Novel Development


Novel Development


I know, I know. You see the price and you're like, Holy. Shit. Let me explain:

For anyone that's ever tried to write a novel, you know how hell-on-Earth it can be. Starting with a cool premise is the easy part. Building a plot around characters who live and breathe with vitality, creating believable suspense and tension that comes organically from the characters' wants and needs while crafting rich backstory, and a setting that bursts with life while somehow managing to get readers to care and connect to all of this: not so easy. 

After going through this process, I realized that I was bringing the same energy, care, and attention to my clients' stories as I do to my own. Late night back-andforth emails, long over-the-phone brain-storming sessions, coming up with exercises created just for this writer and story, as well as curating resources for both project and craft development take a lot of time and energy and care. 

The process of developing a novel involves many things that my regular critique services do not include. Think of novel development as a two-month private writing class focused on developing a specific idea you have (this novel could be something you’ve already begun, but that is in very early stages or being entirely re-written). Below, I’ve outlined what the process will look like, but keep in mind that I take a holistic approach, meaning that I will cater the development experience to both you as a writer and your project.


***It’s important to note that you need to come to me with a clear story idea—it might change drastically during our process, but I do not do idea development. So, if you say you want to write a sci-fi and that’s it, I’m not your girl. But if you say you want to write a sci-fi and it’s about (insert plot) and follows a (insert protagonist) and her (insert ideas for secondary characters) as they (more plot), then we can work together.


What You Can Expect From Me:


  • Lots of availability! I see this as a daily back and forth as we individually brainstorm about the project. This may be up to two emails a day from me in which you respond. They will be as long or short as the reason for emailing demands.
  •  I will do an in-depth critique of the first 100 pages of your novel (as long as they’re done within three months of our working together). **For more on what that in-depth critique looks like, see the end of this outline of services.
  • Four phone calls, one every other week. These will last up to an hour each.
  • A check-in phone call one month after our season has ended. This is a chance to get you re-focused, back on track, and go over any snags or new developments. 
  •  I will read and respond to any of the assigned writing exercises during our season together.


What I Expect From You:


  • Since I approach this as a private writing adventure, you will need to be available, meaning that nearly every day you will be doing a variety of things that are geared toward positioning you to move full speed ahead with your novel after our time is over. This is an intense process and it only works if you are all in. So don't take this on when you're really busy with your day job or school or other things. For two months, you'll eat, breathe, and live this book. The work can include, but is not limited to:


o   Writing a synopsis, jacket copy, and outlining your entire novel - this is the big goal of our time together, other than Figuring Out What The Hell This Novel Is.

o   Writing exercises and reading recommended articles, blog posts, short novels, short stories, poetry, sections of craft books, poetry, etc.

o   Watching media related to your work. This can include TED talks, films, TV episodes.

o   Writing the early pages of your manuscript, then giving it back to me for further critique 

o   Taking a “field trip,” creating a music playlist, collaging or doing some other art project to help you develop character, theme, or story arc.

o   Anything else that comes to mind that will help you with your novel!


Our Goal:


By the end of our time together you will


  • Be able to go full-speed ahead with your novel idea
  • Have an outline for your novel
  • Have a well-developed plot, protagonist, secondary characters, world, and structure for your novel
  • Have a handle on the tone of your novel and a sense of what major themes are beginning to develop. 
  • You may or may not yet have found the voice of your novel. This is a process that can take quite a bit of time—much more than two months—but you will be equipped with the tools (writing exercises and various other activities) to help you discover and hone this voice.
  • You won’t feel so overwhelmed by your project. You will now have broken it down piece by piece so that you can create a plan for moving forward and completing the work.
  • Have a tentative Action Plan for this novel, with word count goals and deadlines.
  • Have an awareness of specific craft issues you have and some tools to overcome the things that are difficult.
  • Understand where this novel might fit in in the market, but knowing that you can't really be thinking about that right now. 



This is a crazy fun process and the work we do on this book will most assuredly help you in your future novels. I can’t wait to see what we can come up with!



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Hey, you.

I take on a limited number of clients, so payments aren't currently set up here on the website. If you're interested in any of the services, please email me and I'll let you know my availability and get to know you a bit more. In the meantime, be sure to set up a free Focusing Call so we can connect!