Story Craft Coaching

Deep dive into short story craft.

Greetings, fellow short story nerd! You choose the topic, and I’ll prepare a private class complete with literary examples, exercises, prompts, tips, and tricks tailored to your needs.

Do you need story craft coaching?

Definitely not. All you need to write is your imagination and somewhere to jot down your ideas. But, if you’re curious about how writing techniques apply to the short story craft, coaching is a great way to learn.

Story craft coaching is a perfect starting point if you want guidance trying new things with your stories, if you’re curious about how a specific technique or topic is applied to short stories, or if you want to get serious about how your contribution to the form fits in with what has come before and what’s being written now.

What happens during a story craft coaching session?

  1. Pre-reading. Before the session, you’ll choose a topic from the list below to focus on and any questions you have. Most writers don’t bring their own story, but if you do, you’ll send me your draft and the answers to my manuscript assessment questions. I’ll send you your homework, read your draft, and prepare the session.
  2. Get down to work. During the session, we’ll work through the curriculum I’ve created for the topic, including context from any pre-reading you’ve sent.
  3. Achieve time dilation. The exploration of the topic will match your pace and needs in the moment. We might work with prompt or writing exercises, look at literary examples or examples from your work, go over the rules of the technique (and how to break them), or riff off of impromptu questions.
  4. A few minutes before the session is over, we’ll summarize what we’ve covered and go over next steps.

What do you get?

  1. One-on-one instruction. One hour of focused attention on a single aspect of short story writing.
  2. Next steps and resources. An email summarizing what we covered, your next steps for integrating changes into your manuscript, and any resources we discussed.
  3. A copy of the session transcript and access to a session recording.

What does it cost?

My hourly coaching rate is $100. Pre-reading is an additional $5 per 1,000 words. Group coaching discounts are available.

Ready to get started?

Craft Topics

Choose a topic and we’ll deep dive into its implementation in the short story form. If you have an idea in mind that needs to be added to the list, let me know, and I’ll prepare a custom session for you.

Basics

  • Plotline
  • Character Arc
  • Point of View
  • Setting & World-Building
  • Story Structure
  • Introduction to Grammar

Plot

  • Introduction
  • Inciting Incident
  • Rising Action (Middle Build)
  • Climax
  • Resolution
  • Endings

POV

  • First-Person POV
  • Second-Person POV
  • Third-Person POV
  • Fourth-Person POV
  • Narrative Distance

Structure

  • The Hero’s Journey
  • Dan Harmon Story Cycle
  • Freytag’s Pyramid
  • Save the Cat
  • Three Act
  • Seven Point
  • Fichtean Curve

Genre

  • Love genre conventions
  • Crime genre conventions
  • Horror genre conventions
  • Suspense genre conventions
  • Western genre conventions
  • Sci-fi genre conventions
  • Fantasy genre conventions
  • Literary Fiction conventions

Pacing

  • Story Pacing
  • Beat Pacing
  • Sentence Pacing

Narrative Modes

  • Internal Dialogue/Thought
  • External Dialogue
  • Action Scenes
  • Description
  • Exposition

Style

  • Scene Coherence
  • Paragraph Logic
  • Tone, Mood, & Theme
  • Voice & Authorial Intrusion

Composition

  • Sentence Mechanics
  • Punctuation
  • Word Choice

Authors’ Stories

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