currently querying: The Light at the End of the World

Nita was an absolute joy to work with. She was communicative, available, and willing to work around my schedule. Her feedback was thorough, insightful, clear, and delivered with just the right balance of kindness and brutal honesty. I can’t recommend her highly enough!   

Natalie Dale, author

Book Coaching Packages

Working with a coach isn’t just an investment in your book, it’s an investment in YOU!

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Just what the heck is a book coach, anyway?

Working with a book coach is similar to a piano student taking private music lessons. The piano student is the person at the keyboard producing the music. The coach is the teacher standing behind with a hand on their shoulder, giving instruction, offering encouragement & suggestions, and showing the player how the notes relate to the experience of the listener. A book coach helps the writer get their story out of their head and onto the page in a way that will resonate with readers.

Working with a book coach is active learning.

Blueprint Package: build your story on a solid foundation

Do you have a story idea but don’t know where to start? Or perhaps you’re in the middle of a first draft or revision and feeling uncertain of what your story’s really about?

You wouldn’t build a house without a plan, and a book isn’t much different. Let’s figure out what you want to say and how you want to say it.

Plot, point, character arcs and motivation…starting off on the right foot with a clear understanding of your story and how all the foundational elements work together will increase your chances to successfully finish, and finish strong. Why? Because you’ll have filled the obvious potholes before you even hit the road.

The Blueprint package includes:

  • A detailed intake questionnaire, one getting-to-know-each-other phone conversation before we start, and one closing conversation to celebrate your accomplishment and clear up any lingering questions when you’ve finished.
  • Exercises incorporating the Author Accelerator Blueprint for a Book and Inside Outline tools designed to help you discover the heart of your story, including how the plot, point, and character arcs all work together.
  • Six assignments with weekly deadlines. These predetermined deadlines are in place to keep you accountable and writing forward.
  • Written feedback on each submission, one support phone call per deadline, and email support as needed for the duration of the package.
  • My personal care & attention as your coach. We’ll work together to set you up to write the best book you can!

Six-week Blueprint Package: $900

Ongoing Monthly Coaching

You’ve completed the Blueprint Package and it’s time to write forward!

Ongoing coaching packages are based on purchased “deadlines.” This model keeps you accountable to your writing goals. You can write forward with confidence knowing that I’m at the other end of the line, holding space for you, waiting for your pages and looking forward to hearing how your story’s coming along. As your coach, deadlines allow me to set dedicated time aside just for you and your writing. How awesome is that?

How it works:

  • You’ll send me up to 20 pages (5000 word maximum ) per bi-weekly submission deadline. These might be new pages, rewritten pages, or a combination of both, depending on the assignment and what we’re working on.
  • I provide editorial feedback. The feedback I give will depend on where you’re at and what you need, but you can generally expect a combination of suggestions and examples, questions to get you thinking and digging deeper, links to articles or suggested resources to support my comments and explain or deepen your understanding of a particular or pesky craft element.
  • A phone or video conversation to discuss my feedback, brainstorm story issues, talk about any struggles you’re having in your writing life, etc.
  • My personal care & attention as your coach. My goal is to help you get your story out of your head and write the best book you can. You’ll come away from the process a better, more confident writer.

Three-month coaching package (six bi-weekly deadlines): $1200

Nita’s insights into my manuscript helped me to discover the way to break into the next round of revisions. Her examples illustrated how subtle the difference between telling and showing can be, and her breakdown of the weaknesses in my manuscript into red, yellow, and green light issues will be my guide as I work to take my draft to the next level. Offered with kindness, humour, and tough love, Nita’s comments and editor’s letter have allowed me to see the possibilities of what my novel can become–published!

Melanie Marttila, author

Developmental Editing

It is my firm belief that a good critique should be something to learn from – a tool to help you grow as a writer.

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Truth: it’s almost impossible for us, as writers, to clearly see our own work. The stories playing so vibrantly in our heads are in our blind spot. We can’t see what’s not there because our own knowledge of the story blocks the view. There’s actually a term for that: it’s called the burden of knowledge.

I know! It sounds crazy, but there you go.

As writers, we all need fresh eyes on our work. Specifically, we need fresh eyes that know what they’re looking for on our work. How do I know? Because I’m a writer, too.

Like you, I’ve been writing long enough to know that while my best friend and my mom are both awesomely wonderful readers, generous with praise and fresh-baked oatmeal cookies, they don’t have the knowledge or skill to zero in on the specifics I need to make my pages shine.

As I read your work, I’ll be taking notes both on big picture issues such as plot, character, dialogue, show vs tell, narrative drive, etc. Depending on the needs of your manuscript, I may make notes at the line editing level as well, watching for awkward phrasing, sentences & paragraphs that can be tightened up, etc. Keep in mind that manuscripts are like children – no two are alike. This means my comments may lean heavier toward one end of the spectrum than then other.

I believe in tough love. Tough because you need to know where the problems are so you can fix them…and love because I’ll tell you with kindness. I also believe in pointing out the good things I see. Because positive feedback is like vitamin C…you can’t thrive without it!

Full or Partial Manuscript Critique: $0.03/word

You Get:

  • A detailed intake questionnaire about your writing goals and the particular work I’ll be critiquing.
  • Authentic, specific, honest feedback on your pages, including suggestions for fixes, examples, and a lot of questions to get you thinking.
  • A robust overview/summary letter, as well as suggestions and actionable steps for moving forward with revision.
  • Links to articles and resources as required.
  • A follow-up phone call to discuss my feedback and answer questions (optional).

Please note:

  • $225 minimum (7500 words/approximately 30 pages)
  • While I may point out grammar, spelling, or punctuation errors the first few times they occur, this edit DOES NOT include proof reading. If you’d like, I’ll be happy to recommend a colleague who can provide that service.

Your superpower is showing versus telling. And POV. And catching overused words! You have got that nailed and it really makes for a richer prose.

Holly Kerr, author

Nita’s developmental edit of the first thirty pages of my manuscript was extremely helpful. She provided insightful comments on the theme and other foundational elements as well as detailed line edits to highlight areas for improvement. Her suggestions were delivered with kindness, encouragement, and enthusiasm. I highly recommend her services. 

Cheryl Hystad, writer