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Thursday, December 23, 2004

What the Story Sensei is about

Update December 2014:

Because of several writing contracts, I've decided to step back from doing critiques and coaching for 2015 in order to save my injured wrist and my health for my books. If you'd like recommendations of other freelance editors who can critique your work sooner, I can suggest:

Fiction Fix-It Shop (http://www.fictionfixitshop.com/)
Moonshell Books and Editorial, Shelley Bates (http://www.shelleybates.com/)
Cheryl Wyatt (http://www.cherylwyatt.com/)

Just email them through their websites and let them know that Camy suggested you contact them about critiquing.

Worksheets:

10/2014: Update: I am in the process of updating and formatting these worksheets to have them available on Kindle, Nook, Kobo, and iBooks! If you bought them before and would like the updated versions, please email me at storysensei@gmail.com with the email address you used when you bought the worksheet (so I can find your order) and I will be happy to send you instructions on how to download the updated worksheet(s) you bought as they become available. If you would like to be notified when my worksheets will be available as ebook versions, you can subscribe to my Story Sensei newsletter.

Doctor your novel's structure with my Structure/Synopsis worksheet.Now available!
Revise and polish your fiction manuscript with my Self-Editing worksheet.
Draw the reader into the mind, body, and soul of your characters through my Deep Point of View worksheet.
Deepen and strengthen your character development with my Characterization worksheet.Now available!
Make your story resonate more emotionally with my Heroine's Journey worksheet. Now available!

Services

Critiques
Synopsis critique/Book Doctoring
Manuscript critique
Screening critique
Novel Proposal critique
Query letter/Cover letter critique

Coaching
One-on-One Self-Editing email coaching
One-on-One Deep Point of View email coaching
One-on-One Synopsis email coaching
One-on-One Characterization email coaching
Phone consultations/mentoring
Pitch Coaching

Other services
Online classes
Synopsis Condensation
Synopsis writing service

Endorsements
Privacy and Disclaimers
Submission guidelines
Payment
Other resources
About me


Worksheets


Heroine's Journey Worksheet


10/2014: Update: I am in the process of updating and formatting these worksheets to have them available on Kindle, Nook, Kobo, and iBooks! If you bought them before and would like the updated versions, please email me at storysensei@gmail.com with the email address you used when you bought the worksheet (so I can find your order) and I will be happy to send you instructions on how to download the updated worksheet(s) you bought as they become available. If you would like to be notified when my worksheets will be available as ebook versions, you can subscribe to my Story Sensei newsletter.

I was asked to describe my Heroine’s Journey many times and I even taught several workshops on it at writer’s conferences, and so I decided to write a more detailed worksheet on the subject. I read about the Heroine’s Journey from several books and compiled what I learned here in one place. This is the same worksheet I myself use for my own novels.

Why the Heroine’s Journey? Sometimes the story arc of a female character will differ from the traditional Hero’s Journey because culture and time period will affect the character in accordance with her gender. This will create specific psychological differences in how a male and female character will respond to conflict in a story.

Joseph Campbell’s original book is based on the writings of psychoanalysts and the world myths. The Hero With a Thousand Faces is a psychological analysis of the classical myth formula that breaks down the myths into a basic structure, showing the psychological power of the hero archetype and the Hero’s Journey.

Maureen Murdock took Campbell’s work, her own psychology experience, and other psychoanalytical writings and world myths to develop The Heroine’s Journey for women. This makes it a perfect template for heroines, whether in romances or women’s fiction, because often a heroine’s story arc is more about internal awakening as opposed to the “quest” style of the Hero’s Journey.

This worksheet is based off of one I designed for myself to help me deepen my heroine’s character. I use this worksheet for every heroine I write about, even if it’s a romance where there’s also a hero taking up 50% of the book (I’ll usually do a Hero’s Journey worksheet for him in addition to the Heroine’s Journey worksheet for the heroine).

Using this worksheet enables me to double-check that the events in the story match up with how events should unfold in the Heroine’s Journey, which helps me with story pacing. The worksheet also helps me to structure the heroine’s internal arc so that it’s as deeply emotional as it can be and also psychologically resonant with readers.

I use this as a tool to help me revise my synopsis or my completed manuscript. It’s not meant to replace a synopsis because it doesn’t focus as strongly on the external events and conflicts in the story—it’s more focused on the internal events and internal conflicts of my heroine.

This worksheet consists of the Heroine's Journey explained in detail, questions for you to answer about your heroine, and examples to explain each stage of the Heroine's Journey. This new edition includes extra examples.

This worksheet is now available on:
Kindle
iBooks
Kobo
Nook
Smashwords



Self-Editing Worksheet


10/2014: Update: I am in the process of updating and formatting these worksheets to have them available on Kindle, Nook, Kobo, and iBooks! If you bought them before and would like the updated versions, please email me at storysensei@gmail.com with the email address you used when you bought the worksheet (so I can find your order) and I will be happy to send you instructions on how to download the updated worksheet(s) you bought as they become available. If you would like to be notified when my worksheets will be available as ebook versions, you can subscribe to my Story Sensei newsletter.

You've finished your novel! How do you make sure you have a good character arc, strong story structure, good pacing? How can you smooth over rough writing patches, eliminate episodic writing, or increase emotional intensity? My Self-Editing worksheet combines a variety of techniques that I have taught in online workshops into one place, with tips to help you refine and polish your manuscript.

By the end of the worksheet you'll have:

1) A good large-scale view of your story structure and character arc, and knowledge about how to fix any problems in that area

2) Tips for how to revise more emotion into your writing

3) Tools for solving pacing issues

4) A deeper look at technical writing errors to look for in your writing

5) An understanding of your own strengths and weaknesses in terms of critiquing yourself

This 69-page worksheet consists of lessons, homework, and fun exercises for you to do various types of self-editing on your manuscript. You’ll learn lots of simple techniques to help you revise and tighten your manuscript to be the best it can be.

Note: If you've bought my Deep Point of View worksheet, there are some of those Deep POV tips here in this worksheet. However, the Deep POV worksheet goes into more detail and depth whereas the Deep POV tips in this worksheet are not as extensive. If you're on the fence about if you should get the Self-Editing worksheet or the Deep POV worksheet, the Self-Editing worksheet includes about 60% of what's in the Deep POV worksheet as well as my other self-editing lessons.

Update: I forgot to mention that if you've already bought my Characterization worksheet, this Self-Editing worksheet has the majority of what's in that worksheet, in addition to other self-editing lessons and tips. So basically, if you've already bought both my Deep POV and Characterization worksheets, this Self-Editing worksheet will have a lot of the same stuff.



Deep Point of View Worksheet


10/2014: Update: I am in the process of updating and formatting these worksheets to have them available on Kindle, Nook, Kobo, and iBooks! If you bought them before and would like the updated versions, please email me at storysensei@gmail.com with the email address you used when you bought the worksheet (so I can find your order) and I will be happy to send you instructions on how to download the updated worksheet(s) you bought as they become available. If you would like to be notified when my worksheets will be available as ebook versions, you can subscribe to my Story Sensei newsletter.

As a writer, you can provide a richer emotional experience for your reader by utilizing a deeper point of view.

Deep point of view draws the reader into the characters’ heads and can elicit a stronger emotional reader response to the characters’ struggles, decisions, and reactions to external conflict.

Readers who have read a passage in deep point of view often talk about how the characters seemed more vivid, how the story and prose riveted them to the page.

It is very easy for a writer to learn ways to draw the reader into the mind, body, and soul of your characters through deep point of view techniques.

By the end of the worksheet you’ll have:

1) A basic understanding of different points of view so you can decide if deep or shallow point of view is best for your story

2) Ways to strengthen the emotional writing and draw the reader deeper into the character’s point of view

3) An understanding of the structural elements of a scene to help you know when and how to add deep-POV emotions

4) Tips for how to tweak wording in order to deepen point of view on a minute level, which contributes to a richer point of view for the manuscript as a whole

5) A finely honed radar for spotting “Telling” and shallow POV through exercises

This worksheet consists of lessons, homework, and fun exercises for you to see lots of deep and shallow POV examples. You’ll learn lots of simple techniques to help you deepen your character’s point of view.

Kindle (link coming soon)
iBooks

Kobo (link coming soon)
Nook (link coming soon)
Smashwords



Characterization Worksheet


10/2014: Update: I am in the process of updating and formatting these worksheets to have them available on Kindle, Nook, Kobo, and iBooks! If you bought them before and would like the updated versions, please email me at storysensei@gmail.com with the email address you used when you bought the worksheet (so I can find your order) and I will be happy to send you instructions on how to download the updated worksheet(s) you bought as they become available. If you would like to be notified when my worksheets will be available as ebook versions, you can subscribe to my Story Sensei newsletter.

I got several requests for another worksheet like my Synopsis worksheet, so I have put together a .pdf worksheet that combines all the lessons from my Characterization class.

If you've already taken my Characterization class, this worksheet is exactly the same as the lessons you got, just without any feedback from me on your homework, naturally. :)

This 35-page worksheet will help you develop your story characters. By the end of this worksheet, you will have:

1) a solid grasp of who your character is—and I’m not talking just favorite ice cream flavor

2) your character’s flaws and heroic qualities to make him/her truly sympathetic to the reader

3) the character’s unique qualities to make him/her stand out from all the other characters on the Barnes and Noble shelves.

4) your character’s desire and external goal (you’d be amazed at how this can change from your original ideas about your character as you dig deeper and discover who your character is!)

5) the motivation behind your character’s actions—and not something done over and over again, but something really juicy and unique that shapes your protagonist to make him/her a richer, deeper character

6) conflict and obstacles that directly impact your character’s external goal

7) the riveting climax of the story—both external events and also internal arc

This worksheet contains everything I teach in my online and in-person workshops.

This worksheet is now available on:
Kindle
iBooks
Koboicon
Nookbook
icon
Smashwords



Structure/Synopsis Worksheet


Now available!

10/2014: Update: I am in the process of updating and formatting these worksheets to have them available on Kindle, Nook, Kobo, and iBooks! If you bought them before and would like the updated versions, please email me at storysensei@gmail.com with the email address you used when you bought the worksheet (so I can find your order) and I will be happy to send you instructions on how to download the updated worksheet(s) you bought as they become available. If you would like to be notified when my worksheets will be available as ebook versions, you can subscribe to my Story Sensei newsletter.

Has your fiction manuscript been rejected by literary agents or traditional publishing houses, and you're not sure why? Do you feel something's "off" with your novel, but you don't know what?

Sometimes the problem isn't the writing—it's the characterization or the overall story structure.

If you think this might be a problem with your manuscript, you don't want to pay for a freelance editor when you could fix those story elements yourself.

The Story Sensei’s Synopsis worksheet was designed as a way for fiction writers to not only write a synopsis, but also doctor their own manuscript by utilizing a large-scale, bird’s eye view of their stories. This different way of looking at your novel can often point out flaws in character arcs, major plot points, and overall story structure.

The exercises in this worksheet will ensure that your story structure has all the vital elements, including:

- character external goal

- internal/spiritual arc

- obstacles

- conflict

- climax

- resolution

This worksheet will guide you through writing your synopsis. Don’t have a completed manuscript? No problem—as long as you’re familiar with the main points of your story, you can still write a synopsis using this worksheet. It may even help you craft your story and fill in missing pieces as you write the synopsis.

Camy uses examples from proposals for her own novels, which garnered her contracts with Christian publishers Zondervan (HarperCollins) and Love Inspired Suspense (Harlequin). There is also a special section on spiritual/internal arcs, since Christian novels tend to have strong spiritual threads in the stories.

Even if your story is not inspirational, the internal arc section will help you outline a strong internal arc for your character or troubleshoot if the internal arc has some weaknesses.

This version of the Synopsis worksheet includes:

- Extra examples

- Tips on trimming synopses

- Exercises on chapter-by-chapter and character synopses

Also in this version is an appendix of extra articles including:

- The 50-word elevator pitch

- Story blurbs, including the ones used in Camy’s original proposal for her Inspirational chick-lit Sushi series, which she submitted to Zondervan

- The basic structure of a proposal

- The example of Camy’s original proposal for her Inspirational romantic suspense Protection for Hire series, which she submitted to Zondervan

This worksheet is now available on:
Kindle
iBooks
Kobo
Nook
Smashwords


Critiques

Synopsis critique/Book Doctoring
$100

Has your manuscript been rejected by an editor or agent, and you're not sure why?

Editor and agent rejection letters can be notoriously vague--it's not on purpose, they just don't have the time for a detailed analysis.

Often a novel is rejected because of a weak story structure, like a heroine's internal goal is never fully developed, or the conflicts don't act directly against the hero's external goal, and so the story seems disjointed. Those kinds of things can be seen in your synopsis.

Do you feel something's "off" with your story, but you don't know what?

Sometimes the problem isn't with the writing itself--it's in the story or the scene structure. Certain story elements naturally combine to create a riveting reading flow, but if your scene or plot is weak in one of those elements, the manuscript will seem off-kilter.

If you think this might be a problem with your manuscript, you don't want to pay thousands of dollars for a freelance line editor when you could fix those story elements yourself.

I offer a specialized alternative. I will do a high-level developmental critique of your synopsis (up to 10 single-spaced pages). If your synopsis is longer than 10 single-spaced pages, I charge an additional $75 for every extra 10 pages.

I pinpoint any structural issues that can be fixed and offer suggestions to create a more cohesive, compelling storyline:

• Good pacing, strong sense of movement
• Setting as a character
• Unique story premise
• Voice
• Clear story arc--beginning, middle, end
• Inciting Incident
• External goals
• Internal goals
• Obstacles/conflict
• Epiphany/sacrifice
• Black Moment
• Flaws
• Unique/original characters
• Secondary characters--goals, depth, contribute to the story

For an example of what a synopsis critique looks like, click here to view a .pdf file.

Price does NOT include a second read-through after revisions. Resubmissions will count as a new submission with another fee.


Manuscript critique

I offer detailed critiques on scene structure and writing style for fiction manuscripts. I will critique PARTIAL or FULL fiction manuscripts.

My editing strengths are high-level macro edits to determine problems in story structure, character arcs, pacing, and tension. I will identify any weaknesses in story structure, character arcs, writing style, and other aspects of a high-level structural critique. I will also analyze your manuscript for key writing and story elements:

• Opening hook/scene
• Pacing
• POV (point of view)
• Smooth dialogue, necessary, no redundancies
• Distinct character voices
• Adverbs
• Passive verbs
• Backstory
• Description, vivid picture, 5 senses
• Show vs. tell
• Rhythm/balance between narrative and dialogue
• Tags vs. beats
• Unique prose or cliché
• Character emotions
• Voice
• Scene structure--goal, conflict, disaster/reaction, dilemma, decision
• Scene necessity/redundancies

I charge a flat rate based on your submission’s total word count (using computer word count):

1 to 5,000 words: $150
5,001 to 10,000 words: $300
10,001 to 15,000 words: $425
15,000 to 20,000 words: $550
For each additional 5,000 words, add $100

Numbers above are your submission’s total word count, whether partial or full manuscripts.

For example, if you’d like me to critique a partial manuscript of three chapters, 33,333 words, it would cost $850.

If your partial manuscript is only 8,888 words, then it would cost $300.

If you wanted your full manuscript critiqued and it’s a total of 80,765 words, it would cost $1850.00.

If you have any questions, feel free to e-mail me and I can give you a price quote.

Price does NOT include a second read-through (re-edit) after revisions. Resubmissions (re-edits) will count as a new submission with another fee, according to the fee structure above. No discounts on re-edits.

Screening Critique

I offer a partial manuscript critique that you can choose first to find out if you’d like to hire me for your full manuscript.

My Screening Critique is one of two options:

(a) the first 5,000 words of your manuscript for $150.

(b) the first 5,000 words of your manuscript PLUS a two-page, single-spaced synopsis for $250 ($150 for manuscript, $50 for 2-page synopsis).

I will critique your manuscript according to the list above, and I will also do a quick “book doctoring” critique of your storyline/character arc according to your 2-page single-spaced synopsis.

After the critique, if you decide you would like to hire me for your full manuscript, you can send me the rest of your manuscript and I will give you a $150 discount off the cost of the full manuscript critique.

The Screening Critique is a good way to determine if you like my editing style. Also, I have often found that some writing issues can be seen in the first 5,000 words, and so a Screening Critique would give you feedback that you can use to revise the rest of your manuscript.

After the Screening Critique, you don’t have to hire me for your full manuscript right away. If you want to take some time to apply the feedback from the Screening Critique and revise your full manuscript, go ahead. When you contact me to do your full manuscript, simply remind me that I did a Screening Critique for you so that I remember to give you a discount.


Novel Proposal critique
$50

I will critique your novel proposal (NOT including synopsis), which includes hook, bio, marketing analysis, etc.

Proposal critique service does NOT include sample manuscript chapters, but may be combined with my full or partial manuscript critique service for an additional fee (see prices above).

Proposal critique service does NOT include synopsis critique, but may be combined with my synopsis critique service for an additional fee (see prices above).

Price does NOT include a second read-through after revisions. Resubmissions will count as a new submission with another fee.


Query letter/Cover letter critique
$20

I will make suggestions to help your query letter be as concise and professional as possible. I will give feedback on your story blurb, author bio, and query/cover letter format.



Coaching

One-on-One Self-Editing email coaching (4 weeks) New!
$65

I offer a 4 week long one-on-one email coaching service to teach you how to revise and polish your manuscript. This service is similar to my Self-Editing online class and Self-Editing worksheet, but with personalized feedback and a longer workshop time.

This one-on-one Self-Editing coaching service is just me and you, over email. I will email you lessons to read and exercises to do to help you revise and polish various aspects of your manuscript. I will also give feedback on your homework to help you make your manuscript the best it can be.

This coaching service lasts 28 days (4 weeks), during which we will work together and you can ask questions. By the end of the coaching session, you will have:

1) A good large-scale view of your story structure and character arc, and knowledge about how to fix any problems in that area

2) Tips for how to revise more emotion into your writing

3) Tools for solving pacing issues

4) A deeper look at technical writing errors to look for in your writing

5) An understanding of your own strengths and weaknesses in terms of critiquing yourself

I strongly suggest that you have a completed manuscript when you take this coaching service, but it should be fine if your manuscript is mostly completed, also. I would dissuade you from taking this coaching service if your manuscript is less than 75% complete.

You can work at your own pace and turn in the exercises/homework at your leisure. However, once the 28 days is ended, I cannot give any more feedback on your homework. The 28-day coaching service can start on any day of your choosing.

One novel manuscript per session. If you wish to work on more than one manuscript, you must purchase more than one coaching session.

One-on-One Seep Point of View email coaching (4 weeks) New!
$65

I offer a 4 week long one-on-one email coaching service to teach you techniques on deepening character point of view in your manuscript. This service is similar to my Deep Point of View online class and Deep Point of View worksheet, but with personalized feedback and a longer workshop time.

This one-on-one Deep Point of View coaching service is just me and you, over email. I will email you lessons to read and exercises to do to help you create richer character emotions. I will also give feedback on your homework to help you draw your reader deeper into your character's story.

This coaching service lasts 28 days (4 weeks), during which we will work together and you can ask questions. By the end of the coaching session, you will have:

1) Ways to strengthen the emotional writing and draw the reader deeper into the character’s point of view

2) An understanding of the structural elements of a scene to help you know when and how to add deep-POV emotions

3) Tips for how to tweak wording in order to deepen point of view on a minute level, which contributes to a richer point of view for the manuscript as a whole

4) A finely honed radar for spotting “Telling” and shallow POV through exercises

You do not need to have a completed manuscript in order to take this coaching service, but it would be best to have several chapters completed so that you can apply the lessons to your work.

You can work at your own pace and turn in the exercises/homework at your leisure. However, once the 28 days is ended, I cannot give any more feedback on your homework. The 28-day coaching service can start on any day of your choosing.

One novel manuscript per session. If you wish to work on more than one manuscript, you must purchase more than one coaching session.


One-on-One Synopsis email coaching (4 weeks)
$65

Don't have a synopsis written? I offer a 4 week long one-on-one email coaching service to help you write your synopsis. This service is similar to my Synopsis Writing online classes, which I teach at various times throughout the year.

This one-on-one synopsis coaching service is just me and you, over email. I will email you lessons to read and exercises to do to help you write your novel's synopsis. I will also give feedback on your homework to help you hone and tighten your synopsis.

This coaching service lasts 28 days (4 weeks), during which we will work together and you can ask questions. By the end of the coaching session, you will have a 2-page single-spaced synopsis and either a chapter by chapter synopsis completed or at the very least, the means to write one if you need one.

You can work at your own pace and turn in the exercises/homework at your leisure. However, once the 28 days is ended, I cannot give any more feedback on your homework. The 28-day coaching service can start on any day of your choosing.

One novel manuscript per session. If you wish to write a synopsis for more than one manuscript, you must purchase more than one coaching session.

One-on-One Characterization email coaching (4 weeks)
$65

I offer a 4 week long one-on-one email coaching service to help you fully develop your characters. This service is similar to my Characterization online class, which I teach at various times throughout the year.

This one-on-one Characterization coaching service is just me and you, over email. I will email you lessons to read and exercises to do to help you develop your characters. I will also give feedback on your homework to help you create vibrant, solid characters.

This coaching service lasts 28 days (4 weeks), during which we will work together and you can ask questions. By the end of the coaching session, you will have:

1) a solid grasp of who your character is—and I’m not talking just favorite ice cream flavor
2) your character’s flaws and heroic qualities to make him/her truly sympathetic to the reader
3) the character’s unique qualities to make him/her stand out from all the other characters on the Barnes and Noble shelves.
4) your character’s desire and external goal (you’d be amazed at how this can change from your original ideas about your character as you dig deeper and discover who your character is!)
5) the motivation behind your character’s actions--and not something done over and over again, but something really juicy and unique that shapes your protagonist to make him/her a richer, deeper character
6) conflict and obstacles that directly impact your character’s external goal
7) the riveting climax of the story—both external events and also internal arc

You do not need to have a completed manuscript in order to take this coaching service. Actually, it’s probably best if your manuscript is only partially completed or even just in the brainstorming stage.

However, whether your manuscript is completely done or just in the beginning stages, this coaching service will be helpful for you to solidify your characters.

You can work at your own pace and turn in the exercises/homework at your leisure. However, once the 28 days is ended, I cannot give any more feedback on your homework. The 28-day coaching service can start on any day of your choosing.

One novel manuscript and only two characters per session. If you wish to work on more than two characters or more than one manuscript, you must purchase more than one coaching session.

Phone consultation/mentoring/brainstorming

I offer telephone consultations or mentoring on a variety of topics, from writing craft to marketing/blogging and writing business. I can do brainstorming, advice/mentoring on agent and editor research, tips on marketing, pretty much any kind of question you might have.

Cost is $100 per hour.

I will also email you a link to download an MP3 recording of our call onto your computer so that you can listen to it again whenever you wish.

If you have any questions, just email me to ask.

Clients are welcome to "try me out" with a 20-minute call at a cost of $30. Finding the "right" mentor for you is like finding the "right" spouse--it takes time, trial and error.

Clients must prepay for their mentoring calls, and all calls are charged in increments of 20 minutes. For example, if your call only lasts 15 minutes, you will be charged $30. However, if you paid for say, an hour, and your call only lasts 30 minutes, I can "save" your time and we can schedule another mentoring phone time to use up the last 30 minutes you paid for.

Pitch Coaching

For those of you going to conferences and anticipate editor/agent appointments, I am now offering pitch coaching to help you write your pitch and even practice it if you’d like.

You will email me your story synopsis, or if you don’t have a synopsis, just email me a message explaining what your story is about. No need to be professional, I just want to know what your story is about.

Then we will schedule a 30-40 minute telephone conversation. Over the phone, I will help you to write your 5-sentence pitch based on the email message you sent to me and also by talking to you about your story. If time allows, I can also coach you on any questions the editor might ask about your story and how you can answer them.

I will also email you a link to download an MP3 recording of our call onto your computer so that you can listen to it again whenever you wish.

If you have any questions, just email me to ask.

Cost is $100. If you're interested, email me at storysensei {at} gmail {dot] com and I can send you a PayPal email invoice. Once you send me the email with your story information, we can schedule our telephone conversation.



Other services

Story Sensei online classes
price varies

Throughout the year, I will offer various online classes, which usually last approximately 4 weeks each.

The classes are conducted via a Story Sensei YahooGroup, which you must join in order to take the class (you don't need a Yahoo email address to join the YahooGroup).

Lessons are emailed to the YahooGroup. Each class member then emails the entire YahooGroup with his/her homework for the lesson. I will respond and give feedback to all the homework, again in an email to the entire YahooGroup. I have found that people often learn even more by reading my feedback to other class members as well as my responses to their own homeworks.

Click here to read a post with more details on how my online classes work.

I will be posting on my Story Sensei blog with my class schedule. If you're interested in a particular class, just email me to let me know, and I'll be sure to email you when I offer the class.

Right now, the classes I teach include:

Synopsis writing ($40)
Characterization ($40)
Self-Editing ($50)
Deep POV ($50)

I will be adding more classes as I gather interest, so if you want a particular class topic, email me to let me know!

Synopsis condensation
$155

Often, a writer will need to submit a short synopsis for a contest or in a proposal. In general, editors and agents prefer synopses 1-3 pages in length.

I will cut your synopsis down to any number of pages or words it needs to be shortened—all the way down to one page double-spaced, if that’s what you need. Your original synopsis can be up to 40 single-spaced pages.

Price does NOT include a second read-through after revisions. Resubmissions will count as a new submission with another fee.

This service can be combined with other services, including Synopsis critique and/or Proposal critique, for an additional fee.

Synopsis writing service
1 cent per word (computer word count of full manuscript)

From your full, completed manuscript, I will write two synopses for you:

One synopsis of any length you specify, single or double-spaced
and
One chapter-by-chapter synopsis

Synopsis writing service does not include any type of critique of your manuscript or the completed synopsis, but may be combined with my full manuscript critique service and/or my synopsis critique service for an additional fee (see prices above). No discounts on combining services.

Once I have delivered your synopses, the price does not include additional condensation—see prices above for synopsis condensation.



Endorsements

Click here for reviews about my critiques from published authors and contest finalists.

Privacy and disclaimers

I will keep your story ideas confidential, and you own the copyright to your material, no matter which changes I suggest.

I do not do comprehensive grammatical copy editing. For those services, see below.

Use of any of these services does NOT guarantee publication, contest finals, contest wins, or submission invitations.

Submission guidelines

Service is first come, first served. Please e-mail me at storysensei @ gmail.com before sending anything. Please put "Story Sensei" in the subject line.

I will do either electronic or hard copy submissions, although I prefer electronic submissions.

For electronic submissions, I use the "Track Changes" feature in Microsoft Word. If you do not use Microsoft Word, let me know and I will save the file as a .pdf file so that you can see my changes and comments using Adobe Acrobat.

If you do not wish me to use "Track Changes," I can insert my comments in ALL CAPS or colored font, but I charge an additional 20% to all services for this method of critique.

For hard copy submissions, you must print and ship your project to me. You must also pay for postage to ship your project back to you. I also charge an additional 20% to all services for this method of critique.

Payment

Payment is required upfront. I will not send your critique back to you if you have not rendered payment.

Included in all my services is my time for any questions you might have after the critique is returned to you.

If you'd like to pay using PayPal, e-mail me (StorySensei {at} gmail {dot} com) and I can send you a PayPal invoice e-mail.

I can also take checks or money orders, and they should be made out to "Camy Tang."
My mailing address is:
Camy Tang
P.O. Box 23143
San Jose, CA 95153-3143
If you pay with a personal check, I will wait until the check clears before sending your critique to you. Please e-mail me BEFORE sending any check or money order: StorySensei {at} gmail {dot} com.

Other resources

Articles

I've written several articles on the craft of writing that can help beginning and intermediate writers. They are all posted on this blog--the list of articles is on the sidebar.

I also post short writing tips on this Story Sensei blog.

For beginning writers, I'd like to suggest you start with Articles from Swain, a series of articles based on the classic writing book Techniques of the Selling Writer by Dwight V. Swain.

I also have two articles:
"I want to write a novel and I have no clue what to do!"
"I've written a novel and I have no clue what to do next!"

Other critique services I recommend:

Fiction Fix-It Shop (http://www.fictionfixitshop.com/)
Moonshell Books and Editorial, Shelley Bates (http://www.shelleybates.com/)
Cheryl Wyatt (http://www.cherylwyatt.com/)
Sharon Hinck (http://www.sharonhinck.com/)

Just email them through their websites and let them know that Camy suggested you contact them about critiquing.

Copy editing

I do not do grammatical copy editing. If you wish help in that area, may I suggest:

The Christian PEN

About me:

I am a fiction author published with Zondervan, Steeple Hill (an imprint of Harlequin), and Guideposts books. I write Asian Christian romance and romantic suspense.

Although I grew up in Hawaii, I moved to Northern California in 1990. I used to be a biologist researcher, but when I got laid off, I started writing again. Several years (and another biology job) later, I was contracted with Sushi for One. Now, I write full-time while trying to keep the house clean for my engineer husband and butt-headed doggy.

I have been running the Story Sensei for a few years, with many happy clients (see my Endorsements page for what people are saying about my critique services).

I specialize in high-level substantive critiques, which sets my services apart from other freelance editors who are more focused on developmental or line edits. This is also why my synopsis critique option is in such high demand--I look at overall story structure and character arcs.

I do not mind profanity or sex in manuscripts, but I do not care for graphic sexual abuse. I am well-versed in contemporary romance, romantic suspense, women's fiction, chick lit, historical romance, paranormal romance, and young adult.

If you have any questions, feel free to email me! StorySensei {at} gmail {dot} com

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