Blogger Backgrounds

Monday, August 20, 2012

New one-on-one email coaching services

My wrists are feeling pretty good, so I'm going to be open to scheduling some one-on-one email coaching services. However, because of book deadlines, I won't be able to start any coaching until October.

If you know you want to take some coaching from me and you're okay starting later this year, let me know so I can schedule you.

In addition to Synopsis one-on-one coaching ($35) and Characterization one-on-one coaching ($35), I am also adding Deep Point of View one-on-one email coaching for $45 and Self-Editing one-on-one email coaching for $45.

All my one-on-one coaching lasts four weeks, which gives you a bit more time to get in your homework for the lessons and revise them and resubmit them for additional feedback if you desire.

The structure of my one-on-one coaching is the same as my worksheets, but with the addition of my personalized feedback on your specific manuscript. Only one manuscript/character per coaching session, please.

Again, I will not be scheduling any coaching until October, and if I fill up my slots, I might need to schedule you out even further. However, we can communicate about what works well for both our schedules.

Each coaching session is 28 days (4 weeks). 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.

Click the links below for more information on my one-on-one email coaching services:

One-on-One Self-Editing Coaching ($45)
One-on-One Deep Point of View Coaching ($45)
One-on-One Synopsis Coaching ($35)
One-on-One Characterization Coaching ($35)

New!! Self-Editing worksheet and price drop on Characterization and Deep POV worksheets

NEW SELF-EDITING WORKSHEET!

After Katie commented on my author blog about my Self-Editing class, I realized that I could just offer a self-editing worksheet for those of you who wanted to take my online class but couldn't because of timing or cost. So here it is!

Self-Editing Worksheet
$20

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.

If you've taken (or are currently taking) my Self-Editing online class, no need to get this worksheet--it includes all the lessons from class. The only difference is that the class includes my specific feedback on your manuscript.

Click here to buy my Self-Editing worksheet for $20

PRICE DROP ON CHARACTERIZATION AND DEEP POINT OF VIEW WORKSHEETS!

In honor of my brand spankin' new Self-Editing worksheet, I have dropped the prices of my Characterization and Deep Point of View worksheets from $15 each to $10 each. So if you were wavering about if you want to get them or not, now's the time!

Click here to buy my Characterization worksheet for $10

Click here to buy my Deep Point of View worksheet for $10

Friday, July 13, 2012

Story Sensei classes in August and a new service

Online classes in August

My wrists are starting to feel better, so I’ve decided to hold four online classes in August for anyone who’s interested:

Synopsis writing online class ($30) August 1 - 15

Characterization online class ($30) August 1 - 15

Self-Editing online class ($40) August 15 - 30

Deep Point of View online class ($40) August 15 - 30


Each class (except for Self-Editing) is essentially the same as my worksheets, but in the class, I’ll be giving individual feedback on your homework. Many people have taken my classes multiple times, each time using a different manuscript, because they found the personalized feedback more helpful than just using my worksheets.

At the bottom of the post is more information on each of the classes.

Pitch Coaching

For those of you going to RWA conference at the end of this month or perhaps ACFW conference in September, 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 call you using Skype but you don’t need a Skype account because I can call landlines and cell phones using my Skype service. The reason I use Skype is because I have an app that can record our Skype conversation, and after the call I’ll give you a link where you can download the MP3 of our conversation. This way, you won’t need to take notes and you can listen to the conversation whenever you want.

Cost is $45. 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.

Information on the August online classes:

Synopsis writing online class ($30) August 1 - 15

For two weeks, I’ll be working with you to write a synopsis for your manuscript during the class. By the end of the class, you will have:

1) a one sentence hook for your manuscript proposal
2) a five sentence pitch, which you can also use in a query letter
3) a comprehensive 2-page single spaced synopsis for use in a proposal or submission
4) a character synopsis to include with your 2-page synopsis or in place of it
5) if your manuscript is completed, a full chapter by chapter synopsis (usually anywhere from 4-10 pages) for if an editor asks for a more complete story synopsis, OR at the very least, the means to write one if your manuscript is not yet completed.

Cost is $30. If you're interested, email me at storysensei {at} gmail {dot] com and I can send you a PayPal email invoice. The class will be online at my Story Sensei class YahooGroup. You may need a Yahoo Profile to join the YahooGroup, but you don't need to use a Yahoo email address--you can use your regular email address with the Yahoo Profile you create.
http://help.yahoo.com/tutorials/prof/prof/prof_start3.html
http://help.yahoo.com/l/us/yahoo/profiles/notifications/notif-04.html



Characterization online class ($30) August 1 - 15

This online class will help you develop your story characters. By the end of this class, 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

Cost is $30. If you're interested, email me at storysensei {at} gmail {dot] com and I can send you a PayPal email invoice. The class will be online at my Story Sensei class YahooGroup. You may need a Yahoo Profile to join the YahooGroup, but you don't need to use a Yahoo email address--you can use your regular email address with the Yahoo Profile you create.
http://help.yahoo.com/tutorials/prof/prof/prof_start3.html
http://help.yahoo.com/l/us/yahoo/profiles/notifications/notif-04.html


Self-Editing online class ($40) August 15 - 30

During this intensive 2-week online class, I’ll be teaching you how to self-critique your own manuscript, from high-level structural self-editing to line-editing. By the end of the class 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 quick list of technical writing errors to look for in your writing and in others’ manuscripts
5) An understanding of your own strengths and weaknesses in terms of critiquing yourself and critiquing others
6) Resources for finding your ideal critique partner and/or group

It'll be similar to the Critiquing Yourself and Others class that I gave via the FF&P RWA chapter in March, but it'll focus more on Deep Point of View and Technical Writing Mistakes. Also, if you took my Characterization class before, a few of the lessons will look familiar, but the rest of it will be entirely new. I will giving homework for you to self-edit your manuscript as well as my feedback on your homework, to help you polish your prose and identify any particular writing issues you might personally have. The feedback will be very targeted and focused on YOU and YOUR manuscript. This class will also have lessons 6 days a week for 2 weeks, so it'll be a bit more intense than some of my other classes.

Cost is $40. If you're interested, email me at storysensei {at} gmail {dot] com and I can send you a PayPal email invoice. The class will be online at my Story Sensei class YahooGroup. You may need a Yahoo Profile to join the YahooGroup, but you don't need to use a Yahoo email address--you can use your regular email address with the Yahoo Profile you create.
http://help.yahoo.com/tutorials/prof/prof/prof_start3.html
http://help.yahoo.com/l/us/yahoo/profiles/notifications/notif-04.html


Deep Point of View online class ($40) August 15 - 30

Want to rivet your reader to the page? Want to make your writing richer emotionally? Want your characters to be more vivid? 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 class you’ll 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

The online class 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. I’ll be posting lessons 5 days a week for 2 weeks, so this class will be a bit intense.

Cost is $40. If you're interested, email me at storysensei {at} gmail {dot] com and I can send you a PayPal email invoice. The class will be online at my Story Sensei class YahooGroup. You may need a Yahoo Profile to join the YahooGroup, but you don't need to use a Yahoo email address--you can use your regular email address with the Yahoo Profile you create.
http://help.yahoo.com/tutorials/prof/prof/prof_start3.html
http://help.yahoo.com/l/us/yahoo/profiles/notifications/notif-04.html

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Just write crap

It seems like this happens for every single book I write. I’m in the first quarter of the book, struggling to get the words down. It feels like slogging through New England clam chowder.

Then I suddenly remember, it doesn’t have to be perfect. Just write crap. Edit later.

Somehow I always forget this. It has happened at some point in every single manuscript I’ve completed. I have to remind myself to just get the words down, no matter how awful they are.

The first couple thousand words really ARE crap, but then after that, my right brain creative side takes over and suddenly I’m writing words that are actually rather good. Or at least, words I wouldn’t shudder to read aloud to my mother, the English teacher. :)

So if you’re in the first quarter or third of your book--or no matter where you are in it--just remind yourself to get the words down, no matter how execrable they are. Just power through it, don’t cringe at the triteness of your phrases and the cliches popping up like weeds (grin). After a while, the words will flow more like wine than like sludge.

(Ha! I used the word execrable in a sentence! Are you impressed? :)

Friday, February 17, 2012

Endorsements for worksheets?

Hey guys,

If you've bought and used my worksheets and want to write an endorsement for me, please email me at storysensei {at] gmail [dot} com. I'll post your endorsement on my Endorsements page and also include your name and website if you want, just let me know.

Thanks!
Camy

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Q and A: Passive Voice

I recently had a question on Facebook about passive voice, and Heather let me answer the question on my blog. Thanks Heather!

Mrs. Tang, can you recommend resources for overcoming passive voice. PV keeps sneaking it's way into my story! I didn't see a entry about PV on your Story Sensei blog. Any advice?

Camy: When a writer mentions “passive voice,” there are actually two different things they could mean. (Or sometimes, they mean both!)

1) passive sentences, meaning sentences with passive verbs instead of active verbs

Or

2) a passive writer’s voice, meaning the writing itself is rather stale rather than active and vibrant

PASSIVE SENTENCES:

Passive verbs like “was” and “were” are small and almost unnoticeable, but they tend to distance the reader from the story. By replacing passive verbs with strong action verbs, you can improve the prose dramatically.

For passive sentences, I have a quick and dirty solution that I use all the time.

First, I write the manuscript and don’t worry about passive verbs. I just write them and let them go. I want to just finish the manuscript and not worry about all the endless passive verbs I’ve used.

Then, I will do a “Find” in my word processing program (I use Mac Pages, but many of you probably use Microsoft Word, or Scrivener, or OpenOffice). I will Find “was” and “were” in my manuscript and revise each sentence with more active verbs.

Obviously, there will be places you can’t replace the passive verb, and that’s expected. There’s actually nothing wrong with the verb “was” (or “to be” in any form). It’s not passive in itself (example: She was his sister), but when you combine it with another verb (example: she was walking, she was feeling, she was hoping) it weakens the sentence. If you can replace as many passive verbs as you can find with stronger verbs, the overall vividness of your manuscript will skyrocket.

PASSIVE WRITER’S VOICE

If your feel like your writing voice itself isn’t vibrant, then a book I can recommend is Finding Your Writer’s Voice by Thaisa Frank and Dorothy Wall. Just to warn you, not all the exercises resonated with me, but there were several that really challenged me to develop my writer’s voice and helped me to really refine and bring it out. (Disclaimer: if you use the link above to buy the book on Amazon, I get a small kickback since I belong to Amazon Associates.)

Heather, I hope this answered your question! If it didn’t, let me know in the comments and I’ll refine my answer.

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Q&A - Character Voices

I got the below message from Michael, who graciously agreed to let me answer his questions on the blog in case some of his questions are those some of you are curious about, too.

Hi Camy,

Do you have any tutorials, suggestions, tips on how to ‘hear’ a character’s voice? It is a problem that continually vexes me.
I have some evil dudes and their voice, the sound of their voice, is not something I’ve been able to hear in my head. I’ve searched
on you tube for evil voices, experimented with voice altering software and tried to imagine it. And sometimes, when I imagine the
voice, I can hear how I want it to sound, but I can’t retain the memory of so lose it for the future.

To hear the character’s voice, or at least a close approximation, would do so much for writing their dialog.

What do you do? Do you have that problem? Any solutions out there for aspiring writers?


Camy: That's a good question! I often have to resort to different measures to be able to write different character voices.

For me, the best way is to watch movies over and over. That way, I not only hear the character voice, I see the actor's movements and quirks and can incorporate that into my vision of the character.

Being able to visualize the character more fully usually allows me to write their voices in more detail.

It makes sense, if you think about it. The more you know about a person, the more you can predict what they'll say or do. Therefore, the more you "know" about a character--through vocal tone, cadence, accent, facial expressions, body movements, emotional output--the better you'll be able to write that character in your book.

I will usually pick one character in a movie and then watch that movie over and over to spy all the minute details of the actor playing the character. The character's backstory doesn't have to be the same as your character, they just have to have the type of voice and movements that you want.

Then, when you write, you imagine the actor having the backstory of your character, and you write the character with the actor's movements and voice but with your character's personality and backstory.

It's not a perfect system, but it seems to work for me, especially if I can watch the movie over and over. For Protection for Hire, I watched the TV series Dark Angel to get a feel for my character, Tessa, because I wanted her to have the look, voice, and street rat mentality of the Dark Angel character, Max.

I think it's best if you use an entire movie or TV series because then you have more time with the actor and the actor's character. If you only use a clip, I don't know if you'd get a good enough feel for the character to be able to completely know how the character/actor would react with the dialogue that you write in your book.

I hope that helps! Good luck with your writing!

Camy

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Deep Point of View Worksheet

Hey guys! I have a new worksheet available for download!

I have had a lot of requests for my Deep Point of View online workshop, but I haven't been able to hold it because of time and because I've been trying to cut back on my Story Sensei stuff due to my sore wrists.

So instead of holding my Deep Point of View workshop, I've made my notes and workshop into a .pdf worksheet that you can download for less than the cost of the online workshop. Those of you who have been hoping to take my Deep POV class can now download the worksheet and get all my tips and tricks.

Deep Point of View Worksheet
$15

Want to rivet your reader to the page? Want to make your writing richer emotionally? Want your characters to be more vivid? 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) 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

This 31-page 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.

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 email you an .epub or .mobi file of the updated worksheet(s) you bought when they're available. If you would like to be notified when my worksheets will be available as ebook versions, just subscribe to my Story Sensei blog using the Feedblitz form on the right side.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

New design!

Thanks to suggestions from Meredith Efken and Randy Ingermanson, I now have a new blog design for the Story Sensei blog! How do you like?
Related Posts with Thumbnails