Somewhere between “ghost writing” and full self-authorship of a manuscript lies a region that we generally call “developmental”. That’s when an author has put together a document containing the raw materials of a manuscript but has not refined the content into properly communicative language and/or form.
We specialize in helping authors to uncover or develop their “style” so they can revise and refine their work into publishable form. Generally, this service involves a number of meetings (either face-to-face or by telephone) between author and “coach” at which discussions of content and style, order and organization — as well as other factors — are focused upon, discussed and resolved. Almost without exception, actual writing exercises are undertaken, too, using the author’s existing writing as a basis.
Yes, it sounds like school, but it’s actually more like a literary equivalent of therapy. It isn’t a codified, recognized, credentialed specialty, but there are people (writers, of course) who have the time, the talent, the experience, patience and the ability to teach the necessary concepts and writing procedures so that they can be understood, appreciated and applied by an aspiring author. Although we make no promises, the hoped-for result is likely to be a publishable manuscript that delivers the author’s thoughts, feelings, opinions and ideas in marketably readable form.
By the way, this process can be done without face-to-face contact, as mentioned above, and even e-mail or postal mail may play a very important part in remote “literary therapy” of this sort. We have seen several notable examples of coaching of this kind that has been applied only to the beginning stages of an author’s work, after which the author, armed with new understandings, ventures the rest of the way alone — and successfully.
As for cost, our coaches generally charge between $75 and $125 per hour for their services. And, like psychotherapy, insurance seldom (in our case, never) pays part of the bill). So it’s not to be undertaken lightly. But if you truly believe that your words have power and you really want to move the world, as good literature so often does, then it’s well worth considering.
If you’re interested, call us or drop us a note. There’s a place for that below, as well as on the Contact Us page.