Creative writing springs from inspiration, but it is nourished by discipline. A well-written piece looks effortless, but it’s the product of carefully executed skills. The craft of writing can be learned. It’s my job to teach it.
How does individual mentoring work?
The first thing is to help you identify what you want to achieve in your writing. We then decide how our meetings will get you there.
Yourwriting is what we focus on. It can be fiction or nonfiction. The length can vary from brief sketches to full-length manuscripts.
You get written comments from me and I elaborate on them in person. I emphasize what you’re already doing well, and show you how to build on your strengths. I also introduce you to writing techniques that can enhance your prose.
For some writers, I add lessons in craft to my comments. In these lessons, I can offer suggestions to help you depict setting, build structure, forge a narrative.
Reading the work of other writers is also something we can do. If you are a serious reader, you may want to look at literary excerpts with me to see how published authors fashion their own memorable pieces.
If you are ready to publish, I can suggest places to submit your work for publication.
Above all, I’d like you to leave each meeting with enthusiasm for your writing and confidence in your ability to develop it.
It’s difficult to see your work through a reader’s eyes. But this is just what a writer needs: a trained and experienced reader who can tell you what’s on the page, not just what you think is on the page.
When you give me your work to read, you take me into yourtrust. You give me the chance to explore with you what you’ve written so far, and what you want your writing to become.
I honor this bond between writer and reader by giving your work the full attention it deserves.
When you submit a piece to me, I read it several times. When I write comments about it, I make sure that my remarks cover a range of important topics:
What is your overall purpose?
What impact do you want your writing to have?
Who is your ideal reader?
What shape have you chosen for your work?
How will this affect your reader?
These broader questions set the stage for more detailed feedback about the effectiveness of your prose. What is your writing actually saying? And how are you expressing yourself on the page? If you’re telling a story, how is the narrative working? How believable and vivid are your characters? If you’re writing nonfiction, how do you develop your themes? And what kind of voice does your writing have?
If your writing is ready for line-by-line editing, I can show you how to polish your sentences, giving them variety, momentum, and grace.