Coaching and Editing

Have you started a mystery novel but are stuck somewhere in the middle? Or maybe you have a complete draft, but you’re not sure if it’s ready for prime time. I can help.

Besides being the author of 14 published mystery novels and scores of magazine articles, I teach writing at Clark College and have coached and delivered feedback on the crime novels of dozens of authors.

To learn more, reach out through the “Contact Me” tab above. In the meantime, here’s a sample of what I can do for you:

One-on-One Coaching

Together, we examine your work habits, book goals, and writing challenges to smooth the path to an effective, engaging story that embodies your voice. Weekly meetings ensure accountability. I’m here to help you tackle a difficult plot point, figure out why you can’t seem to find time to write, point you to resources for perfecting your dialogue or crafting memorable characters, and cheer you on. I can also help you draft query letters, explore independent publishing, and begin to build an author platform.

Cost: $60 an hour for coaching alone. $75 includes reading and commenting on up to 20 pages per session.

Group Coaching

Not everyone can afford one-on-one coaching, and some people learn better in small groups. If that’s you, consider group coaching. Beginning in January 2022, I’ll offer a biweekly hour-and-a-half session for up to five writers. Each writer can submit up to 10 pages per session, and each writer’s work will receive individual attention at least once a month. We’ll learn from each other’s work. Group coaching includes an initial individual coaching session to determine where you are in your writing journey and what challenges you’re facing.

Cost: $30 per biweekly session, paid monthly.

Plot Brainstorming

Stuck in the middle of your manuscript and not sure where to go? Or maybe you have a great premise for a mystery, but beyond your exciting first chapter, you’re stymied. Brainstorming plots is my specialty. With Plot Brainstorming, we spend two hours creating the central plot for a four-act structure for your crime novel. If time permits, we explore subplots and character arcs to complement it.

Cost: $120 for two hours.

Developmental Analysis

You have a complete manuscript, and you’ve taken it as far as it will go. Now you need someone to live in the story as you did, examining plot, pacing, characters, stakes, writing style, and more. More than that, you want to become a better writer. I’m there for you. I will read through your work twice—once as a reader and once as a developmental editor—to uncover your particular gifts and possibilities for improvement. You’ll come out with a 20-30 page editorial letter as well as comments on the manuscript’s pages. This includes half an hour’s discussion before the developmental analysis and an hour’s discussion after the analysis, once you’ve had the chance to digest my comments. Because of the time and absorption required, I only schedule one developmental analysis a month.

Cost: $1,500 for up to 85,000 words. $1,750 for 100,000 words.