Lisa Poisso, Book Coach


If a critique partners, workshops, internet articles, and craft books have left you lost in the weeds, discover the difference of working one-one-one with a book coach.

Wouldn’t writing make a lot more sense if you knew how the engine of a novel worked? There’s a better way than jamming the parts together by yourself, slamming the hood, and towing the manuscript to an editor for repairs. 

Story coaching shows you how to be your own story mechanic. Once you learn how to work under the hood, you’ll have the power to make your book fly.

Discover the one-on-one coaching advantage.

Book coaches have been described as personal trainers for your writing. There are as many different types of book coaches as there are writers: story coaches, support and motivation coaches, writing coaches, and publishing coaches.

I’m a story coach. Story coaches help you shape and nurture your narrative. We help you deepen your concept and plot and cultivate richer characters and themes. We impart valuable insights into the effective use of story form and structure, and you can rely on us to help you plot and outline your book. We’ll help you define your genre, readers, and comp titles.

My high-touch coaching approach offers the kind of one-on-one feedback that helps you see your work with new clarity. I’ll be your personal alpha reader, editor, and storytelling guru rolled into one. And our ongoing work will keep you on track and on schedule, nudging your output and helping you over the finish line.


Don’t spin your wheels revising a story that hasn’t fully gelled. Plot, genre, characters, themes, point of view—together, we’ll fully realize your creative intentions.


Take the mystery out of how to write gripping scenes that drive the plot forward and draw readers into the story. Sharp scene technique keeps readers turning pages.


High-touch, small-group coaching that gives you face-to-face access to me and your peers every week. Limited group size, by application only. New cohorts launch each quarter.

Coaching or editing—which is best?

If you resonate with Mark Zuckerberg’s renowned motto of “move fast and break things,” you might feel inclined to jump straight from writing and self-revision into editing. But if you prefer to get the lay of the land before trying something new or value having an experienced guide as you navigate writing and revision, a book coach could be the perfect fit.



Lisa is an incredible coach and editor. Thanks to her Story Accelerator, I was able to understand the workings of my story structure, its strength and weaknesses, and could make changes with confidence. Her developmental edit took things a step further, diving deep into and providing specific recommendations and ideas on how to improve the story flow. In short, Lisa’s instruction and guidance have shaved months, maybe years, off of my effort to improve my writing.
Well worth the time and effort to spend going through the Accelerator to make my book the best it can be. Glad I did it before I started the writing process. Highly recommend it to authors as one of the best investments you can make in your writing career.
Lisa is undoubtedly some manner of sorceress when it comes to identifying and fixing the dissonance that can so easily creep between the story you thought you wanted to tell and the one that landed on the page. From big-picture development down to the line-by-line level, she’s never failed to identify the weaknesses in my work and to help me build better, more compelling stories. With each project, she makes me a better writer.

So call her Mrs. Miyagi. And while you’re at it, probably book her to take your manuscript to the next level, too.

Is my coaching right for you?

My feedback style is matter-of-fact, with intensive information and a focus on working hard to get it right for readers. I care about writing deep, not writing fast. I recognize that talking about your writing feels prickly and strange to new writers, and I’ll deliver the goods with a soft touch—but once we get to know each other, I won’t hesitate to give you both barrels.

Over ten years of coaching fiction writers, I’ve spent a lot of time figuring out what works best for new novelists and why. I offer lots of information and best practices and suggestions. More importantly, I ask a lot of open-ended questions. This is your book and your creative vision. I plant the seeds; it’s your job to grow and harvest.

Coaching is a fit for you if …
  • This is the first novel you’ve written, or you’re an emerging writer hoping to break out to the next level.
  • You want to write using best practices and proven, classic techniques.
  • You want the process of writing, revising, and editing your book to teach you more about writing it.
  • You need efficient, effective techniques for turning your story into scenes.

The popularity of story coaching is soaring as more authors realize the importance of getting the strongest possible start for their writing careers.

Story coaching is designed to help you develop a compelling story and tell it in a way that readers can’t resist. We talk about your story idea itself and how it fits into today’s marketplace. We examine the techniques and creative choices you’ve used to tell your story. We work together to tune the plot, character arcs, and themes of the story. We may also hone techniques for handling scenes, point of view, narrative modes, and more.

Story coaching is not the sort of book coaching that walks alongside you as you write your book (a process that could be seen as a sort of incremental editing). Story coaching positions your first draft to do the work of several early drafts, getting you closer to an edit-ready manuscript sooner in your writing and revision process.

This is not motivational or accountability coaching, which is designed to keep you on track with deadlines and completion goals. To be a good fit for story coaching with me, please arrive with your creative energies and motivation fully and amazingly ablaze.

You could—but I don’t recommend it.

Many new writers figure they’ll begin with a simple proofread—“just clean it up,” they’ll say. They want to see how the book does before they invest significant money, or they figure it’s not worth spending a lot of money until their books begin selling enough money to make back the investment in editing.

This is flawed thinking. A novel isn’t a weekend crafts project. This project will consume months or even years of your time as you vie to get noticed among the tens of thousands of books published every week. Welcome to Thunderdome—thousands of books enter, few books leave. Why waste your time and effort writing an entire novel with anything less than an intelligent, informed approach?

I love using the Plot Accelerator prior to drafting a book. Based on my experience, it results in faster, cleaner drafting and reduced need for major revisions and edits. Reader reviews of my first Plot Accelerator-planned book are a full star level higher than its predecessor, making it a valuable part of my process.—K.A. Wiggins

Not every author needs story coaching. If you’re a seasoned author who’s already mastered the techniques of storytelling and writing fiction, coaching or multiple rounds of editing could be overkill.

Even so, most of my established clients run a compressed version of Plot Accelerator coaching before or after their first drafts. It’s an invaluable way to ensure your story is on track.

Story coaching is not designed to help you create your story from scratch or from early ideas. Before you begin working with me, you should already have a complete story in mind. You may not yet know all the road bumps or how’s and why’s, and you may be stuck at some point in the writing, but you should be clear on where the story is headed and how it ends. You’re probably ready for coaching if you can write a coherent one-page outline or synopsis of the story, even if that includes some uncertainties at points along the way.

Although I do edit books that are part of a series, I don’t do story coaching on books that are intended to be part of a series. Here’s why. If your first book could be successfully published as a stand-alone title and features a satisfying, conclusive ending, let’s keep talking.

Coaching is such an individual process! Your quote will be based on our conversations about your publishing goals and the needs of your manuscript.

Individual coaching sessions start at $99, with monthly plans from $399—less than many people consider a monthly car payment.

Absolutely, although you may find the information you need on my success stories page.
If your agent query is struggling to achieve liftoff, a consultation can help you identify what parts of your submissions package could be holding you back and tune it to get your manuscript in the door.
I’m not currently offering written query and submission critiques.
Line editing clients get automatic access to self-paced Query Accelerators (traditional publishing) or Blurb Accelerators (self-publishing) along with their edits.

Head in the right direction, from start to finish.

I spent six years writing my novel before deciding to look for an editor. I’m not ashamed to admit that I overindulged myself in the creative process. What writer isn’t guilty of this? I think this is an important part of a writer’s development, especially in writing a first novel. Overindulgence in the creative process is a good thing because we learn to write by writing (and reading, of course).

There came a point when I knew I needed the help of a professional editor to tame my writing and to help me tailor my book to a specific reader. I had no plot, deficient character motivation, and little conflict—three essential elements of a commercial novel. I will always remember, Lisa told me I had a ‘manuscript-length discussion of theme’ . . . all the icing and decoration but no cake! I needed to crack some more eggs. She has a great sense of humour, too! Now I can’t imagine working with another editor.

We worked on two manuscript evaluations, a line and copy edit and she provided me all the hours writing coaching I needed in order to finish my book. I’m so pleased with Lisa’s editing services and the support I received from her. I really felt I was being pushed in the right direction from start to finish. Thank you, Lisa!
J. C. Thomas


I also offer individual consultations, problem-busting and brainstorming sessions, month-to-month coaching, and other bespoke solutions. If you need help with your novel, please get in touch.

Take the next step.

Lisa Poisso, Book Editor and Writing Coach

I work only with writers I believe I can help reach specific writing goals. If you’re ready to take action, get in touch. We’ll email a little about what you’re working on and what sort of help you’d like, and I’ll send you an assessment that helps us both determine whether we would be a great fit working together. 

My schedule for smaller critiques and partials is fairly flexible, but I accept a limited number of full edits per quarter. This is your chance to take a giant step forward.

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