Coaching

If you’re reading this page…I can tell you several things about yourself:

• You are serious about writing. You may already be a working writer. You may be a novice. But it MATTERS to you.

• You very likely have a major project in mind. Perhaps it’s underway already. Maybe you’ve even finished a draft–-of a novel, let’s say–but the feedback you’ve gotten is mixed. You’ve been told, or figured out for yourself, that it’s weak or lacking in one or more of the major elements fiction must have, to be publishable.

• You may need some help. New ideas, new approaches. Techniques you never really learned or mastered. Perhaps a fresh angle on the techniques you already know and use.

Do you need a coach to write good fiction? Not necessarily. But consider a coach when….

• You don’t “fit” into the standard programs. You’ve decided on writing as a career. You’ve taken the beginning courses at your local arts center or community college. You realize you have a lot more to learn, but circumstances rule out a university writing program.

• You want a concentrated experience. You want to improve, gain knowledge and assurance as a skilled fiction writer, and you want to get there by the fastest route. You don’t have two or three years to give to a university-based program; you want to put it together in one year. With a coach, you can. A good coach will lead you through the necessary work as fast as you can learn it.

• You know how to reach your goal, but you’re blocked. Your energies can’t find the right channels through which to flow. You’re frustrated. You’re frightened. You’re started to wonder if you have any ability at all–or was it all a cruel joke. A good coach knows that feeling because he/she has been there. It’s called “Writers’ Bock” and I’ve developed some specific approaches that anyone can use to clear that logjam with blasts of creativity.

• You’re not a writer but…you woke up one day and decided you wanted to write a novel. It’s not just a passing whim. It won’t go away. You know what it’s going to be about, but you don’t know how to breathe drama and life into it. Family, job, personal responsibilities make it impossible to go back to school. I can start with you at the beginning. Using your project as your workbook, I can help you devise a work plan that will get you quickly to the level of working knowledge it would take you 2 years or more to master in a conventional writing program.

It took me a long time to learn what I know.

I was held back by my stubbornness, my determination to do it “my way”–even when it wasn’t the best way. But there was a hidden benefit: I became intimately familiar with all the ways you can go wrong, and this trained me to see them coming in the work of others. As a result, I’m better situated to help you when you need it most–to avoid many of the “wrong turns” you might be tempted to make. Thus I can save you precious time in a number of ways:

• I can help you cut a straight path through your style problems, retro writing habits, and false career assumptions because I too was afflicted by them.

• I can help you maximize your career time and progress by accelerating your personal learning process.

• I can point you toward the savviest “how to” books and websites, as well as the most dynamic fiction models.

• I can suggest resources whose positive force will invariably help you take your fiction to the level of its highest achievement.

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“Working one-on-one with me, you’ll learn skills in six weeks that would take you six months or more to acquire in the average M.F.A. Program.”

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“Bill helped make the whole overwhelming process seem doable – with concrete suggestions for ways to further plot and story development and lots of good questions to keep the creative ball rolling.”
Virginia Boyd, author,
One Fell Swoop

Why should you consider me, as your coach?

• I’ve worked with so many writers over the years that I’ve developed the instinctual insight of a physician, the seasoned internist who sees patterns after hearing only 30 seconds of a patient’s history. It doesn’t take me long to understand your nature, as a writer, hence your particular strengths and weaknesses. Very quickly I can offer personalized tips and advice of a quality you would hunt a long time to find in writing classes.

• I’ve been published, rejected, had 3 agents, at least a half a dozen book editors, and more magazine and newspaper editors than I would care to count. I’ve lived the life of a writer, with all its ups and downs. I know what success feels like. I know what failure and rejection feel like. I can speak about these things with a certain degree of authority. Whatever level you’re challenged on, I’ve been there.

• I’m devoted to your success. And totally loyal to you. If I am your coach, if you are one of my clients, there is nothing I won’t do to help make you as successful as you can possibly be. I’ll fight for you to thrive and win.

Here’s what I propose:

Let me teach you quickly what it took me decades to grasp, the bases you must touch, the elements you need to know to write successfuly – any genre – in today’s publishing environment, the most challenging that fiction has ever seen.

Try working with me, and if you don’t feel you’ve gained from it what I promised you would, I’ll gladly refund every cent you’ve paid me.

“Bill is smart, generous, funny, encouraging, honest, and yet respectful–all crucial characteristics which make him an effective coach.”
Darnell Arnoult, author,
Sufficient Grace

Write a Better Novel

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