From Sandra Yeaman, SDWEG Member and Director-At-Large
Okay, I admit it. This post is right at the edge of promotion for another organization, Pages and Platforms. Because I’ve had some wonderful experiences with them, I asked Sue Campbell, one of the trio of leaders of that organization pictured in the above image, if I could share the offer she sent to me.
Some of you may recall when the other two members of the trio, Anne Hawley and Rachelle Ramirez, the other two featured in the header image, presented at a membership meeting on Story Types. Unfortunately, that was one presentation we missed recording, so we don’t have it to share. However, the offer below includes free access to Pages and Platforms’ Happily Ever Author Club for one month. HEA includes access to in-depth descriptions of all the Story Types Anne and Sue presented that evening. I can also confirm that if you sign up for the free month, Pages and Platforms will let you know ahead of the expiration of that free month so you won't get caught being charged for more, unless you find HEA valuable for you.
So here goes with Sue’s offer to me which she agreed I could share with members of San Diego Writers and Editors Guild. The I and me in the rest of this post is Sue Campbell. The we is the Pages and Platform's team. And the you and your could be you.
Before I lay out the four stages of writing your novel, I want to let you know that we have a big, juicy sale going on. Our masterclasses are 50% off, our courses are 30% off and private coaching calls with me are 20% off. Check out the details here.
-OR- You can join the Happily Ever Author Club and get all the masterclasses and courses* as long as you have your membership. Redeem your one-month free trial!
Okay, so, what’s it going to take to get to the finish line on your current WIP?
Let’s break it down into some manageable chunks.
Stage 1: Zero draft. Editor Anne Hawley likens this to pulling the flatbed truck up to the building site and unloading all the materials. Whether you're pantsing or plotting, this is still the roughest of the rough drafts. You’re dumping out all your ideas of what you think your story is and hopefully a big dose of inspiration is carrying you through. Some of you may doing in this phase if you're doing NaNoWriMo this month.
Stage 2: First draft. Not gonna lie: This is the hardest draft. It’s where you get clear on what your story really is and make sure the foundation is sound. You’ve got to come up with answers to some crucial story questions, the most important being your Story Type (see our Story Path course for lots more on this). Once you know what kind of story you’re telling, it can guide you to what needs to come out and go into the story you have so far.
By the time you’re done, you’ll be a much wiser writer and know the premise of your story, the wants and needs of your characters, what’s at stake and how you want the audience to feel on that last page. This draft really benefits from working with a developmental editor or applying the concepts you learn in our Story Path course, which is currently 30% off. (use code: BFCOURSES) https://www.storypath.me/storypath
Stage 3: Refining drafts. How many additional drafts you write is up to you. It’s very likely you’ll want to do three or four refining drafts where you’re tightening up your structure and making sure you’re satisfying all the particulars for your Story Type. And—hopefully—doing some innovating for your Story Type, too. We recommend doing several refining drafts, working on one story aspect for each draft. You’ll do a draft where you work on your narrative device and POV, another for character development and dialogue, another where you make sure all your expository details are supporting your premise, another to check the stakes, etc.
Stage 4: Final touches. This is the actual home stretch where you can go back and do any final line editing to make sure your prose is as good as your story structure, and then it’s time to copy edit and proofread. These final touches are best done with the help of professional line editors, copy editors and proofreaders, whether you’re traditionally published or not.
That “first” draft, after your zero draft, can be a real slog. And if you don’t get that one right, all the drafts after that will be slogs too. That’s why we’re so excited to be offering 30% off our Story Path as part of our Black Friday Sale (use code: BFCOURSES).
There are seven essential Story Types and the Story Path course helps you figure out which one you’re telling, then shows you how to use it to carve a path to a completed, professional draft that you can then refine and proudly publish.
We are so excited to teach an enthusiastic group of writers exactly what kind of story they’re telling and how to use the special elements of their Story Type to forge a path to a finished book. It’s twenty modules that will deepen your understanding of story structure and help you write better books for the rest of your life. We even throw in some platform building teaching for good measure.
Sue (and Anne & Rachelle)
*If you join the HEA club, some course material is dripped out over several months. You keep access as long as you are a member. If you buy a course as a stand-alone, you get immediate access to all content and retain it for one year.
Want to work with me and my team? The best way to get started on improving your author career is to join the Happily Ever Author Club. Don't forget to redeem your one-month free trial!
Note: This is a personal recommendation from Sandra, not from San Diego Writers and Editors Guild. Pages and Platforms has not provided any incentives or inducements to Sandra for including this message.