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Whether you’re working on your first or tenth manuscript, there comes a time when you could use an extra set of eyes on your project. Maybe you have difficulty developing your characters and establishing an inner arc that leads to their transformation by story’s end. Or, perhaps you’re great on character and have trouble with creating those pesky external obstacles. Then again, maybe the pace is just off, and no matter where you try cutting, you’re left with a saggy middle or get comments that you’re wrapping things up too quickly.
Of course, it’s quite possible you’re not sure what the problem is! You could be getting confusing feedback (or worse, no feedback!) on your manuscript and are not sure what to do. Every writer has been there, including me. It gets to a point where you start wondering if you’ll ever get your ideas to work. Losing confidence in your writing sucks, especially when it leads to losing energy to write.
If this is you–if you’re not sure why your manuscript isn’t working and want to fix it, if you’re not sure how to implement feedback, or even if you’d like an objective set of eyes on your project–let me help. No matter the issue, I’d love the chance to work with you on your manuscript and help you get to the next level.
I am a traditionally published middle grade author. My debut novel, Lexi Magill and the Teleportation Tournament, was selected to the 2021-2022 Texas Bluebonnet Master List. I served as a Pitch Wars Mentor for seven years (2015-2021). I’ve also mentored in #TeenPit and have been a judge in query contests. I am a critique partner to published and unpublished writers, and I love every second of it. I am also an Author Accelerator Certified Fiction Book Coach, which required completion of a 200+ hour course that included online seminars, writing exercises, and practicum clients. Please check out this link to learn more about Author Accelerator’s programs for book coaches and writers.
I am a Reedsy editor and can be found on their website. Reedsy allows you to personalize the package you want that you believe can help the most. My most popular packages are listed below, but of course I’m available to do a strict manuscript evaluation or developmental editing as you desire! Please feel free to reach out to me and we can discuss what suits you best.
PACKAGE ONE – The Manuscript Audit
A manuscript audit includes:
— A full read of your manuscript and a 5-7 page edit letter/report that comments on what the manuscript is doing right and where there is room for improvement. Big picture issues–character development, plot, and pacing are the focus, with details on what plot points/arcs are working and which aren’t.
— Suggestions/recommendations on future revisions.
— A one-hour zoom call after you review the edit letter where I can answer any questions and we can discuss your manuscript further.
Note that there will not be line edits (or very few), as the point of the audit is an overview that focuses on nailing down the structure, personal journey, and other big-picture items that will shape the next round of revisions.
PACKAGE TWO – The Pseudo Pitch Wars Experience
Pitch Wars is a mentorship “contest” that ran for ten years. As mentors, we read submission materials (query, first ten pages) and selected a writer to mentor for three months. After sending an edit letter with recommended revisions, I would guide the writer through the revision process. At the end of the three-month period, the Pitch Wars website would host the entries for agents to peruse and request the partial or full manuscript. To me, the best part of Pitch Wars was working with the writer after they received the edit letter and guiding them through the revision process.
Alas, after ten years, Pitch Wars is over. It’s heartbreaking, really. I loved being a part of it and working with fellow writers. Every year, I wished I could take on more than one manuscript and mentor more than one writer, but it wasn’t possible. When I thought about what kind of packages to offer as a book coach, creating something in the vein of Pitch Wars was at the top of my list.
This package includes:
— Everything in Package One;
— Five additional months of coaching with me where we will continue to work together as you implement your revisions. During this five-month period, there will be:
— Four additional monthly Zoom calls to discuss your revisions and guide you toward completion of them. This is where you can ask questions about whether a certain revision is working, thoughts on character development, etc.
— A re-read of your full manuscript by me at the end of the five-month revision period with a new edit letter highlighting what’s working and flagging any additional areas that need revision;
— one final zoom call to discuss any future revisions before you send your lovely manuscript into the world! (Of course there is no agent round as in Pitch Wars, but the goal is that you will be ready/near-ready to query agents on your own.)
Overall, this package is great to keep you on track for revisions because of the five-month “deadline” it includes. While I am certainly open to extending the deadline from 5 to 6 or 7 months because, let’s face it, Life Happens, please choose this package only if you have the best of intentions in whipping your manuscript into shape in the five months following receipt of my initial edit letter.
PACKAGE THREE – #amquerying
Yay! You’ve got a manuscript, query, and synopsis and are ready to send your baby out into the world! Congrats to you! Writing a book is such an accomplishment. In this package, I will:
— Provide three passes of your query and synopsis (revision notes each time);
— Line-edits of the first twenty pages of your manuscript;
— Feedback on the first twenty pages, including my thoughts on voice and initial story structure.
— One 45-minute zoom call to discuss your pitch package that can be scheduled at any time during the process–beginning, middle or end–whichever you prefer.
TRADITIONAL BOOK COACHING
The above packages are for writers who have a full manuscript. Maybe you don’t? Maybe you have ideas for characters and some plot but aren’t sure how everything comes together. Or, perhaps you’re stuck on page 50 because you’re not sure if your story is working or can work. If so, then traditional book coaching may be for you. This is $400/month with a three-month minimum.
During the first four weeks, we will have a Zoom call to discuss your ideas, your work, and your challenges in getting your story down on paper. From there, we will explore your main character’s inner arc and ultimate transformation by story’s end. Once your character’s inner arc is established, we will look at story structure and plot to ensure your character will face the appropriate external obstacles that lead them to their internal transformation. We will have another zoom call during this period to hash out details and guide your brainstorming. For the last four weeks, once character arc and external obstacles are set, we will focus on story beats, pacing, and side characters/subplots. We’ll have another zoom call during this stage to discuss your story and how it’s coming together. By the end of the 12 weeks, you will be in a position to start writing your novel (and it is entirely possible for you to have already started writing at this point!) with a solid map of your book.
Overall, this package includes monthly zoom calls and feedback on writing exercises you complete to help build your story.
If we both agree it makes sense to continue coaching, we can continue at $400/month for additional support. Sometimes deadlines create accountability and it is nice to have someone to bounce ideas off of as well make sure you stay on track. Coaching performed at this rate after three months will also include submission of 20 pages every two weeks, for which I will provide feedback.
FINAL THOUGHTS/GET IN TOUCH!
I love diving into manuscripts and helping writers transform their story whether their goal is traditional publishing or self-publishing. Please know that your story is your story. I will never tell you what to write or what you should write. My goal is to highlight what isn’t working and give you the tools for a successful revision.
If you are interested in learning more about any of the coaching packages, please use the contact form and use the Subject Line to mention the package you are interested in. I will send along an intake form and contract terms for your perusal. I’m also free for a 15-minute Zoom chat if you have questions or would like further information. I want you to feel comfortable working with me so that you can get the most out of this experience.