Are you in the planning stage for a new story? Maybe you’ve started a first draft, but you’re stymied by some aspect of plotting or writing. Wouldn’t it be great to have a sounding board to discuss your ideas, options for structure and plot, POV choice, narrative tense to use, and so on? It can’t hurt to get an educated opinion about your approach before you begin writing or during the writing process. That’s where story coaching comes in.
What is story coaching?
Story coaching is consultation that a seasoned editor provides. It’s a discussion with dark fiction writers about literary aspects of their work and choices they could make to develop a sound blueprint from which to construct an effective story.
Story coaching is for you if you’re noodling an incomplete idea or wrestling with an unfinished manuscript you’re unsure what to do with. Story coaching—which I provide through video consultation (link coming soon)—will help guide you toward completing a solid draft. I’m also available if you simply have burning questions about writing craft.
Story coaching is typically most helpful early in the story development process. Instead of spending days, weeks, or months writing a story that doesn’t work, story coaching prepares you to draft the most powerful story you can write—a story that will connect and satisfy readers, readers willing to shell out more of their book-buying dollars for your future work—along with positive reviews.
Story coaching can also take place well after the first draft to gain feedback and insight about challenging aspects of your dark fiction project.
What I provide with story coaching
As a certified editor, I can review early pages you send (a partial or complete manuscript). Or I can simply discuss your story with you through video consultation (link coming soon).
Here are a few story coaching services I offer:
- Determining acceptable word count for your genre (dark fiction only)
- Discussing strengths and weaknesses of your story’s premise (see how to write a premise statement)
- Maximizing setting and grounding your characters and their action in your story world
- Evaluating possible plot and structure choices
- Developing deeper characters
- Understanding the importance of conflict
- Choosing point of view and narrative voice
- Avoiding clichés
I don’t provide any of the following with story coaching:
- A written editorial report
- A marked-up manuscript with edits
Your job after story coaching
A story coaching session with me will arm you with suggestions and directions for drafting, which you’ll be able to undertake with more confidence and clarity. Then, you’ll write, write, write!
Cost of story coaching
My rate for an hour of story coaching is $58. For more information about editing rates, see Dark Fiction Editing Rates.
How to prepare for story coaching
If you’re considering booking a story coaching session with me, here are a few ways you can prepare:
- Take a few days to jot down some issues with your story and how you might go about writing it. Include any questions about this and writing in general.
- If you’ve written pages, review the topics in the first list under “What I provide with story coaching.” Then make notes or record more questions about these aspects of your story.
- Complete the exercise of writing a 100-word blurb for your story, novella, or novel. It will help you discover what your story’s about. For instructions, go here.
When you’re ready for story coaching, contact me and let me know where you are in your writing process and what you’d like to discuss. I’m available to help you learn more about the craft of writing dark fiction and develop a better, more successful story.