Monthly Archives: October 2013

The Storyfix Saturday Night Special

A story coaching offer, this weekend only (because I have some open slots): get me your $50 Kick-Start Conceptual Review submission by midnight on Sunday (Nov. 3rd), and I’ll deliver a 24-hour RUSH turnaround (normally a $25 upcharge) for no extra cost.

The fine print: I’ll send the questionnaire out to you within a couple of hours of receipt of your payment.  Just opt-in (using the Paypal option in the right column for the $50 fee, or just go direct to Paypal and use storyfixer@gmail.com as payee; if you’re not a member, let me know and I can invoice you, no Paypal membership required), allowing yourself however long it will take to answer with your best cut at your story’s concept and premise and first plot point, and then get those questionnaire answers back to me by that deadline.

If you don’t make the deadline, I’ll still do my best to turn it quickly for you.

Know this: this is as much a story development tool as a story evaluation tool.  Which means you win just by giving a go.

So… why this, why now?

Because I’ve done four of these in the last four days.  And each of them was either DOA or severely handicapped right out of the gate, which is the description concept and premise.

They are different.  That’s the key.  Writers are pitching premises with nothing conceptual in play.

If you’d like to see where you stand on that one, this is your shot at a quick diagnosis.  The Questionnaire includes links to posts that explain the difference and show the consequences of not getting it.

If you’d like a peek at what this looks like, click HERE for a real evaluation (used by permission).

This, aside from less than professional writing, is the number one cause of rejection slips, in my opinion.  Good writing, fine characters, rejected because there is nothing about the story that elevates it above the crowd.

That’s what concept does… when done right.

 

 

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Help Wanted: Hiring Fiction Writers Now

This is the opportunity of a lifetime.  Write novels and screenplays for money.

Publish your books and get invited to all sorts of book signings and conferences and bookclub gigs.  Quit your day job and live your dream.  Have cocktails with John Grisham and Nora Roberts at the National Book Awards banquet.

Hiring one out of every 1000 qualified applicants.  Of those (the one out of 1000), you may become one out of about 10,000 who will make a bestseller list.  Or one out of every 100 (of those one out of 10,000) who do make a bestseller list twice.  Feeling lucky?  The odds of a David Baldacci-like career: a conservative one out of about 5 million.

You have to be VERY good to become very lucky.

Must be willing to invest 10,000 hours or more of your time in an apprenticeship.  And if you still think stories arrive on clouds and characters talk to you after those 10,000 hours, we have a filing job for you that might be more suitable.

Must be willing to spend many thousands of dollars and hours doing the promotional work that you’d hoped your publisher would do, without access to the resources (major reviews and distribution buyers) that they have.

Quality work is essential, anything less will not be considered.  Once in, though, quality doesn’t guarantee anything, which means your work stands as good a shot as anybody’s.  Read 50 Shades of Grey to wrap your head around this.

Then again, don’t.  It’ll just piss you off.

Just like J.K. Rowling and Kathryn Stockett, spend a year or three of your life finding that one out of 50 agents who will recognize your work as being worthy of their representation.

Never mind that Barnes & Noble will never stock your book.  Be assured and content, though, that they’ll happily order it for your cousin when they come in and ask.

Hang with other cool, like-minded people.  Tens of thousands of them, in fact.

Great upside potential.  Publish your own book and you’ll make as much as $500 (that’s gross, not net, after you spend about $800 getting the book ready for Kindle), far above the $200 average.  Publish with a small press and you may make as much as $2500 or as little as a box delivered to your doorstep containing 25 copies of your work.  Become that one out of every 100,000 writers who actually make more than that with a larger publisher, even a Big-6 publisher, who will most likely dump your when you don’t make back your advance, which hardly ever happens.

Thrill in the knowledge that half your family and friends will read your book.  And the other half won’t.

Must be willing to work the first two to 20 years without pay.

Know that of your 1000 Facebook friends who are writers, three of them will read your post containing your notice of publication, and two might buy the book.

Must be willing to let go of fairy tale belief systems about how the business works.

Must tolerate internet trolls who will scorch you in an Amazon.com review.

Be your own boss.  Work your own hours.  Everybody wants that.

Serious applicants only.  Get in on the ground floor today, while you still can.  Because it’s getting really crowded in there.

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