One-On-One Sticking Note Plotting Session

Overview: An intense one-on-one session where I help you Sticky Note Plot a complete novel, from the opening scene to the ending, developing character arcs and desire lines, along with story structure.

Cost:

  • 1 session for 1 hour: $300
  • 1 session for 2 hours: $500

Targeted Audience

The one-on-one sessions are intended for:

  1. Writers in pre-draft mode who have not yet plotted the novel but have a compelling story premise.
  2. Writers stuck in the middle who have written a significant chunk of a draft but have lost their way.
  3. Writers starting to revise who have finished a first draft and need a blueprint for revision.

For Writers in Pre-Draft Mode:

Before the one-on-one session: To get the most out of our Sticky Note Plotting session, I’ll ask you for specific information that will help me understand your story and will guide the start of our session. I’ll also send you a description of the Sticky Note Plotting components, as well as links to videos where I explain the process. Our goal is to spend the whole session plotting your novel and developing your characters.

During the one-on-one session: We will work together to create a sticky note plot. We will concentrate on the restructure, focusing on key scenes that develop your character throughout the story. We will begin with Act One and establishing the world as it is, character motivation, and your character’s desire line. We will trace those elements all the way through the story, including the Turn, where the hero’s desire line leads to the end of the plot. Our interaction will be a free flow of ideas and suggestions, some of which will work and some of which will fail. I will ask you lots of questions, and you will ask me questions, as well. The session goal is not for me to tell you what your plot is, but for me to guide you through the process so that the story comes alive for you during the session. Remember: This is your story, so you will be in the driver’s seat. I will just be providing a map to lead the way.

After the one-on-one session: I will ask you to follow up by sending your revised Sticky Note Plot beat sheet and a revised logline. After I receive these, I’ll review them and ask follow-up questions to help focus on the important parts of the story and to help you develop a work plan for turning the beat sheet into scenes.

For Writers Stuck in the Middle:

Before the one-on-one session: To get the most out of our Sticky Note Plotting session, I’ll ask you for specific information that will help me understand your story and will guide the start of our session. I’ll also send you a description of the Sticky Note Plotting components, as well as links to videos where I explain the process. The goal is to spend the whole session plotting your novel and developing your characters.

During the one-on-one session: We will do a quick sticky note plot of the work that you have, and then we will focus on creating stakes, conflict, dilemmas, and decisions to drive the story past the muddled middle toward the end. For writers who have completed the first draft or now are trying to shape their current draft, we will do a sticky note plot of the story already written, and we will examine key scenes and crucial elements to focus on character development, background, motivation, and internal/external conflict. We will look closely at the middle and talk about how character development can create a more powerful midpoint. We will then plot the story for the rest of the novel, concentrating on the beginning of Act Three, where character development is also crucial.

After the one-on-one session: I will ask you to follow up by sending your revised Sticky Note Plot beat sheet and a revised logline. After I receive these, I’ll review them and ask follow-up questions to help focus on the important parts of the story and to help you develop a work plan for turning the beat sheet into scenes.

For Writers Ready to Revise:

Before the one-on-one session: To get the most out of our Sticky Note Plotting session, I’ll ask you for specific information that will help me understand your story and will guide the start of our session. I’ll also send you a description of the Sticky Note Plotting components, as well as links to videos where I explain the process. The goal is to spend the whole session understanding strengths and weaknesses of  your plot and developing your characters.

During the one-on-one session: If you’re starting a second draft, it means that you’ve already written the first draft, and you have a plot on paper. The Sticky Note Plot method works well here because Sticky-Noting your current plot creating a visual map of your work. For many writers, the first Act is well-written, but the rest of the novel, especially Act 2B, tends to be sparse as we rush our way toward the ending. The second draft is where we really dig into main character’s motivation and conflict, and that digging drives the revision. We also talk about B-stories and how they support the main story and the main character’s desire line.

After the one-on-one session: I will ask you to send me a copy of your revised bid sheet, a completed logline, a list of Scene Questions, and a synopsis of the new plot. I will read all of this material and give you final suggestions for proceeding with your revision.

Scene Structure One-On-One Session

Overview: A combination of a one-on-one scene-structure coaching session and a critique of the first 100 pages of your manuscript, focusing on granular elements such as Scene Questions, Scene Goals, Desire Lines, Stakes, Conflict, Dilemmas, and Decisions. This session is for writers who have been told that they write quiet novels or that their books are too episodic. Our goal is to create scenes that are so compelling, your reader can’t wait to read them.

COST:

$1000

Targeted Audience

The scene structure one-on-one sessions are intended for:

  1. Writers who are still drafting and have compelling characters and/or an intriguing premise but haven’t figured out what their characters are supposed to do or what they want.
  2. Writers whose first-draft beta readers have told them that things “happen for no reason” or that the story is “too slow” and that they feel no connection to the characters.

For Writers Still Drafting and Writers Who Are Ready Revise

Before the one-on-one session:  I will send you a scene-structure spreadsheet that I call the Spreadsheet of Doom (some of my students have called it the Spreadsheet of Magic, but I’m not making any promises). Using the spreadsheet, you map out all of your scenes and find all the elements of a scene that is missing.

During the one-on-one session: in the first part of the session we go over Spreadsheet of Doom and talk about what’s missing from your scenes I ask you many follow-up questions, especially in terms of character development, desire lines, character belief, and character motivation. We talk about the importance of setting a Scene Question before the scene even begins and how to compel a reader to turn the pages.

After the one-on-one session: I will ask you to revise the Spreadsheet of Doom and submit it to me for notes. Then I will read the first 100 pages of your revised manuscript, giving you editorial line notes. I will also write an editorial letter of 2-4 pages describing plot elements, character development, and other elements of fiction.

Manuscript Consultation

Overview: A full manuscript consultation includes line annotations and a lengthy editorial letter. It is a comprehensive read and evaluation of your novel. Please note: due to the intensity and commitment it takes to do a full read, I only book one manuscript consultation per month, and I only agree to work on a manuscript that has been through at least one round of revision based on notes from beta readers.

COST:

$2000 for up to 50,000 words. For more than 50,000 words, $.04  (four cents) per word.

Targeted Audience

The one-on-one sessions are intended for :

  1. Writers who have completed at least one round of revision based on notes from beta readers.
  2. Writers who have shelved a draft that wasn’t quite working and want a pair of fresh eyes on it.
  3. Writers who have received “almost” rejections and need to fix a few elements to improve the novel.

What to Expect:
A full manuscript consultation includes line annotations and a lengthy editorial letter of at least ten pages. In the letter, I address plot elements, character arcs, stakes, goals, desire lines and scene structure. I also give pointers on how to approach the next revision. It is typically the same kind of reading that I do for the student packets in an MFA program, except that I read your entire novel. So, the editorial letter is a mix of information about story elements which are then applied to your specific work of your specific story. A manuscript consult is to focus on story elements that may be missing, to develop characters so that they are three dimension on rounded to work on scene structure and other elements of fiction such as setting, dialogue, and visual techniques. Please note: This not a copyedit or an edit for style. My goal is not to turn you into a literary writer or to help you write lyrical prose but to help you tell a story that the reader can’t wait to finish.

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