For years writers have asked Kris and me if there was any way we could help them discover where they were weak and where they were strong with their writing.
Except for a very short period one summer here at the coast, Kris and I have both resisted that idea of working one-on-one with writers, and tried to help writers in other group ways.
But over the last four months, the requests kept coming in from writers we really wanted to help and who sincerely wanted to learn, but didn’t really know which direction to go next with their learning.
We now have a solid list of workshops that tend to cover all sorts of craft and business topics (one more business workshop coming online for the first of October that is concerned with Becoming a Publisher.) But because of the choices, the requests on which workshop to take were also coming in more and more as well. Sometimes I could help, often I could not because I just didn’t know the writer’s work well enough. And telling a writer to take all of them wasn’t really a solution.
So we started talking about how to do this one-on-one type of work to help writers know where they are strong, but also where they are weak and need work. And how to do that work. And how to find help in learning and improving.
And this is what we came up with:
Your Strengths and Weaknesses: A Personal Workshop.
(For short I will call it The Strength Workshop)
Here is what it is about:
In three weeks, each writer signed up will do six writing exercises that Kris and I have figured out will show strengths and weaknesses in their writing. Two exercises per week. One will be due on Sunday, one will be due on Wednesday each week.
Each exercise will take about two hours to finish. It will take about five hours a week for these.
I will look at the work on each exercise and tell each writer if that area of their writing is strong or weak. And where to find help and what other things they can do over time to improve that area.
The areas we will be looking at are things like openings, character, character voice, setting, richness of detail, plotting, pacing, thinness and thickness of writing, hooking readers, and so much more. Many of the exercises will have a dual role.
If the writer is also doing covers and blurbs, I will look at them during the third week and tell each writer, if they want, if the covers and blurbs need work and how to find the help to sell more indie books. But that will just be an extra thing the last week, not one of the six craft exercises.
Kris will be behind the scenes on this, backing me up on problem solutions. The exercises will come from both of us, but the letters back will only come from me. We will sometimes recommend one of our other workshops or lectures to fix a problem, or how-to books, or other workshops that we are aware of that focus on a certain problem. Or all of the above.
Or none. We might just give out things to work on and practice on.
And understand, this is not a critique setting. Writers signed up will do focused exercises only. We will NOT look at finished stories or novels. DON’T EVEN ASK. Just the exercises is all we will look at.
And if a writer does something well, we will say so that each writer can focus their practice and work elsewhere for a time. If a writer does something poorly, we will say so clearly, and how to work on it.
— Limited to only five writers per month.
— The exercises will come in a video form with written instructions as well, much like the assignments in the regular six-week workshops.
— The response to each exercise will come only as a long letter from me.
— This will start October 7th. I class per month.
— Cost is $300.00.
— Write me to sign up and see if there is an opening before paying. (Details on payment are the same as other online workshops under the Online Workshops tab above.)
That’s it. I will work with you individually for three weeks, six exercises (plus other help on indie covers and blurbs). The exercises will help you figure out where you are strong in your writing and where you need help, and how to practice and how to get the help you might need.