Writing Academy, Memoirs, Novels, Short Stories, Book Proposals

New York City Writing Coach

Gay Walley

Your first readers

Once you’ve done two three drafts, it is time to ask for comments from other people, and only now.  Whom do you show it to? You can hire a writing coach to get his or her thoughts.  The advantage of that is that their comments will be geared to help you solve problems, and the… Continue Reading »

The words, the words, the words

“This morning I took out a comma and this afternoon I put it back in.” Oscar Wilde Now it’s time for the third draft. Okay you most likely have ironed out the plot kinks. You have already gone over your dialogue to make sure it is subtle and does not repeat information that the reader… Continue Reading »

Cleaning the chaff after the first draft

Cleaning and improving is the work of the second draft.  You are ready because you just sat on the couch and read the first draft  by yourself and saw where you got bored. Where the plot did not quite move. Where you repeated yourself. Where you forgot about a character. Where you brought the Russians… Continue Reading »

Is it smart to self publish or a waste of time?

It’s very tempting to want to take control of the fate of your own book. Why would any self-respecting person want to go through the length of time it takes to get an agent, while experiencing all too many rejections? (Although studies have shown that a trait of creative people is our tendency to be… Continue Reading »

What should a first draft be like?

It most likely won’t be that good. No-one’s is. Not even Hemingway’s. This not the draft that you will show anyone (except your coach). This is the one you belt out for yourself. This is the version where you get to know the characters intimately. You experiment with plot twists. You take some wrong turns…. Continue Reading »

Oh, When do I find the time?

“Writing – the art of applying the seat of the pants to the seat of the chair.” Mary Heaton Worse Your writing schedule. I know there are people who say it should be at the same time every day and if you are lucky maybe you can arrange this. I have known people with children… Continue Reading »

It’s all in the voice

“An original writer is not one who imitates nobody, but one whom nobody can imitate.” Francois Rene de Chateaubriand The voice is so important. The voice of the story sets the tone and the mood of the story. How do you get a good voice for a story? By being natural and true to the… Continue Reading »

Your story now unfolds

“I keep six honest serving men. (They taught me all I know.) Their names are What and Why and When and How and Where and Who.” Rudyard Kipling And now for the story, the plot. Write out a loose map of the story for yourself. Why do I say loose? Because it will change as… Continue Reading »

What makes up a great character?

Typically readers attach to novels over characters. They are the most important arrow in your pouch. A great character, or one who resonates, is someone whom we identify with. Someone, as William Faulkner said, whose “ heart.. is in conflict with itself.” You won’t have a novel without characters. You may have an exciting plot,… Continue Reading »

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