Helping people isn’t too hard as long as you have the heart to listen to their needs. As Ice-T says, “To find the way around an obstacle, look for someone who’s already done it. They can show you the way.” (Ice-T) We have to understand the issues together and work out the best way to approach a problem, then overcome it. I’ve helped people to grasp a writing concept or talked them through a project step by step, but have yet to officially or professionally teach anything. I’m going to change that and fill a Sarah-sized gap in the writing community.
My philosophy is to help others tell their own best stories. I’m not here to rewrite what they’ve written or tell them what to write. I’m here to help them do the best that they can with the story in front of them, the one burning a hole in them so hot that they must get it out on paper. If an author asks for advice on the metaphors in their story, that’s where I’ll concentrate. If they ask for something less concrete, I’ll try to look at some big picture elements and help them work through it. If it’s obvious that the work needs a broad rework, big brush changes, I’ll make suggestions based on my experience with writing and editing. But I will not try to hoist my personal opinions about their work on them. Any changes that I suggest are just that, suggestions. I also believe in teaching them the reasons behind the suggestions. Maybe the author has a great story but wants the reader to become more emotionally attached to the protagonist. They’ve tried everything that they can think of to make this person seem more likable. “Why not try a chapter or two in the 1st person and see how that fits?” I might say. “The 1st person point of view creates an intimacy between the reader and the character by drawing them into the story. It provides an opening for interior thought and insider information.” If it works out for them, they might shift the POV for the whole story. Awesome!
If the author tries it and doesn’t like the outcome and thus doesn’t use it, awesome too. We’ll figure something else out. It’s their story. It’s all a matter of seeing the whole then working down to the details and back up again.
Ice-T. Talk with Ice-T. SNHU. 18 09 2019. Live Stream.