Stephanie Raffelock came to me twice–once in January and then again in February. The first time she came to me, we talked about her complex story idea and working together to bring it to life. She wasn’t quite ready to get support yet.
But after a few weeks of trying to do it herself, she came back to me, determined to figure it out.
The thing I loved about working with Stephanie is she’s really a student of story. She showed up every week with a finished assignment, whether she knew what she was doing or not. She wasn’t afraid to attempt it. She wasn’t afraid to fail.
And that’s why she was able to successfully finish her novel.
In her own words, she shares how my 90-day Author Intensive program helped her go from story idea to completed novel draft.
Name: Stephanie Raffelock
Location: Ashland, Ore.
How long were you thinking about/working on your story before you hired me?
I’d already written two novels when I hired you. Neither of them had a story that hung together beginning to end; and while there were moments of talent and flashes of awesomeness (is that even a word?), those things won’t make a reader keep turning the page, waiting to find out what’s going to happen if there is no story.
Where were you at with your story prior to working with me?
I was in writing hell with a dash of angst thrown in for good measure.
What fears did you have before you signed up?
What if I didn’t understand how to construct a story?
What finally caused you to say, “I’m ready for support?”
I did a Story Analysis with Larry Brooks, who pointed out that I wasn’t ready to have a story analyzed, since I didn’t really have a story yet, and that what I needed was a story planner and a story coach. That was you.
What did you like best about this program?
I liked how you worked with me step-by-step from idea to concept to premise, and then worked with me on plugging in plot points, pinch points and developing characters.
The process was quite creative and even though I was itching to write, the planning and development of a story was much more creative than I thought it would be.
How did you feel about the feedback you received from me each week?
The feedback kept me thinking about the plot and how to make it better. You could see things that I couldn’t since I was so close to them . . . rookie mistakes, I’m sure. Plus we had a lot of fun talking about writing.
You inspire. I’m eager to start my re-write, utilizing your weekly notes.
How does it feel to have a finished draft of your story?
How long did it take you to write your draft (in days/weeks)?
About 5 and a half weeks.
What made the biggest difference working with me versus trying to do it yourself?
You were my guide, my light. You kept me from getting lost. If you don’t have a structure to work from, after about twenty-five thousand words, you will not know where you are, let alone where you need to go.
You made sure that I planned out the story so that I knew where I was headed.
Was your experience and results in this program worth the money you invested?
Though I do not have story structure and story architecture fully integrated in my mind yet, this was a great beginning! This novel is my best to date. As a result, I will do a second project with you.
As for the money, this is an investment in myself and my chosen craft.