New: Two Affordable Story Coaching Options… That Can Put Your Story Over the Top

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by Larry Brooks on November 26, 2012

Today I’m launching a new story coaching package, this one even more affordable than the recent $100 service that was rolled out (with great success, for me and for the takers) a few months ago, and remains available.

This new one, a high level conceptual analysis, is only $35.  

That’s not a misprint.  And it can save your story’s life.  Even before you’ve written it.

I developed both programs for just this reason… I see too many stories that are compromised at the design stage.  No matter what your creative process, the end-game is the same: a story with solid dramatic chops, a rich and compelling set of characters, great pace, vivid settings, powerful themes and a visceral impact on readers.

I don’t have to actually read your draft to see if these are in play… indeed, you don’t even have to have written one yet.  By looking at the bones of the story I can determine how these essential elements will combine to tell your story.

But I’m getting ahead of myself.  Here’s a brief review of both plans.

Story coaching: the application of analysis and feedback toward the improvement of your novel or screenplay.

When I analyze a story, I use 12 effective literary criteria to discover the richness, and the soft spots, of a story: the Six Core Competencies of Successful Storytelling… and the Six Realms of Story Physics.

I’ve written books on both, by the way… which you can check out HERE and HERE.

The process is like an MRI for your story.  At the price of a dinner or two.

It costs thousands for a full manuscript analysis.  Worth it, too.  Call me if that’s your preference, I do these all the time.

But if you don’t have thousands to spend… if you only have a few dozen dollars to spend on this… then I have something exciting to offer.  Something that’s completely original in the story coaching business.

You don’t even have to have a finished draft.  In fact, this process is equally effective and empowering for story plans as it is for completed manuscripts.

How does it work?

Rather than reading an entire draft, I ask you questions — the Questionnaire itself serves as a powerful story development tool — and based on your answers (and, at the higher level, a short narrative synopsis), I then analyze your story for its inherent dramatic potential.  I’m like a building inspector in that regard, poring over a blueprint rather than walking the halls of a building the day before a grand opening.

To use another analogy… it’s like an MRI for your story plan.  If there’s something questionable there, I’ll call it out for you, with rationale and creative options.  Before it kills you.

The Two Options

The new program is called “The $35 Conceptual Kick-Start Story Analysis.”  I’ll help you frame and define your story concept, and then analyze how well it relates to the most important moment in the story, which is the First Plot Point.  This relationship is critical, and it’s the most common weak-link in stories that aren’t dramatically sound. Get this key moment wrong and the story is handicapped, often fatally so, before it even begins.

I’ll assess how your plan works at the conceptual level, and back up the feedback with rationale and creative options.

Click HERE for more on this new program.

The existing program is calledThe Amazing $100 Story Coaching and Empowerment Adventure.”

This is a deeper set of questions (in and of themselves serving as a rich story development template) which, along with your narrative synopsis of your story, allows me to evaluate the story’s concept and narrative structure, including each of the four contextual/sequential parts and their key transitional milestones, along with critical elements of story physics.

Click HERE for more on this program.  Over 100 writers have opted in since June, and the results include everything from Epiphanies to re-boots to sudden fits of renewed enthusiasm and hope.

Both levels offer RUSH OPTIONS for a few more dollars, for which I’ll work longer days (rather than bumping anyone from the line).

Let me know if you have questions.

I encourage you to give this a try… it can save you a year of frustration and perhaps a rewrite… maybe even a rejection letter.

*****

I do this for a living.  This… as well as writing books on storytelling and related posts here on Storyfix… and writing novels of my own (my newest, “Deadly Faux,” comes out late 2013 from Turner Publishing, who are also re-releasing my entire backlist of titles).  That said…

Just to round out the story coaching menu here...

I do FULL manuscript evaluations at a base rate of $1500 (please, do compare this to other providers, who may or may not have a bestselling book out on the criteria for story functionality…).  Those who used the $100 level coaching package to develop the story later pay only $1200 for a finished draft review (based on 80,000 to 1o0,ooo words).

I also do PART 1/FIRST QUARTILE ( through the First Plot Point) evals for $400, which includes the same Questionnaire used in the $100 program.  The first “act” of a story makes or breaks the entire project… easily 75% of the problems encountered in a full analysis are either vividly evident or suspiciously lurking in the first 100 pages.  Those who later opt to have the full manuscript analyzed pay only $1200 (additional) at that level.

Some writers desire ongoing coaching during the development process… I do that work at $50 an hour, using a draft-down against a deposit for a few hours.  Most projects require only four to 10 hours of coaching.  These clients also receive a full manuscript review for a discounted $1000 fee.

I don’t believe in brutally honest feedback.  Just explicitly honest feedback that is useful and relevant, which, when it isn’t what we want to hear, can sometimes feel a bit on the brutal side.  I wax the same level of enthusiasm when I see gold as I do when I see a crack.

My goal is to make your story better, plain and simple.  Sometimes we have to get out of our own way to make it happen… I coach that, too.

 

Bruce H. Johnson November 26, 2012 at 12:06 pm

Hey folks! Best thing since sliced bread and canned beer. I know how difficult it is to evaluate one’s own work, so this is great.

I’ve got some more work to do on my own rewrites (still in design stage), then I’ll be using one of these services.

Go design and write something great.

Heather November 27, 2012 at 8:06 am

Sounds great! Especially the questionnaire as it could save valuable time. One thing though. A building inspector inspects the building. A plans examiner goes through the plans.

Shaun November 27, 2012 at 6:06 pm

This is a great idea for those of us who are just in the planning and world building stages and for those of us who have a vague idea of where we want our stories to go. Or if there is even a place for the story ‘to’ go. I will definitely be using the newest option and then go from there. Appreciate it. Anyway you can post an example of what those questions will be? Or are they too short compared to the 100$ one that it would kind of render the offer useless? Just curious. Thanks for being considerate.

Larry November 27, 2012 at 6:41 pm

@Shaun — the questions are simple, pointing toward your take on your concept (from a couple of different angles), and how you would describe your First Plot Point. The $100 version asks about the other story parts and milestones, as well as issues of character and theme. From this I’m able to see if the story connects with the potential for powerful story physics… or not so much, including what to focus on to improve it. Hope this helps — Larry

Shaun November 29, 2012 at 5:45 pm

It helps. Thanks Larry.

Robert Jones November 29, 2012 at 7:23 pm

Larry,

I’m giving serious thought to taking you up on the $100 deal offered in the Q4 newsletter. My plot isn’t finished though. The first half is in pretty good shap, and I’m currently attempting to nail down the final pieces of the third quarter. What I’m wondering is:

1) Will your questionnaire help me nail down the second half of my plot? Or should I finish getting my plot into shape before applying your questions?

2) With the approaching holiday’s plans and schemes, and not having my plot totally thought out, I may not be able to get it to you before early next year. Is that okay?

Thanks!

RS December 2, 2012 at 9:24 am

I love how the options for coaching keep getting more varied (and affordable!). I enrolled in the $100 program, and found it incredibly helpful (and worth every penny). On another note, Larry, I was wondering what your thoughts were on the usefulness of writing retreats and whether you would ever consider holding one yourself. (This perhaps might merit a separate blog entry in of itself.)

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