Story Concierge

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

It's Okay to Take A Day Off & What We Learned From Ferris

Writers!! 

Some days it's just too hard to do anything, especially in 2020. 

Last week I hit a wall, and thus I skipped everything-including my blog which is a day late this week too. This is a big no-no in the business world but I'm only one person. 

I felt guilty about it all last week, all weekend, and yesterday when I literally crashed out for 8 hours in the middle of the day. 

You see, in life "shit happens" and I am one of those, like the great Cristina Yang in Grey's Anatomy who always says "I'm fine" even when I'm not. I won't bore you with the details but just apologize for being absent for these few days. I'm sorry, do you forgive me? 

NOW, let's talk about the importance for creatives to take a day off! 

It's important for creatives to take a day off. See, our brains work harder than normal people who don't create stories, art, etc., because no matter what we are doing there is that something in the back of our minds that is building. This...

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How to Write a Novel in a Month & Win NaNoWriMo

Hello, Writers!! 

This month I'm going to focus on how to write a draft fast and complete NaNoWriMo, which is coming up in just a month. 

Today is Sept 30th! Wow, how fast this year has flown by has been crazy, but here we are. 

 NOW, onto some things you can do to get ready to write your novel fast. 

If you are signed up for NaNoWriMo or in any groups for that challenge, you will learn there is now a thing called "Preptober," which is for prepping your book. 

This is not my style at all. 

When I first starting doing NaNoWriMo, you couldn't have any more than a title on November 1st, when we started, and I'm old school, so I never know what I'm writing until that day when I sit down. 

That's just me, and it is the method I'm going to teach you in my coursebut you can do what makes you happy as long as you finish a novel. 

The five steps that I use to prep are these. 

1. Decide WHO your story is about & WHAT will happen to...

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How to Use A Beat Sheet

Even for your novel!

and finish that work in progress. 

 

In film and especially television writing the "beat sheet" is something that is needed to show your showrunner or director the beats of the script so they can approve the story before you spend hours and hours writing it. 

It helps them "see" it. It also helps you see the big picture. 

The beat sheet is an outline of your story in beats. What happens in the story beat by beat.

You open your notebook, notecards, or even Word/Scrivener (I like to use Scrivener for this) and literally write out the beats like this. 

Scene 1--this happens

Scene 2--this happens

etc.

Now, you may not know what happens in perfect order--so then just write what you want to happen out. This is why I love using post-its and or notecards and the stickies in Scrivener 

Scene-character finds out....

Scene--character makes this decision 

Scene-resolution 

If you are doing it...

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You Can Write A Novel in A Month-or Less

Have you ever dreamed of writing a novel but believe that you don't have the time? Well, I'm here to tell you that you can do it!

I've been writing novels during NaNoWriMo since the early 2000s because um, it's amazing. It's like running a marathon in sprint time. 

Really the best thing I ever started doing for myself and I do it every year. I also usually do CampNaNo in the summer and it's taught me so much about myself as a writer and how to draft quickly which comes in handy if you do any work-for-hire or ghostwriting. 

Now, will you have a perfect ready to submit novel after 30 days? Not unless you are super lucky and if you are--OMG awesome!!! I wish that for everyone but what you will have is a FIRST DRAFT and or a revision. 

**I love to rewrite from scratch my novels at about the 4th revision and that way I leave out all the crap that doesn't move the story forward. 

Some people like to take their time and I once had a mentor tell me to slow down BUT the...

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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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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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I'm Celebrating the Positives!

Despite the situation, I am finding things to celebrate.
1. Elizabeth Warren officially backs Joe Biden
2. My health insurance is offering FREE treatment for CV19 (as long as you are up to date on payments)
3. I still have a job, food in the flat, TP
4. My hubby & I are healthy
5. My dog is adorable
6. The air is super clean outside
7. The sun is shining
8. and, ALL OF YOU! 

 

It's hard to stay positive when every second of the news is bad---see my earlier post--but we can do it, we just have to look for the good instead of focusing on the bad. 

I'm not an expert in mind-shift but that's what it is, shift your thinking and you will find happiness even in dark times. 

Today these things all made me smile and so I'm focusing on them instead of all the scary stuff. 

As well, I'm working hard in my business to bring YOU what you need to be HAPPY, SUCCESSFUL, & HAVE MONEY! How does that sound? 

If you don't want to download anything but would like to get on...

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