Do you want to write, but don’t know where to begin? Have you started stories with good ideas and loads of enthusiasm, only to find you get stuck and stop writing after a few pages or a few chapters? Maybe you have finished stories hiding on your hard drive, but need that extra nudge to get one ready to send off to a contest, agent, or publisher? Or perhaps you’re a more experienced writer considering indie publishing with questions you’d like to discuss with an indie author or indie skills you want to learn?
I’m offering a very limited number of mentoring opportunities for unpublished Christian romance writers to work one-to-one with me. My strengths are story development and brainstorming, and my sessions are far more intensive than most critique groups offer, and dig deeper into your story than most editors do. I love working with writers to help them develop their unique style and writing voice, and tell the stories they want to tell!
Plot development workshop $125
Helpful if you’re in the early stages of plotting your story and want to make sure you’re on the right track; or if you’re mid-story and feel stuck or lost, as if you’ve taken a wrong turn but you’re not sure where. If you’ve lost enthusiasm for the story you loved so much at first, this session should get it back!
It’s an intensive process, and I’ll push you to dig deep into your characters and their story. First I’ll ask you to complete the same worksheets I use when planning each of my books. I’ll assess these, then we’ll do an hour long session by private messaging, where we can brainstorm any issues I see in what you’ve sent me and we can discuss the specific questions you have. We’ll cover a LOT in that hour, and you’ll have a written copy of everything we discuss to keep and refer back to. After the session, I’ll make notes of any additional suggestions I have, and send them through to you. You might leave the session with your head in a whirl, we will have discussed so much! But you’ll also be unstuck, with a clear idea of your characters’ main issues and conflicts, and the turning points of the story. We can follow up with one or two emails if needed.
Book proposal workshop $75 to $200 depending on length
Are you teetering on the edge of submitting a query letter, synopsis, and initial chapters to a publisher or agent, but need some feedback before you do? Are you finding telling your whole story in the five or so pages of a synopsis a near-impossible challenge?
I don’t write your synopsis and query letter for you, but I can help you to put them together in a way that presents you and your story at the absolute best!
- Query and synopsis critique $75 – if you have a query and synopsis written, and want to make sure they shine, I can provide detailed written feedback on them, together with the first five pages of your manuscript. I ask you to complete a questionnaire about your story and yourself as a writer, and assess how the query and synopsis presents both. I’ll look at things like character GMC, plot progression, and the relationship arc to ensure everything you need to show off your story to an agent or editor is in the synopsis, and assess the opening pages of the story for character, pace, setting, and hooks.
- Query, synopsis, and first three chapter critique $200 – as above, but including an in-depth written evaluation of the first three chapters and a follow-up email.
- Synopsis workshop $100 – if don’t have a synopsis but need one, if you’re stuck and can’t pull the synopsis together, or if you’ve never written a synopsis before and don’t know what to include, this workshop will help you get clarity on both what a synopsis needs and the specifics to include for your story.
- First chapter critique $75 – a deep developmental evaluation of your first chapter, providing written comments on the chapter itself plus a separate report suggesting ways to strengthen character, conflict, plot, setting, pacing, point of view, and any other aspects of writing craft.
Patient, encouraging, and supportive individual coaching based on your needs. This might range from brainstorming story specifics, discussing a problem section of your story, getting unstuck from writer’s block, workshopping an aspect of indie publishing you want to develop skills in, considering how to target and market your stories, decoding contest judge/ editor/ agent feedback and how that applies to your ms, or whatever you need it to be. The basic rate is $40 per hour, but if you combine it with other packages or we have an ongoing mentoring relationship, discounts can be arranged.
Why choose to work with me
- I offer a free first 1000 word critique OR email dialogue to discuss your writing goals, so we can decide if we’re likely to work well together before you pay anything.
- I’m an experienced critiquer and qualified coach, with excellent story development and mentoring skills.
- I love working with other writers to support and develop their skills.
- I won’t try to make you write like me, I respect your natural voice.
- I’ve indie published ten books, as well as been part of many successful boxed sets.
- I’ve twice had books in the USA Today bestseller list.
- I’ve submitted to Harlequin Love Inspired, including finaling and semi-finaling in their contests, and currently have a full ms on second revisions with a senior editor. I’ve studied and understand their requirements (useful if you plan to submit there!)
- You’ve read and enjoyed my books.
- You want to work with a Christian mentor who emphasizes faith and a relationship with God in her books, without being preachy.
- You write clean Christian romance and want to work with someone who loves and understands the genre.
Why working with me may not be right for you
- You want copyediting and/ or proofreading, not developmental edits. I work on the story structure and character development level. My own lovely editor will tell you, getting commas in the right place is not my best skill! I will mark any grammar or spelling issues I see in your ms, especially repeated ones, but if you’re confident your story itself is strong and want someone to proofread, your editing dollars are better spent elsewhere.
- You aren’t willing to make changes to your story or don’t feel comfortable receiving criticism. I will respectfully suggest changes I feel will strengthen your story and point out what I feel isn’t working as well as it could. Possibly a lot of changes. This can be ouchy!
- You write other genres besides Christian romance or women’s fiction. I don’t have the experience in other genres to give your ms the best quality critique, so you may do better finding an editor who specializes in your genre.
- You read one of my books and hated it!
- You didn’t feel I understood your writing in our initial 1000 word critique or email discussion. Individual writers’ styles don’t always mesh well, and it’s wise to trust any concerns you have about working with a specific editor or mentor, especially before paying any money.
- You’re looking for a critique partner to exchange edits with, not a paid developmental editor/ mentor.
If you’re interested in finding out more, email me – autumn at autumn dot macarthur dot com and tell me a little about yourself, your writing, and what your goals are for working with me.