WRITING A NOVEL WITH A WRITING COACH: One-on-One Instruction by Margo L. Dill
START DATE: The first Friday of every month.
(NOTE: This class is on haitus from June - August, and will return Friday, September 3, 2021)
DURATION: 4 weeks with the chance to renew for another 4 weeks
LOCATION: Private Website, Email, and Google Drive
FEEDBACK: Instructor feedback and critique
COURSE DESCRIPTION: Are you writing a novel? Do you need a writing coach to keep you accountable and provide feedback as you go? Do you have an idea for a novel but you don’t know how to plan or get started? Join Margo L. Dill in an online workshop environment, where you can work with her to get a first or second draft of a novel completed. Novelists for almost any genre (no erotica or extreme violence please) are welcome. Depending on your needs, Margo will also provide you with resources on writing novels and help with writing a synopsis and query letter.
There are two tracks for this class. When you register, Margo will contact you to ask you which track you want to be on.
This is for writers who have a fairly complete draft of a novel or at least have done extensive planning and will have pages for Margo to critique each week. (Please note: you can option to turn in pages every week or every other week. With either option, you will receive four critiques for the price of $140. Margo will work with you to create a schedule of when to turn in your pages when you register for class. With Track One, you will receive a FULL edit (proofreading and content editing) for up to 4000 words or 15 double-spaced, 12 pt font, pages each week. With this track you can get up to 16,000 words critiqued. Average price for a full edit of 16,000 words would normally cost between $300 and $350, but Margo can offer this discount through WOW! You also receive email discussions with Margo throughout the week.
This is for writers who are starting out writing a novel and need help with planning, structure, how to begin, writer’s block, etc. It is perfect for someone who has an idea for a book, but does not know where or how to start. When you register and Margo contacts you, please let her know that you need Track Two materials. Usually, Margo uses the Save the Cat Writes a Novel method to guide students to plan their novels before writing. Depending on your comfort level and pace with planning, you may also receive one or two light critiques through this track.
Margo was invaluable in the early stages of my writing and later as I worked on my first YA novel. She was supportive when I needed it and her critiques were filled with constructive comments. She was especially helpful as I struggled to find my voice. Often when the dreaded “show, don’t tell” comment reared its head, she offered much needed tips to bring the character to life. As I submitted chapters each week, our work together felt like a team effort, and I knew she wanted my story to come to life. Writing A Novel with Margo Dill is worth more than I could have imagined—it was and is a writer’s confidence builder. – Leah B. Eskine
I owe my renewed enthusiasm for my long-suffering novel to Margo’s WOW! Writing a Novel with a Writing Coach class. Her critiques were informative and respectful. I’m now refocusing the novel and will take this course again. I highly recommend Margo. – Elizabeth Maggio
Margo’s class helped me refine my existing novel and feel confident that I could send it out to agents and editors. I also found I could use her suggestions in other stories and even my non-fiction writing. I still share some of her advice in my critique groups! – Elizabeth P.H.
I have taken a few classes with Margo over several years. I walked away smarter as a writer with an actionable to-do list. As a writing coach, she was honest and challenged me in unexpected ways. I highly recommend her. – Marie Hanson
It was invaluable to get insight from a published children’s author. Margo was great to work with: kind, flexible, knowledgeable, and consistent. I loved how she was always willing to brainstorm with me when I got stuck. Very quick response time! Would work with her again in a heartbeat. – Stephanie Lennon
WEEKS AT A GLANCE:
Each week, including week one, students will turn in a chapter (or a section) of a novel to Margo. She will read it and critique it, providing a full edit. She will also ask questions and create lists of topics based on students’ writing and needs. Each week will be set up like the schedule below, with exact days subject to change based on students’ needs.
Week One, Two, Three:
On Fridays, turn in one chapter or section of your novel. (Chapters of up to 15 pages will be accepted. Chapters longer than 15 pages will have to be divided into two week assignments.)
On Mondays and Tuesdays, all critiques are returned to students.
Tuesday through Friday: work on next chapter or section.
On Tuesdays/Wednesdays, discussions will be started or questions will be asked/answered through email discussion between you and Margo.
On the fourth week of the workshop, students will turn in a chapter for critique on Friday. On Monday or Tuesday of the last week of the month, a choice will be made to renew the workshop if interested.
Margo will provide materials for an overview of the SAVE THE CAT method and Act 1 beat sheets. Students will read the material and plan their Act 1, which they will turn into Margo on Tuesday or Wednesday for feedback and email discussion.
Margo will provide materials for Act 2, the first 5 beats. These materials will include instruction and examples. Students will add to their outlines they started in week one, and turn in a plan for ACT 2, beats 6 through 10, on Tuesday or Wednesday for feedback and email discussion.
Margo will provide materials for Act 2/3, the last 5 beats of the novel. These materials will include instructions and examples. Students will finish their outlines started in weeks one and two and turn them in on Tuesday or Wednesday for feedback and email discussion.
Students will write their beginning—to get a draft of chapter one. They will turn this chapter draft in no later than the last Thursday of the month for feedback from Margo. This will not be a full critique since it is a true draft, but it will encourage students to create time for their writing and get “unstuck” from starting their novels.
Materials needed: Access to a computer with Internet, Microsoft Word, an idea for a novel or novel-in-progress, and an e-mail address.
ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR: Margo L. Dill is the author of Caught Between Two Curses, a YA light paranormal romance novel involving the Curse of the Billy Goat on the Chicago Cubs; Maggie Mae, Detective Extraordinaire: The Case of the Missing Cookies (picture book); and Finding My Place: One Girl’s Strength at Vicksburg, a historical fiction, middle-grade novel. Besides being a children’s author, she is also a freelance editor with the business, Editor 911: Your Projects Are My Emergency! and she is part of the WOW! Women On Writing e-zine’s staff as an editor, blogger, contest judge, instructor, and social media manager. Margo loves presenting workshops to writing groups and school groups. She also loves blogging and does so regularly on WOW!’s blog, The Muffin, and on her own website, www.margoldill.com. When she is not writing or editing, Margo loves to spend time with her daughter and lab mix puppy, Sudsi. She lives in St. Louis, Missouri; and if she could eat out every day, she would!
COST: $140, which includes four professional FULL EDIT critiques by Margo and email discussions for Track One students ($350 value); and for Track Two students, $140 includes three weeks of intense novel draft planning, discussion, and feedback and help creating a writing routine and first chapter draft ($350 value).
BUY NOW: Writing a Novel with a Writing Coach, by Margo L. Dill (4 weeks, starting first Friday of each month. Note: next session starts September 3, 2021) Limit 20 students: Early registration is recommended.
CLASS ADD-ON: A 30-minute Coaching Session for $30.
BUY NOW: Purchase a 30-minute live coaching session with Margo Dill to be conducted by phone or Skype.
Questions? Email Marcia & Angela at:
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