How to improve a submission letter and synopsis; how to sharpen a blurb (by differentiating between a suspenseful question and the emotion of suspense); how to find suitable comparisons for your book (for submission package purposes); when you feel resigned to failure: why that happens and how to solve for it in order to create success; Sophie comments on a Dream Author’s structural reshuffle of her novel.
To Gnocchi or to press on with a first draft?; how to increase sales of a digital course; shoulds versus wants, at a challenging time.
Requirements (or suggestions) for the Projects and Progress strand; when you’re worried you won’t love your new book as much as the last one; how to think about spin-offs and standalones; do you need Beta readers?; what to do when a lack of confidence is getting in the way; investing in editorial treatments versus ‘the scientific/theory testing method’
How to choose between two approaches to the same goal; Unpicking a knotty day job situation; How to stop thinking you need to be/act like a different person in order to achieve your desired result; Dealing with a difficult sister.
What to do when your agent warns (threatens you); why choosing to do the wrong thing is better than lying to yourself; perimenopause and menopause for writers; polishing your novel on a sentence-by-sentence level; introducing three new Dream Author concepts: the ‘Not For The Likes of Us Line’, the ‘The Impossibility Borderline’ and the ‘Dream Goal Staircase’!
Sophie coaches on how to solve for the ‘adrift’ feeling after a book is finished, how to know when to write something new and when to persevere with your current project, and much more.
The problem with thoughts like ‘I’ll hit the ground running in the New Year; how to plan to write in a way that tempts you; what to do when you don’t want to send your book out to any more agents; Iris Murdoch’s ‘eggs and baskets’ advice for writers; how to choose (between anything and anything!) when your instincts are leaning one way but you’re still not sure;vwhy rejection can be good for our books.
When your writing mentor takes all the joy out of the writing process; a DA picks a new agent for a reason that she likes; the differences between acquiring (from an editor’s point of view) a literary novel and a commercial one; how to deal with ‘am I being self-indulgent in pursuing my writing dreams?’; should you give up on your book and move on if you haven’t heard anything from your agent in several months?; how to get back into writing after a break; should you send your agent your most recent, updated synopsis, when she’s already got the previous version?; how to approach the most laborious parts of the writing process; how much information should you give the reader at the start of any story?; how to write your book when some of the content is triggering.
Should you speak up for yourself, even if the other person won’t listen?; your thoughts about money; when scheduling feels like fantasy stuff – what to do; is it okay to think ‘I can’t be arsed’ and make no effort?; why and when to write under two different names.
Sophie’s Poirot 5 update, and The Mystery of Mr E movie update; Sophie coaches Dream Authors on money/travel guilt and discombobulated Gnocchi-ing.