Story Concierge

a blog for writers with tips, tricks, & all things writing 

Always Do What You Love For A Living

Happy Sunday!
 
Usually I blog on Wednesdays but I decided to toss in a bonus blog this week because this has been on my mind a lot! 
 
Here's a little reminder if you are stuck in a rut!
 

DO WHAT YOU LOVE and accept nothing less for your life and career. 

 
TRUTH ~ when my mother was sick with lung cancer about two months before she died when she knew it was growing again and she would need at least one more surgery that would probably leave her paralyzed from the waist down she said to me
 
"if I make it out of this, I'm going back to painting. I hate graphic design."
 
I knew she wasn't making it out of it. I hoped, but I knew she wasn't going to, and this crushed me. I thought, "I don't want to be dying and have regrets like that." It changed the course of my life.
 
You see, society tells us from the moment we are born that we need to do certain things. Get a college degree, get married, own property, pop out some kids, and ...
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Why Women Characters Need to Be Strong-Realistic

Happy Writer Wednesday! 

Today I have a new video on YouTube about how to write strong older women characters and you can watch it here! (I'd love for you to subscribe and share with other writers) 

It's so important to represent women correctly in books, TV, and movies but still there are stereotypes that hurt us and it's up to YOU, me and all writers to get it right! 

Having strong female character is about so much more than just having a character like Wonder Women who is strong physically, it means making them real and making them amazing in every way. 

Most recently in the French TV series, Dix Pour Cent or Call My Agent as it's named outside of France, powerhouse Sigourney Weaver played herself negotiating a deal for a film role that put her with an older leading man. There were so many things about this particular episode that got me fired up about this topic. 

It's important for us to keep going as women. It's important to believe that we can do...

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Even Your Villains Need A Reason

It's Writer Wednesday and today I'm talking about writing the perfect VILLAIN! 

Snidely Whiplash, an archetypical sinister cartoon villain

I love me some villains, well the good ones, the well written, well thought out villains who are bad for a reason. Now, that reason probably doesn't make much sense to you and me because we are not villains but to them it is their WHY! 

In Lisa Cron's craft book on writing, WIRED FOR STORY, she talks about your character's misbelief and how this shapes everything they do in the story. This is NOT the same as the flaw they have. 

For example a flaw may be that they gossip, or talk too much, or are self-centered, or argue about every little thing, or they bite their nails, or they are defensive---etc--these are character flaws but they aren't WHO the character is, just what they do. 

WHO the character is goes way back to when something happened that created a misbelief for them. That misbelief is holding them back in...

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Successful Writers Do These Things

Happy midweek WRITER WEDNESDAY! 

This week I want to talk about the habits of successful writers because they do make a difference. And they are ALL things that you can start doing right now to change your writing career and take it to the next level. 

1. Successful writers-WRITE. I know that sounds sarcastic and it's not meant to be, but if you want to be a writer you need to write. You need to write every day. Now, there are many who will say that you only need to write when the spirit moves you but not if you want to do this for a living and actually make money. 

If you want to be a successful writer---WRITE, every single day. 

2. They hone their craft. They take workshops, read books on the craft of writing, get into writing retreats with other writers, they constantly work on their craft. You don't need to spend thousands traveling far away to another country or resort to do this--although, when you can, it is fun, but it's not needed. You can read blogs...

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Why You Should Stop Focusing on Being A Good Writer

Forget About Being a Great Writer and Focus on Story First

Have you ever picked up a book that has been on the bestseller list for months and months and the author is all over the publishing news because all the movie deals coming in and how rich they are---and then the writing is bad, like really bad, and you think---WTF???

Yup--been there, done that. 

Have you ever gone to the movies and so many things are wrong and yet the film is bringing in millions and millions and you cringe at the story mistakes? 

Yup--been there, done that. 

 

This has been my philosophy for as long as I can remember. 

There is nothing wrong with being great with words or wordsmithing. I admit, it's not my thing, but if you allow it to get in the way of the story, that is where you will have problems. 

The reason is that people come to you for the story not the words. 

STORY IS ALWAYS FIRST. 

The words should come...

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Stop Writing JOKES (and focus on character)

Happy Writer Wednesday!! 

I have a great blog today that will help you if you are writing any story that has characters----so ALL of you!! 

But first, here is a new eBook that I have created and I'm giving it away for FREE. 

GRAB IT HERE!

If you want to write something funny the very first thing you need to do is to STOP WRITING JOKES! 

"But, Stephanie, every film writing guru says 3 jokes per page??"  SIGH---they are wrong. 

And here is why. 

Have you ever watched a show or film or even read a book that was supposed to be a comedy but it fell flat? Yes, you have, we all have and it's like time we can never get back--unless you are a writer and then you can use it to understand more about the process. 

PRO TIP--everything is learning how to be a great storyteller--everything. 

In Steve Kaplan's workshop for comedy, he talks at length about this and why character drives the story AND THE COMEDY. It all comes from character. 

Let me...

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New Membership for Women Writers

Happy Wednesday Dear Writers, 

today, I'm talking about something new that I am creating for all the women writers out there who want a special place to go talk about writing, career, characters, movies, books, share some wine or coffee, and hang-out with other female writers. 

A new membership just for US! 

In May I launched a membership for writers and it's really been great but we aren't connecting as I had hoped and I realized that it was the model of the membership which is focused on craft masterminds and not as much as the social aspect. 

AND

I went back to the 10 years that I have been coaching writers and more than 90% have been women, and as a woman writer, it's important to me that WE HAVE A SAFE FUN SPACE to connect, share, support, and grow together-no matter what stage of our writing career we are in. 

I love men, some of my closest friends are men but I think for this we need our own Ya-Ya-Sisterhood so to speak. 

This is the official...

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Crushing Your Query: Part Three

 Crushing Your Query Letter Part 3! 

So, honestly, I didn't even know that I was going to do a part 3 to this blog serious but as I am reviewing more and more queries for clients and writers who have taken advantage of special offers to review from being on my VIP list I can tell you that part three is NEEDED. 

Have any guesses to what it is about?

This is one of the BIGGEST mishaps that writers make and I see it over and over and over again---and, I used to do this too. 

Do you know? 

It is---drum roll please!! When a writer queries way too soon. 

I understand you've written that book or screenplay and in your head it's completely perfect because you can see it oh so clearly but usually it's not ready. 

Now, I want to interject here on waiting too long too--that happens a lot too-but not quite as often. 

You need to find that balance between wanting every single word to be perfect and sending out when it's just not ready. 

Here are some...

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Query Mishaps & How To Fix Them

Hello, Storytellers!! I hope you are having a fabulous day, morning, evening-whatever! 

This is part two that I just decided to add to last week's blog about crushing your query which you can find HERE or just scroll down after reading this! 

query-letters

So it's time to submit, but you now have to write your query and your mind goes blank. You can't form a coherent sentence, and you just write something too long, too boring, or just plain bad. Why is that?

I think it's like a game of GOLF-all in YOUR HEAD. You put the pressure on yourself to write something amazing and BAM! just like that, nothing good comes out.

woman-golfer

There are tons and tons and tons of resources for how to write a good query, so I won't bore you with those details. GOOGLE how to write a query and I promise you tons will come up. I have some favorites, which you can see in my earlier blog,  but everyone is different, so I want you to do what speaks to you.

That said, as someone who used to run a query clinic, and I...

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How to Crush Your Query

If you have finished your novel, screenplay, or teleplay you need to get an agent and for that, you need what is called a query letter. These scare many writers because it's hard to sell yourself and that is what you are doing. The query letter is your sales letter for you and your story. 

Grab my free guide on CRUSHING YOUR QUERY here  

Continue reading this blog for more insight on nailing this!

 

 

So many people come to me for query help that I put together this blog to help you crush it because I know that you can! 

Writing your query shouldn't be so scary!

Writing queries is something that most writers find terrifying but I find it fun. A chance to get to talk about my novel??? AWESOME! 

I know that they seem hard, but really you can craft a perfect query with some very easy steps.

Remember always be personal to the agent you are querying and always FOLLOW the submissions listed on the agent's website. This is super important.

Then your...

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