Get Ready For Something Amazing: A Resident Writing Coach Program

Confession time: Becca and I have been plotting.

light-bulbOur mission, as you all know, is to help our visitors become stronger writers. And while we do our best to craft insightful posts week after week, we also believe that one of the best ways to evolve one’s writing skills is to experience a variety of teachings and viewpoints.

With a million blogs out there, variety is never hard to find, is it? But time–there’s never enough of that. Really, we’re all looking for the same thing: the brightest nuggets. The best bits of writing help.

So this got us thinking…

Wouldn’t it be great if you didn’t have to hunt for top-notch storytelling help…if instead it showed up here, week after week?

We put our heads together and identified some of the best sources of writing information online, both from world-renowned story experts, and emerging writers. And then we begged bribed asked if they would like to join us here at WHW as resident writing coaches.

(And guess what? They did!)

Are you ready? Seriously, prepare yourself.

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Over the next year, you will see some amazing blog posts from these unbelievably talented people:

#1Bestselling Author and International Speaker James Scott Bell

Editor and Founder of Women Who Flash Their Lit, April Bradley

Hollywood Story Expert and International Speaker, Michael Hauge 

Editor and Award-winning Novelist, C.S. Lakin

Deep Craft Wizard and Part-time Editor, September C. Fawkes

Author, Writing Coach, and Founder of Author Accelerator, Jennie Nash

Poet and Character Arc Enthusiast, Sara Letourneau

Mega-star Ghost Writer, Writing Coach and Author Roz Morris

Award-winning Author and Writing Coach, Jami Gold

Read more about our Resident Writing Coaches here

divider-30134_960_720Some of these names you may know, others may be new to you. Each one, we believe, has unique insight and a special talent for story. Becca and I are looking forward to being able to share their contributions over the next year, and we hope you’re excited too!

Now before the sheer talent of these people causes the internet to collapse, why not leave us a comment with your writing craft topic wish list for blog posts? Because you never know… 🙂

 

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About ANGELA ACKERMAN

Angela is an international speaker and bestselling author who loves to travel, teach, empower writers, and pay-it-forward. She also enjoys dreaming up new tools and resources for One Stop For Writers, a library built to help writers elevate their storytelling.
This entry was posted in Resident Writing Coach, Uncategorized, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons. Bookmark the permalink.

47 Responses to Get Ready For Something Amazing: A Resident Writing Coach Program

  1. Andreas says:

    Hello Angela,

    whatever happened to your “Resident Writing Coach Program”? Did it start (and maybe even finish) already?

    If it didn’t start yet: Will it implement the suggestions I made about genre-mixing, main character crowding etc?

  2. Pingback: Overwhelmed by a Huge Revision? | Jami Gold, Paranormal Author

  3. Holy cow, this is super-exciting news! You girls continue to amaze all of us with your brilliant ideas, hard work, and persistent efforts to help the rest of us be better at our craft. THANK YOU!!!

  4. Pingback: Helping Writers: Writing Coaches, Guest Posts, & More! | Jami Gold, Paranormal Author

  5. This is so exciting—Hello Angela, Becca, Jami, and Writers-In-Residence. I have had the absolute pleasure workshopping with each Angela, Becca, and Jami. What an honor to be included here among my teachers. While I will be chafing at genre categorization, my area includes a great deal of experience in loving, reading, editing, writing, and publishing short form writing. If anyone has any questions about short fiction forms, creative nonfiction, memoir, essay, publishing, freelancing, even poetry, please toss those into the idea mill.

    • Jami Gold says:

      Howdy April!

      I’d love to get your insights on how to keep a story idea short as you’re writing from a structure perspective. Like, other than skipping subplots, do you need to do anything else?

    • Sara L. says:

      Hi April! Very excited to be part of the team with you! 🙂

      I’d like to second Jami’s suggestion about structure for shorter stories. I’m planning to tackle my first novella next year, so any advice about keeping things simpler and shorter than a novel would be welcome.

      • C. S. Lakin says:

        I’ve been reading the suggestions, and will look forward to writing on the topics you all are in need of and that the other resident bloggers won’t cover. Since I write novellas and also very long novels (130k+ words), that’s a topic I can speak to from personal experience. I’ll keep this in mind when I get ready to write my posts.

  6. M. Lee Scott says:

    As I spend a lot of time at different blogs this will cut it in half if I only have to read one! Thanks for thinking of us.

    Setting: This is my problem area. For instance: My first chapter opens in a barn…how many ways can you describe the inside?

    Also, introspection…psychology seems a big part of it, but what if I don’t have a degree in psych?

    • Oh my goodness, when it comes to setting, I don’t even know where to start! There’s so much you can do with your setting, utilizing the description to show characterization, steer the plot, evoke mood and emotion, reveal past wounds, help facilitate necessary backstory, draw readers in through POV sensory description…probably a good starting place for you would be to visit this post here: http://elizabethspanncraig.com/4500/5-senses/ While I don’t openly like to promote our books, the reality is we cover all of this, and more, in our two Setting Thesaurus volumes, the Urban and Rural Thesaurus books. To get an idea of all the things your setting can do in a story, download the free Setting Checklist on the Tools For Writers page.

      Introspection is another great topic. The good news is you don’t need a psych degree, just to understand your characters deeply and know what motivates them and why. Once you have this nailed, you can write them authentically There’s a lot to writing thoughts well though, so perhaps this will be a good topic for one of our coaches, or Becca/I to tackle. Thanks for commenting!

  7. Sia Huff says:

    Hi Angela,

    Fantastic brainchild you and Becca have created. I can’t wait to read (and hopefully absorb) all the incredible information coming our way.

    I’d like to write a strong first chapter – without second guessing if I’ve started in the right place – and understand up front everything that needs to go in and what I should leave out to carry the manuscript forward.

    Thanks for asking. So looking forward adding to my writers tool box!

    Sia

    • Sia if you like, check the sidebar for tags on story openings, or run a search using the search bar for specific terms–we actually have a lot on the site about how to write those first chapters. 😉 It may help!

  8. Jami Gold says:

    Hi Angela & Becca!

    I’m SO excited to be a part of this, and I can’t wait to work with your readers. 🙂

    (Erm, as my many replies to these ideas in the comments prove. 😉 )

  9. Lene says:

    I like to write contemporary fiction about 50-80+ year old active characters. Is this a genre? There is not much out there in this area, yet our population is growing older and I feel there is a huge market not being tapped. Not all of us enjoy fantasy and science fiction. What do you think? Is there a market?
    Any assistance in developing these ideas will be very welcome.

  10. Would love advice on how to start the second book in a trilogy in which subsequent books are somewhat dependent on reading previous volumes. How do you reintroduce characters without redundant boring material or long back stories? The books are not necessarily stand-a-lones.

  11. Andreas says:

    Thanks, Angela.

    Let’s hope those suggestions will be taken up and answered by the coaches! I, for one, would love to hear more about those story challenges/story tools, especially as far as genre-specific story beats and mixing genres goes.

  12. Any Indie publishing advice?

  13. Wow. You guys just keep raising the bar higher and higher. (And you don’t try to limbo under it, either; you jump over the top!)

  14. Sara L. says:

    Just wanted to chime in and say how THRILLED I am to be part of the Resident Writing Coach Program! I’m looking forward to writing for WHW, and I can’t wait to see what the other coaches have in store. 🙂

    Thanks for the warm welcome, everyone! And thanks to Becca and Angela for conceiving this project in the first place.

  15. Nancy C says:

    Fantastic news! Thank you.

    I would like to know more about how to show the passing of time between scenes (other than dates or ‘one week later’ at the beginning of the chapter).

    And I can learn from any topics on writing craft 🙂

  16. How about crafting a Middle Grade Novel . . . Characterization? Arc? Theme? That would be helpful! Love the way you two think outside the box.?

  17. I write in multi genres. Contemporary M/f Contemporary Gay or LGBT, and Paranormal romance/ urban fantasy. My question is do I need to brand each separately with pen names or can I make one brand for each genre and how? I don’t want to confuse my audience but I would like to keep everything streamlined as possible. Like one Website. Thank you for your time and this is a fabulous Idea.

    • Hi Cathy, I think our coaches are mainly going to be posting on writing craft, but this is definitely Becca or I can cover at some point, because so many writers do write in multiple genres. 🙂

    • C. S. Lakin says:

      Hi Cathy, if I might chime in here just briefly. I am pumping up my western romance series, which is under a pen name. Since I write in many genres, ideally, I would have had better success had I used a pen name for each and branded each series, as many romance writers do.
      Since it’s insane to try to create websites, social media pages, etc. for each pen name (I also have an email and URL and FB page for my pen name), I’m beginning to follow the strategies that Mark Dawson and Nick Stephenson recommend, which is all about the mailing list. When you focus on building a mailing list, you don’t even need a website or basically anything else. You direct readers to your list and via emails, introduce all your books to them. You can have a different segment for each group/genre. I think, for me, this is a great solution because I can sell tons of books and get fans and readers without having to mess with all that social media platform stuff for each pen name.

      Hope that gives you some ideas.

  18. JC says:

    WOW! What a lineup!

    I would love to see articles about “Romantic” writing – subplot as well as genre.

  19. Cindy Huff says:

    How to balance marketing and writing.

    Writing good freelance content that sells well so you have moe time to work on your novel.

    • HI Cindy, As I mentioned in another comment, chances are marketing topics would be covered by either Becca or I as our coaches are centering mainly on writing craft, but thanks for the suggestion. Balance is important, as is understanding what an audience needs most so you hit the mark with any content you write.

  20. Another outstanding, creative and supportive offering! You ROCK!

  21. Andreas says:

    Hello Becky and Angela,

    well, how about the following topics:

    Genre-specific story beats: What story beats *have* to appear in a successful fantasy tale? Or in a successful horror tale? Or a science fiction tale? Or in a historic fiction tale? Or… Well, you get the idea. (After all, that ridiculous “mythic journey” template, that has grown to some kind of perverted surrogate religion of writers, to the point that it is constantly imitated by all of Holliwood and 99% of all fiction writers is only ONE possible way of writing a story. There are so many others…)

    Genre-Mixing: Building up from the preceeding topic suggestion, how do you apply those genre-specific story beats to a story that draws upon several genres? (For instance, if you want to mix horror and historic fiction, which genre-beats from each of the “primal genres” would *have* to appear in that story?

    Subplots: How about delving REALLY deep into subplots: What are they, how should they applied, how shouldn’t they be applied, What happens when a suplot evolves into a main plot unexpectedly, and so on.

    Main characters crowd: Usually, the advice is that you shouldn’t have more than 2 or 3 main characters. Yet some stories with “too many main characters” syndrome are among the most successful storie series ever published, most notably GAME OF THRONES, THE LORD OF THE RINGS and Frank Baum’s OZ series. Those series have way above that “save” limit, yet they’re highly successful anyway. (In fact, Baum’s OZ books have a vast following even today, 117 years after that series started. And of course, it’s the only series that is STILL continued, usually with SEVERAl different “episodes” from SEVERAL different publishers per year. Which might just make the OZ book series the most successful fantasy series of all time, in many ways dwarfing even LORD OF THE RINGS in that regard.)

    So it is very possible to write good AND successful books or, even better, successful, LONG-RUNNING book series with legions of main characters.

    So how do you go about it, if you want to write a book that turns out to have six main characters, yet you have only 250 pages to do so?

    Or how do you balance the main characters? Meaning, how do you balance the story part of one MC versus the story part of another MC and so on.

    Cheers,
    Andreas

    • Some terrific ideas here–thank you for taking the time to post this!

    • Jami Gold says:

      Hi Andreas,

      I *love* to talk story structure, so I appreciate your suggestions for posts here. As I write romance, I have a romance beat sheet (along with other worksheets) on my site, and people have asked me to come up with versions for other genres, like you mentioned.

      So far, I haven’t felt up for tackling that project, however, simply because I’m not as familiar with what “must have” beats exist for other genres. But I’d love to work with genre experts to come up with them! 🙂

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