Story Coaching Case Study: Glenn Dyer

Glenn Dyer came to me at the end of 2014 with a story idea he’d been working on for a few years. But no matter what he tried, he couldn’t move past the plot problems that were holding the story back.

In his own words, he shares how my 90-day Author Intensive program helped him go from story idea to completed novel draft.


Glenn Dyer

Name: Glenn Dyer

Location: Park City, Utah

Occupation: Retired

How long were you thinking about/working on your story before you hired me?

Started working on the project back in 2000. Would pick it up for a while then drop it.

Where were you at with your story prior to working with me?

Back in 2004, I got about 190 pages into a draft but plot problems became a big issue and I dropped the project. I picked it back up around September 2014.

What fears did you have before you signed up to work with me?

That the plot problems were not solvable.

What finally caused you to say, “I’m ready to get support with writing my novel?”

I turned 61 in October of last year. No time to waste.

What did you like best about this program?

The specific feedback about plot, characters and other things that didn’t make sense to me [before doing this program]. The written feedback, which could be revisited as many times as needed. Also, that Jennifer were available via FB at anytime during the term.

How did you feel about the feedback you received from me each week?

I found it most valuable. In particular, the feedback received during the first six weeks was critical to being able to finish the draft.

How does it feel to have a finished draft of your story?

Tough to describe. I was so fearful that I would never get it done after wanting to do it for so many years.

I never mentioned this before, but back in 2003 I promised my son, Mike, that if he would go out for cross-country in his sophomore year, that I would finish my novel. He ran cross-country for three years. I just finished the novel.

It was important to finish it for many reasons, but that reason was the most important. When I told him that I was “slow” in meeting my end of the deal, he responded by saying that my end was harder. He’s a good kid.

How long did it take you to write your draft (in days/weeks)?

Sixty-two days.

What made the biggest difference working with me versus trying to do it yourself? 

Having someone to bounce ideas off during the first 6 weeks was critical.

Was your experience and results in this program worth the money you invested?

In my case, yes. Definitely.


Are you ready to discover what coaching can do for your story? Join me for a free Clarity Call and find out if The Author Intensive is right for you.

Idea to Draft Case Study: Christopher Y.

Christopher Y. joined the Idea to Draft Story Intensive with a story idea in his mind… and today he’s a few thousand words away from being finished. In his own words, here’s how the Idea to Draft Story Intensive has helped him take his story from “idea seed” to (almost) completed first draft:

1. Where were you at with your story before joining the workshop?

I had a fairly complex story idea, and was struggling to apply Larry Brooks’ “Story Engineering” principles to it.

2. What challenge did you have/what was preventing your from writing your novel prior to joining Idea to Draft?

My approach to writing fiction lacked structure and discipline. From reading “Story Engineering” I knew what an outline should be like, but had trouble applying it to my own story. I would sit down with my story idea in mind and type out sentences, hoping that the various milestones would emerge from them.

3. What, if any, hesitations did you have about signing up for this workshop?

Well, there is a twelve-hour time difference between me and Jennifer. So I did wonder whether the logistics would work. As it turned out, there were no problems on my end at all.

4. What changes have you noticed in your writing? In your story? In your life?

I’ve become a “butt-in-chair” fiction writer, which is great. Professionally, I have over 20 years of experience as an advertising copywriter, and I never had any trouble applying that mindset to my commercial writing; in fact, with deadlines and my paycheque at stake, it was the only way to get things done. When it came to fiction, though, I still clung to a romanticised ideal of the writer who produced stuff strictly through inspiration and spur-of-the-moment insights. Not any more, thank goodness.

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.

And as far as my life goes, 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.

5. What specific feature(s) of this workshop did you like best?

This workshop is all about helping you put Larry Brooks’ 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.

6. Would you recommend this workshop to other writers? Why or why not?

I’d definitely recommend it. But only if the writer is committed to the idea of structuring and outlining the whole story before writing the first draft. This is not for writers who write to discover their story’s ending, or to find out who their characters are.

>> Learn more about Idea to Draft