you're trying to tell? Are you telling the story in a vacuum, or punching through the fourth wall?
- Setting: It's practically a character on it's own, in every scene. There's a big difference between bars and bookstores - is your current setting helping your story, or getting in the way? How do you use it effectively without describing everything in the room?
- Flow: How does it all unfold? Are there more peaks than valleys, more lulls than swells? Are everyone's timelines synchronized? Does the map work? Does the map or timeline or sequence of events make sense?
- Your Choice: You know what you need more of, you know where you're stuck or what's challenging you. We come up with this session topic together, addressing either one of the above topics, a combination of them, or something completely different (but relevant.)
(We're still on the "what's included" part)
Two 30-minute calls: these are flexible, to be scheduled when you need them. If you hit a roadblock, had a burst of inspiration and want to tell me about it, or just need extra time one week to talk about one of the topics in more depth - we'll get together.
Membership in the DraftCrafting Community: The subscription fee (three months' worth) is included in the price of the course, giving you access to not just an ever- growing collection of resources and an exclusive, supportive, "should"-free writing community, but also to me-- that's where I hang out. As an "Intensive DraftCrafter," you'll get first priority in my daily "Office Hours" ... we'll also have a quick scheduled check in once a week between sessions and see how things are going.
Me: Which is an extreme way of saying that I will remember you, your characters, and your story. I will be as invested in them and their success as you are (which, as you get deeper into your story, matters so much - having someone who knows what on Planet F you're talking about is a huge relief to any writer.) During this adventure, you and I will work together on YOUR story, YOUR idea, YOUR dream. I'm here to ask and answer questions, listen, bounce ideas around, give you accountability, supply you with endless encouragement and excitement, and keep the "shoulds" at bay while you write your story. (I am not here to read and judge your work or tell you how to find an agent/publisher, however.)
My Integrity: I am not here to steal your ideas, only help you to build them, and I will sign a contract to that effect. So will you.
Extras: access to video recordings of each session, in-depth pre-call emails, and occasional printable resources.
One-Time Payment: $1500
3 Installments of $600 each
I'm Here For You:
I know what I'm bringing to the proverbial table, but I'm not going to take your money unless I think I can help you. Book a free 20 minute discovery call with me - I'll explain the process and the benefits, answer any questions you have, and we'll talk about expectations and commitments on both of our parts.
The FREE Write a Story in 3 Days email series is a good way to get a feel for my process - it's even tailored to your specific writing style!
Focus Sessions are a great way to test the waters and try out the coaching experience. Just pick which specific writing area to work on, and we'll get started! Remember, the cost of each individual focus session will be deducted from the final payment when you sign up for the Intensive 10 Week Adventure.
You are also welcome to join the DraftCrafting Community - it's a MightyNetwork, not a Facebook group, created to fulfill my vision of a cultivated community of writers who love writing, who love stories, and who value readers as people, not wallets. I went looking for writers who support and validate and build each other up, but ... I couldn't find that group. So I made it. Hang out with us in there for awhile! (Two-week free trial available)