LEARN HOW STORIES WORK
WHILE WRITING YOUR OWN NOVEL
The One-On-One Coaching Advantage:
Put Theory Into Practice
EVEN ON YOUR FIRST BOOK
Transforming New Writers
into emerging novelists
Specializing in Fiction from Emerging Novelists
What if you finally understood what's going on under the hood of your novel manuscript?
No more stumbling through rough drafts, then paying an editor to help you find the story inside. You'll write a better book from the start, from concept and story to the words on the page.
As your story coach, I'll help you connect theory with practice. As your editor, I'll show the narrative techniques that make your writing connect with readers. You'll pick up strategies and knowledge you'll use the rest of your writing career.
This is your writing, but smarter. Your book, but better.
"(Lisa's) the real deal. Simply awesome. In the last six months, I have learned so much. And more than that, the voice inside my head has changed her tune. Now I hear, 'You're going to do this.'"—Emile Horne
"After completing the Plot Accelerator course with Lisa ... I've just hit 30K words after making a lot of cuts and reducing it to 15K. Now I’m back to where I started with a much stronger story. Nothing is lost in the process. The scenes that will never be read have enhanced my own understanding of the protagonist's situation. Originally intended to be a novella, Collisville is now writing itself. Here's to words that grow organically! Stories shouldn't be forced. Motivation drives the characters. Characters drive the action! Action and reaction IS the story."—J. C. Thomas
Empower Yourself As A Writer
This is the power of a little help from a coach. (More success stories here.)
Do you know why your story will keep readers turning pages—
or are you only guessing?
Action and reaction—everything in a story depends on what the characters do about whatever the story pits against them. Stiff, disconnected, or missing character reactions snap the chain of cause and effect that constitutes your story. When readers can no longer see how and why the characters are doing what they’re doing, they lose the Read more about 3 Action-Reaction Misfires That Flatten Your Writing[…]
Should you—could you—be getting feedback on your book from peers or readers, or is it time to get professional eyes on your manuscript? My latest post as a resident writing coach at Writers Helping Writers explains when it’s time for what in your book’s development. Much of the choice hinges on what you can afford. Read more about Feedback or Editing: What Sort of Input to Get When[…]
Vocabulary and the way a character speaks are the outer layer of character voice—the icing on the cake. Instead of trying to build character voice from the outside in, get under the character’s skin by revealing how they experience and interpret the story world from the inside out. Character voice bubbles up organically when every aspect of Read more about The secret to authentic character voice[…]
It’s actually happening: You’ve hired a professional editor and it’s time to send off the manuscript. Congratulations! Now it’s business time. What should you expect from the editing process? Are there contracts? Deadlines? When should you expect to make payments, and how much? How long will editing take? Will the editor check the grammar of Read more about Best Practices for Working With a Professional Editor[…]
“Is my writing good enough?” is one of the first questions most writers ask when they get in touch about editing or coaching. Unfortunately, I can’t answer that because there’s an intrinsic problem with the question: Green-lighting manuscripts (for querying, for further development, for self-publishing) isn’t what manuscript editors do. Whether or not your book Read more about Is my writing good enough?[…]
Getting a manuscript ready for professional editing is notoriously painstaking work. It drags you into seemingly endless rounds of scrutiny: searching for plot holes, questioning the characters’ motivations, adding zing to the dialogue, and squashing typos and grammatical errors. With so much ground to cover, a revision plan ensures you’re not overlooking anything. What’s not Read more about When are you ready for professional editing?[…]
Do you get sucked into spending more time reading about writing fiction than actually doing it? I’ve just updated my short list of the best books on writing, so you can level up and take the techniques back to your manuscript. One of my favorite ways to help writers is recommending books that will help Read more about Updated: Best books on writing for writers[…]
It’s all too easy to overstuff your writing when you’re striving for a natural, unstrained tone. We lean on filler words in conversation to soften our speech and build connections, but these words don’t convey enough information to be effective in writing. The internet is peppered with lists of “words to cut from your writing.” Read more about Words and phrases to revise or delete[…]
If you’ve never used Microsoft Word’s Track Changes feature before, the idea of getting your manuscript back from an editor filled with all sorts of lines and squiggles you have to do something to in order to keep your novel from plummeting precipitously through a fiery ring of digital destruction and disappearing into the black Read more about Tangled up in Track Changes?[…]
Writing is a supposedly solitary endeavor, but successful authors know that a supporting writing community is worth its weight in gold. Like-minded colleagues keep you aloft during the long, parched weeks of revision. They’re friendly allies when you need an outside eye on your story or writing. They’re seasoned repositories of first-hand publishing and marketing Read more about Top 10 reasons to join a writing community[…]