It’s simple: to get the best results.
Just as athletes push themselves to the best of their ability with a sports’ coach, a writing coach works on the same premise and not only helps authors but their readers, too.
It’s annoying, time-consuming, heart-breaking, and sometimes costly, to get to the end of your draft and hear from an agent or publisher that huge sections of your book need re-writing – overhauling, even. That you’ve effectively gone off on a tangent or left your reader confused are hard things to rectify once the book is written, as both can affect the best parts of your work.
Now, imagine having ongoing feedback, mentoring and professional critique as you work through the story. Imagine that your own personal beta reader is sat at your side throughout, giving an objective and constructive view of each word you write. Imagine getting to the end of the book and knowing with confidence that it’s ready for submission.
If you think about it, you’ve had coaches throughout your life. Think about when you went to school. You learnt a subject; it didn’t take a week or even a year. Despite gaining a basic level of knowledge you continued to learn more, to understand more deeply, and to hone your talent and understanding – all facilitated by a teacher. Is learning the craft of commercial writing any different?
Finding a good writing coach is essential; you need to be confident that your coach understands you, and that they can get their heads around your book’s concept in order to help you translate what’s in your head to paper or screen. If you and your coach jar then this won’t happen and it could even stifle your inspiration. Your coach should motivate and inspire you, not sap your enthusiasm for your idea. This extends to the feedback your coach gives and how it’s delivered.
For instance, I have never believed that criticism gets anyone anywhere, not least someone who needs to focus and who has to concentrate on successfully expressing themselves to their reader. Although a coach would prove redundant if they congratulated everything you did, they could also risk turning you off the project completely. The age-old writing commandment: ‘show, don’t tell’ – I firmly believe – applies to a writing coach, too. Showing your client how to better a line or passage, or more, is far more effective than just telling them how to do it or correcting it for them. It’s a demonstration of the skills a writing coach brings to the table.
Why people choose me to coach them
I’ve helped many writers look objectively at their work. I’ve helped many understand the genre in which they wish to write, and what their reader would expect of them. I’ve helped writers rediscover their passion when they’ve lost heart, or when the story has become a weight on their shoulders because they’ve written their characters into a corner with seemingly no way out. I’ve helped writers shape their manuscripts to the best they can be before submission to agents and publishers. I’ve helped authors self-publish their work, guiding them through the entire process, right from the seed of their idea through to post-book launch and their ongoing marketing strategy.
I’m not saying everyone has to have a coach, or that a book written without this type of mentoring support will be any less of a masterpiece. For those, however, who’d appreciate a sounding board, a guide and guardian of inspiration, drop me a message at firstname.lastname@example.org
Developmental editor and publishing consultant Diane Hall is the author of three books; she has also ghost-written books for others and created a plethora of content, on more subjects than you could care to imagine, for numerous clients since the beginning of her career. She is proud to have fundamentally shaped series of books and more than a hundred individual titles over the last decade with various authors, nationally and internationally.
Among her editing qualifications, she holds a linguistics diploma, which involves the study of language and speech. Diane employs this knowledge in the forensic linguistic work she sometimes undertakes.
Diane has seen the introduction and subsequent rise of self-publishing, and passionately keeps abreast of its disruption of the publishing industry.