“Jennifer was my guide, my light. She 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. She 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. This novel is my best to date.”
(Update: Stephanie just signed with an agent thanks to the novel Jennifer helped her write!!)
“After reading just about every ‘how to’ book on the shelf and after years of struggling to write a book on my own, I stumbled (thank goodness!) upon Larry Brooks’ website, StoryFix.com. After reading a few of his blog posts, I finally felt like I had some direction for my writing, but I was still having a hard time executing his principles.
Enter Jennifer Blanchard, the best darn story coach I could ever ask for. Jennifer’s program, The Story Intensive, is jam-packed with information about story structure, easy-to-follow examples, and exercises that help you put the core competencies of story structure to use.
And while Jennifer’s program provides TONS of helpful information, Jennifer doesn’t just let you wade through it yourself. She supports her writers through Facebook (she sets up a private Facebook group for the two of you where you can converse freely about your project), email, and during weekly coaching calls where you discuss your progress from the week before.
The weekly coaching calls are by far and away the best thing about this program. The calls are fun (Jennifer is really great to talk to in general!), informative, and there is a high level of collaboration with respect to the story itself. In other words, we spend much of the hour spit-balling ideas back and forth, seeing what works and what doesn’t, and in a word, it’s awesome. This experience, to be able to bounce my ideas off of someone with an inherent knowledge of story structure, has been invaluable.
Until I signed up for The Story Intensive, I struggled to write my story for almost a year. Now, it is finally, (FINALLY!) taking cohesive shape and it’s all because of Jennifer’s help and support.
If you’re like I was – just about to give up, thinking you don’t have what it takes to be a writer – do yourself a favor and sign-up for The Story Intensive course. Don’t let the cost scare you – it’s worth every penny, and more. Think of it as an investment in your future. You will be so glad you did! I know I am.”
“I had little more than an idea floating in my head for over a year. I had attempted to write a couple scenes, but had no idea where to go with it. After working with Jennifer for 6 weeks, I have a complete outline with 60 scenes spelled out. I am so excited to begin writing my first novel, and now I know it isn’t just a dream, it will become a reality, VERY soon! Thank you Jennifer!”
“Jennifer really knows her stuff and I found her coaching to be invaluable. At the end of the 6-week program, I had created an effective and detailed outline of my novel. I’m ready to write!”
Nancy Grist Bandman White
“The best thing about working with Jennifer was how motivating it was – she helped me to park my fears at the door and gave me a sense of excitement about my idea, rather than worrying it wouldn’t be good enough. Then spending 6 weeks on planning helped me to go deeper into the story and write a better plan than I ever had before. I’m so glad I signed up!”
“Learning from Jennifer certainly put a new slant on my writing because she showed me how to organize my thoughts, learn what is important and connected me to Larry Brooks and his Storyfix.com. It was very well put together program and I’m excited to put all of her teachings into words!”
(Patricia finished her first draft in 30 days!)
“Having someone to bounce ideas off of, and the feedback I received in the first six weeks, was critical to being able to finish my draft. I found the feedback to be the most valuable [part of working with Jennifer].”
(Glenn finished his draft in 62 days!)
“Here’s what I love about working with Jennifer:
(1) Response: Jennifer gets back with you when she says she will. It can be frustrating having someone promise to get back with you on a timely basis and then not do so. Jennifer returns messages promptly.
(2) Substance: Jennifer gives substantive feedback. Her comments aren’t meant to sugarcoat problems but at the same time she isn’t brutal with her instruction.
(3) Encouraging: She will remind you that you owe her a response to her critique. She’s not going to bombard you with emails or messages. But she will respond in a timely encouraging manner. She’s not going to forget you.
Jennifer has guided me to a solid story form from a sad little outline. Although my story has a long way to go, I can now complete my draft because of her great coaching. And that’s what I was looking for in a coach.”
(Paul finished his draft in 30 days!)
“Jennifer gives you the big picture, the little picture and shows you how it ties together. Unless you know about story structure and know exactly how to apply it to your work, you might waste weeks, months or years in your publication journey. Do yourself a favor and use Jennifer’s expertise and straight-forward teaching methods to show you the way.”
“For a long time I daydreamed of “one day starting a novel.” That was six or seven years ago! Until you’re actively pursuing your goals, they’re just dreams with no substance, no real depth. And to have someone there to push you forward when you want to give up, that someone is hard to find, and it’s priceless.
If I didn’t sign up to work with Jennifer, my story would still only exist in my imagination, and I wouldn’t be at 72,000 words in my work-in-progress.”
“Before I started working with Jen, I was battling two major demons: fear and procrastination. Like a lot of writers, I can be quite adept at finding ways to put off sitting down at the page. Unfortunately, I was getting better and better at avoidance tactics. But the more I dodged my writing, the more I became paralyzed and afraid I just couldn’t do it anymore. That’s when the Universe did me a solid and allowed me to stumble across Jen’s Procrastinating Writers site, where I met a person I can honestly say has changed my life in ways I never expected.
There are a lot of self-styled “coaches” out there, but I can tell you with certainty that Jen has a true gift. Before I worked with her, I had been absolutely terrified to tackle a novel for literally two decades. I read every book and did every exercise, meditation and ritual on the planet to get me past my fear to no avail. But Jen’s incredible knack for mixing kick-in-the-ass calls to action with compassion got me past my blocks, and I finally finished my novel. I’ve also learned how to stick to a writing schedule for the first time in my life!
Aside from being an exceptional teacher, Jen is one of the kindest, funniest and most good-hearted people you could ever meet. So, if you get the chance to work with her, seize it. You’ll be glad you did.”
Mary DeRosa Hughes
“Hiring Jennifer as my writing coach has taken my eBook from a “someday” project to quickly turning it into the real deal. The accountability, as well as the book writing, blogging, and marketing advice, has really helped my book and my blog itself take off.”
“Idea to Draft is all about helping you put Larry Brooks’ storytelling principles to work. It’s the practical application of theory, if you like. This is never easy to do without knowledgeable guidance, in any endeavour. More specifically, writing a novel can seem like a huge, overwhelming undertaking.
Jennifer’s step-by-step approach breaks it down into very manageable individual tasks. You just lay down one brick today, another the next. Anyone can do that. Then one day you look back and realise your wall is already half built. The intimidation factor is completely gone.
My story, while still complex, has a definite shape to it now. You can see the skeleton where all the other bits need to be attached. I am still working on my first draft but I have no doubts about whether I will finish it. I will because at every step, I know exactly what the next step will be. No more feeling around and hoping. This is very liberating.
I am beginning to allow myself to think of myself as a fiction writer. This is because I know now the things that a fiction writer needs to know to get the work done. You cannot put a price on this.”
“I have made several half-assed attempts at writing before. I say half-assed now even though at the time I considered it to be serious. But it never led anywhere.
I didn’t finish my first draft, but I did get just over half way, which is the furthest I have ever come in any of my writing. I truly believe it never would have happened without working with Jennifer.”
“The tasks of designing and constructing a roller coaster structure are different than the task of riding a roller coaster. And yet many writers approach designing and constructing a story the same way they would reading a story. Jennifer Blanchard gives you the background and the tools you’ll need to design and construct your story structure. She coaches you with questions and suggestions to point out story holes or weaknesses that you may not have seen, but she has from the many stories she’s analyzed. Jennifer’s coaching has been a pleasant mind-expanding experience for me. I cannot imagine writing any other way now that I’ve used this process. To the naysayer I would say, structure does not stifle creativity, it provides freedom.“
“Jennifer helped me get unstuck so I could finally start writing the screenplay I’d been dreaming of writing for a long time. Now I have a story plan and am already writing the first draft. Best of all, she gave me tools to help me deal with the things that were keeping me stuck: fear, distractions and lack of energy. I feel confident I will not only finish my screenplay, but will keep this creativity up for the long haul.”