What Do Writing Coaches Do?
When I first started Fresh Ink Book Editing (formerly Rock Editorial Services), I only offered line editing and editorial letters for manuscripts. Over time, however, I received requests for writing coaching, and so I adopted it, primarily for fiction manuscripts, into my services. There was a learning curve, but eventually, I settled into a groove and came to fully understand what separates writing coaching apart from the more traditional editorial services. In today’s, I’ll share what I’ve gleaned.
Writing Coaches Have A Personal Touch
When I create an editorial letter or line-edit a novel, I feel as if I’m donning my professor hat. Although I always leave room for writers to ask me specific questions, most of my interaction is with the novel itself. The process does not vary much according to the writer.
With coaching, I put on more of a personal tutor hat. Clients receive an approach that is more targeted to their specific needs. That might mean discussions over the phone or a mix of line-editing and editorial letter that the writer determines, based on how he or she best receives information.
I also tend to communicate with clients I’m coaching on an on-going basis, which allows for a close relationship to develop—this allows a sense of trust to develop.
Writing Coaches Can Give More Specific Advice
People who want coaching usually want more targeted, specific advice. That usually means working on a single chapter or a couple of chapters at a time rather than a whole novel.
When critiquing an entire manuscript, my focus must be on the forest, but when coaching, I can concentrate more on the trees. And without healthy trees, you can have a forest, but it’s rather ghastly.
Okay, so let’s translate the metaphor to what it actually means for your writing. When coaching, I am able to zoom in on the writing itself—e.g., tendency to overuse certain words; reliance on adverbs; employing too many question marks to evoke suspense; stilted dialogue.
Could I Benefit From A Writing Coach?
If the answer to any of the below questions is yes, you might benefit from a writing coach.
- Have you already completed a revision or revisions incorporating an outsider’s edits?
- Do you feel like you need a schedule that makes you accountable to get your work done?
- Do you get overwhelmed when you receive a lot of feedback at once?
- Do you communicate better over the phone?
- Are you focused on improving your sentences and paragraphs as opposed to chapters and novel?