Puzzles, Propositions, Pitches and Other Holiday Stuffing

Yesterday I challenged you to do the impossible.  Oh, did I mention that the puzzle is, in fact, actually not solvable? 

And it looked so easy, too.  Just like your killer idea may look like an easy winner at a glance.

Well, I’m either a smug bastard or I had a reason for doing that.  Let’s opt for the latter.

Several of you Googled the thing — it’s called the Seven Bridges of Konigsberg (thank you Steve Smith)– and responded with solid, research-reinforced rationale as to why this thing doesn’t work as planned.  A few others confessed that they tried and gave up the ghost.  And thankfully, nobody faxed me their proud example of doing what nobody else in the history of mankind has ever done (sometimes that happens in my workshops within one minute), forcing me to break the news.

Aside from the momentary entertainment value, I offered this as an experiential exercise in how you think.  All you research analysts out there passed with flying colors, in that if you bring that same need to substantiate the validity of an idea before trying it out – as in, your story’s concept – you’ll be on solid storytelling ground going forward.

Mission accomplished.  Thanks to all for playing.

Coming in December…

Look for my ten-part series entitled: “The Strategic No-B.S. Guide to Finally Getting Published.”  Or something like that. 

Tell your writer friends to subscribe, you won’t want them to miss an episode.

And if you think you’ve heard it all on this subject, buckle up, I’m about to rattle a few cages containing the conventional wisdom.

Writer’s Digest Magazine’s “101 Best Writing Blogs on the Internet” – a Call for Nominations

If you’re in a nominating mood, here’s the contact: send nominations for next year’s list to writersdigest@fwmedia.com.  Be sure to include“101 Websites” in the subject line (deadline is Jan. 1, 2010).

I’m just sayin’.

Great New Site for Women Who Write

It’s run by a friend who has launched a lovely lifestyle site and is soliciting content from women with stories to tell for their Strong Women Series.

It’s called Lipsticklogic.com… I recommend you check it out. 

Feedback Sought

Sometimes a little guidance, combined with accountability and milestone management, is what it takes for us to reach our goals.  Thus…

It’s been suggested to me several times that I consider launching a members-site (with a nominal fee) for the purpose of offering a guided page-one-to-finish novel writing and coaching experience.  It’d cover a three-month span before starting over with a new crop of inductees, with personal feedback on outlines provided, as well as process-specific coaching through articles and tips. 

The result would be a completed and submission-ready manuscript, written in accordance with the principles of story architecture.

Wondering what you think, and what you think it’d be worth.  Thanks for the assist with this.

The most recent review of Story Structure – Demystified

… can be found HERE.

Most Importantly Today…

Here’s wishing you a very warm and happy Thanksgiving, hopefully with your family and/or friends.  I love sharing what I know about writing with you, and am thankful for your support and feedback.

See you Friday, with a guest post from Bill Johnson on creating compelling and memorable characters that drive our stories to a higher level.


Filed under other cool stuff

8 Responses to Puzzles, Propositions, Pitches and Other Holiday Stuffing

  1. Shirls

    Larry, the members-site sounds fantastic. It also sounds like an awful lot of hard work for you. If you decide to do it I’d like to be in the first wave to sign up!

  2. i’ve come across alot of coaching classes on the internets, but yours would be one that i seriously looked into taking. The only drawback that i can see arising is that the people who need something like this can’t afford it, and if they can the instructor isn’t being paid what their time is worth. it’s a catch 22, but if you go that direction here is another who is interested.

    on a personal note, i finished the rough draft of my first novel attempt last night. it was like a weight was removed from my chest, and the inner demons were almost instantly silenced. Thanks for all the direction and advice Larry, without it i wouldn’t have finished this soon.

  3. Sandra

    I would be very interested in the members-site. I think it is what I need to really make use of your teaching. Getting walked through the process with my own story would, I think, help me to understand and apply what your teaching more readily.

    I would think you will need to keep the number of participants low to have it work to it’s maximum potential. Do you have any idea of how many “students” you would be taking on at a time?

    I am currently in a correspondence writing course that was promoted as being a mentoring experience – but hasn’t been. There hasn’t been anyway to truly dialogue with my instructor and that has been a let down. I’m an intelligent (though sometimes stubborn) person but I am finding out that I do better in a learning situation where there is more interaction – direct guidance – OK, hand holding. 😉 In particular, I think I would learn quicker and more completely if I could get feedback on my own writing and not just via examples gleaned from other author’s writings.

    I know I can’t afford your fees for coaching and evaluation, (I looked them up early on as I’ve been wanting to find a mentoring/coaching situation.) even though I know they are market-reasonable. I have been able to afford your ebooks but seem to be having trouble seeing how to work it with my own story and thought processes. Being able to get feedback on what I’m doing would be such a blessing. If the cost is something I can afford and the “class size” isn’t too big, I’ll be there! 🙂 I really do want to get this right and have a more viable shot at getting a book published.


  4. Sandra

    Larry wrote: “Wondering what you think, and what you think it’d be worth. ”

    I missed the “what you think it’d be worth” part of that sentence until I went back and re-read after posting my first comment.

    I think it would be worth more than I can afford, to be honest. That said, I could maybe go as high as $150 – $50/month – but that would really be pushing it. $75 would be better for me – $25/month.

    Like so many people have had to do, my husband had to take a pay cut earlier this year and our budget is tight.


  5. Larry….you HAVE TO do that membership site! I would LOVE to be able to work with you, finally understand story structure and write my novel in three months. Please, please, PLEASE do this!

    I would be willing to pay thousands for this type of course, if I could afford it. But since I can’t (and I’m sure most people can’t), I’d say you have to be pretty reasonable about it. Holly Lisle has a novel-revision course coming out Jan 2 (but open to 250 people on Monday) that costs $188 (she’s allowing 4 monthly payments of $47). I’d say if you stuck within the $150-$200 range and were flexible on payments, that would be reasonable and you’d get plenty of people signed up.

    Also keep in mind, people will find ways to afford it if they feel they’ll be getting a lot of value, which in this case, they would be.

    Thanks for thinking of this! I REALLY hope it happens!


  6. I am 100% interested in the members only forum. My goal is to write for a living, not as a hobby, not because it’s fun (although it is) but for money. I’m talking words-on-paper, today, tomorrow, forever as my income. So how could anyone in my shoes not afford such an opportunity? (Other forums I’ve belonged to ranged between $99 and $147 a month and the information was valuable, but it was not about writing.) So I hope you do it!

  7. Hi Larry,

    Your advice is no-nonsense and straight-forward, but I have to admit that I truly love your “smug bastard” approach. It’s one of the main reasons I read your blog. 🙂

    I think a member’s site is a great idea. Your knowledge and advice is priceless. But knowing that you’re a fair-minded individual, I know you would want it to be affordable but not cheap. Since you would be giving detailed feedback, I suggest doing some research on other online courses.

    I’m a Course Presenter for Fear of Writing. This course is unique because we do not give critiques of the work. If you’d like more information you can contact me or the course owner, Milli Thornton.

    Thanks for sharing Lipsticklogic. I’ll be sure to check that out.

    Can’t wait for your next series in December!

  8. Larry,
    The members’ site is a magnificent idea. I’ve been waiting on you to personally arrive in Atlanta to do a seminar, but the members’ site sounds even better. Count me in.