You know the feeling: you start a story with enthusiasm. The words flow, the characters come alive. And then - deadlock. The words wither; the plot goes on lock down. Story chat is all about rediscovering the excitement that puts your story back on track.
When you're stuck on a story, you need more than coffee and mom's pep talk. You need somebody who can jog that story back into motion - without costing you the next month's mortgage!
Story chat is just that: a fun and friendly guided tour through your own story line. Along the way, you'll feel the old excitement kindle.
So sit with me a while. Let's talk story.
Every aspiring writer loves to talk about his/her stories. Our stories are our babies, our truest, most intimate creations. The challenge, of course, is fitting all that story into just a few sentences. Or, worse, a synopsis. Or (nightmare!) a 30-second agent pitch!
Story Chat shows you how to identify and focus on the core elements that drive your story. Whether you're working out a pitch or trying to wake up your muse, Story Chat gets you back on track.
Typically, a Chat is a one-hour brainstorming conversation focused on your special story problems. I'll show you how to recognize where your story has gone off track, and guide you to the kind of steps you can take to get it moving again. It's a fun & invigorating way to wake up your muse.
I started writing early, winning state-wide writing contests in grammar school, publishing an environmental fairy tale under the aegis of the NJ Board of Education in college. After earning my M.A. in Journalism at Stanford, I wrote feature articles for Eastern newspapers and magazines, from Mankind and Peninsula to Science Digest and sci fi's Speculations. I trained in story structure under Sid Field before going on to teach story structure at Learning Tree University.
I asked Bonnie Milani to edit the beginning of one of my short stories, and to give me advice about how I could improve it and build in immediate reader attention. In her response, Bonnie demonstrated a very high level of professional editing skill. For example, she pointed out that I could cut back on exposition material and introduce conflict as quickly as possible, and how the perspective of my main character needed to be established more firmly. I looked again at my text and realised that if I applied Bonnie’s advice, I would greatly improve the beginning of the story. Bonnie brought considerable technical ability and experience to the material I gave her, and she communicated her insights and suggestions in a friendly and very encouraging manner. When I need further editing assistance either on my short stories or my novels, I will definitely ask Bonnie to help again. Thanks, Bonnie. Judith Rook Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/JudithRookBooks/ Blog: www.JudithRook.com
Bonnie is the best! I found her through a writer’s site and have hung on tightly to her ever since! She read and edited my work-in-progress, and her suggestions made all the difference. I learned where my story truly began and what areas – and even characters – could safely be trimmed for a tighter plot. Bonnie is knowledgeable and attentive to detail. Not to mention – rare in this day and age! - she is available by phone. We spent several hours getting my writing back on track, and my discussions with her were as comfortable and familiar as coffee-time with a friend. Thanks to Bonnie, I’ve found my direction and my writing is flowing. I’ll be looking her up again when it stops!
Bonnie has an admirable ability to cut through the nonsense and get to the heart of the story. She listens carefully, hones in on the elements that drive a story and, crucially, understands what the writer is trying to do with the story. She is knowledgeable, patient but with a real focus on the conflicts and character elements that connect a story to the reader. I heartily recommend her work.
A one-hour structural brainstorming session to unlock your plot, characters, conflict, and imagination.
Structural Brainstorming Your Story
A 1-hour phone chat focused on your story
Story Chat follows a lively Q & A format: I'll ask you the questions that guide you through the maze of character and conflict. Your answers will lead you to the story you'd been trying to find all along.
Mending your story's bones
First 2500 words $50; then $10/ 1000 words
Also known as a developmental edit, this is a detailed analysis of your MS: story throughline, plot logic, character development, and character arc within the context of three act structure.
The copy edit looks at your use of language: word flow, grammar, syntax, readability. Note that a copy edit is NOT proofreading!