Manuscript consultation. Editing services. Private classes. Inspiration.

Manuscript Consultation

Just Getting Started? 

I can help you push your fiction or memoir to be deeper, livelier, and more publishable. Together, we'll work on the aspects of craft you need to develop---creating characters who practically walk off the page, writing snappy dialogue, drawing settings that burst into flower. Write to me for details about the free five-page sample. sva@together.net

Sometimes you just can't see your own writing anymore, and you need a crack consultant who can reflect it back to you with incisive comments tempered by  humor and compassion.  I understand how writing fiction or memoir takes a lot of your heart, and I'm not here to tear up your work. But I will help you see areas that could be developed, or points of craft you could be using more adeptly. To start, you can send me a selection of 20-30 pages, and I'll look at it first in terms of the over-arching story concerns, then go over it with some light copy-editing. I'll send you back the marked-up pages and a letter with my global comments. If you like my work, and if the number of hours this takes seems reasonable, we'll draw up a contract for the rest of the project. 

When you're ready, I can also advise you about navigating the confounding world of agents and publishers.

 

I charge $150 an hour, and a response for 20 pages usually takes me two to three hours. 

Maybe you know that you want to write, but you're at sea about where and how to begin. If this is the case, we'll talk first by phone or online, and we'll come up with a course of study, bringing you through the points of craft, such as dialogue, character, pacing, and conflict. I'll give you writing prompts to get you started or to get you further into your ideas, and I'll give you assignments, because having a deadline, and knowing someone is waiting to read your work, can make all the difference when it comes to getting words on the page.

 

I'll also suggest short stories and novels to help you with particular points you want to learn. We may meet online, or we may work through email; whatever works best for you. 

You can create your course of study to be as short or as long as you like.

If you want to put together a small group of friends for this, my hourly rate would go down; for individual work, I also charge $150 an hour.