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PERSONAL CAREER COACHING
FOR WRITERS AT ALL LEVELS


literary management“Story Merchant” Dr. Ken Atchity (PhD Yale) has spent his lifetime helping writers get started with and improve their careers. For nearly twenty years as a professor of literature and teacher of creative writing at Occidental College and UCLA—then, since 1995, through Writer’s Lifeline and as a literary manager with AEI Online and Story Merchant (www.storymerchant.com) Ken has helped hundreds of writers find a market for their work by bringing their craft and technique to the level of their ambition and vision. More

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ONE SIZE DOES NOT FIT ALLShare

One-on-one professional assistance and interaction goes a very long way toward making your writing and publishing dreams a reality.

Every writer, every person with a story to tell, is unique, and we match the appropriate talent team to each Writer’s Lifeline client.

Some of our clients want to be professional storytellers.

Our Writer’s Lifeline coaches and mentors guide, correct, and educate to help them develop and master their craft according to their individual goals, their specific aptitudes and challenges.

Many clients come to us with a project in various stages of development, even a sketchy first draft of a novel or screenplay. Our editors guide them through the process not only of completing their work, but getting it ready for market.




PITCH MEETING
If you’re able to come to Los Angeles or New York, sign up for a one-hour one-on-one pitch meeting with Dr. Atchity. You take your best shot at pitching your story and on the spot he will tell you how to make your pitch tighter and more effective! This can also be done on Skype.


COPY EDITING
Suppose you've got the talent, you've got the story and, somehow, you've gotten your manuscript finished - almost. Before it's ready to go to market and be welcomed or rejected by nitpicking eyes, every writer's work needs a little professional brush-and-polish.

"You should never trust a man who has only one way to spell a word." Mark Twain
10 out of 10 publishers disagree with Mr. Twain on that one.

Editing isn't just about mainstreaming your creative spelling innovations and herding dangling modifiers - though our editors do plenty of that!

Writer’s Lifeline editors are are also expert readers, skilled in the art of putting themselves into the comfy slippers of the people who will be buying - and reading - your words.

Whenever you feel an impulse to perpetrate a piece of exceptionally fine writing, obey it...and delete it before sending your manuscript to the press.
Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch


In the world of commercial writing, whether fiction or non-fiction, many times the difference between manuscripts that get a one-way ticket to the "Thanks, but no thanks" file and the ones that we'll be seeing in the windows of our favorite bookstore isn't what the author wrote, but what he and his editors had the good sense to erase.

Depending on your specific needs as a writer, we will provide not only straight copy-editing, but also style-editing and/or fact checking, all at the competitive rate of only $100.00 an hour. The extent of the edit is up to you.

Editing packages are available in 10- and 20-hour blocks of time (click a link on the right if you're ready to get started), or we will quote you a flat fee to complete the work if you prefer.

We'll help you acquire the tools you need to master the tricky business of knowing which passages, sentences, and words paint the picture and advance your story while keeping your reader interested and eager to see what comes next.



GHOSTWRITERS
What if you have a story to tell, or knowledge to share, or a service to sell, and don't have time to write a book? Even if you aren't a writer at all, nor want to become one, you just "need a book written," we'll provide you with the manuscript you need to pursue your publication plans. Whether it's nonfiction or a novel, a magazine article or a political essay, we will find the right writer and editorial team to bring your words to the level of the professional marketplace.

Through in-depth interviews, careful review of notes, ideas jotted down on notebook, skype or phone, or napkin, our Writer’s Lifeline ghostwriters, editors, and info-hounds do the research and prepare an initial draft for your review. They’ll go over it with you, integrating your input into subsequent drafts—and you’ll fill the role of editor, to make sure we've got it the way you want it.



HOURLY EDITORIAL SERVICES
Whatever condition your work is in, we'll diagnose it, prescribe the remedy, and work to ensure that it is having the desired effect and adjust dosage as necessary.

To get started, we'll assess what you've written for its strengths and weaknesses. We'll edit your work conceptually, bringing it into clear and marketable focus. Structurally, we'll help you optimize organization to maximize dramatic impact. Stylistically, by correcting errors of grammar and syntax; and finally our copy-editing will correct punctuation and spelling so your work will be ready for a professional eye.

We'll consult with you about what you've been thinking of writing. We'll help you distinguish between your back-burner projects and the project that is most likely to be your break into the market.

If you need help with story structure, we'll not only provide that but also teach you how to identify the mythic heart of your story. This valuable storytelling technique will serve you time and again throughout your writing career.

Our experienced editors will help you with dialogue, character development, action, setting, and the nuts and bolts of the craft.

Language is the tool of our trade. If you need your work translated into one or more languages, we'll match your project with the best translator for the job.

Though you'll be immediately assigned to an editor for initial assessment purposes, you will have complete flexibility in terms of how your editorial hours are spent.

Often our clients develop a strong professional relationship "bond" with a single editor—the kind intellectual and creative "bond" that can transform careers.

We also encourage clients to get the most out of their hours by broadening their perspective through sharing their developing projects with the critical eyes of a team of Writer's Lifeline editors in the context of a supportive—and instructive— panel review.

Whichever way you choose to go, you can trust that Writer's Lifeline will keep the editorial standards and commercial focus high, and give you support and perspective to understand and respond to everything our editors tell you.

Your work will not only be readied for submission, but also you’ll get an education in self-editing along the way.



PER-PROJECT CONTRACT
For writers seeking extensive editorial services on their project, Writer's Lifeline will guarantee ghostwriting, instruction, editing, and/or development for a contract price (the current range is $200-$5000), determined after our project Launch Analysis of the work and discussion with Dr. Atchity.

Talent is the foundation on which any successful book, script, or other creative work is built. Without it, no books would ever be written, no scripts would ever be produced.

Yet talent can seldom see a work through to completion, as all those stacks of unfinished projects in your closet can attest.

While talent itself cannot be taught, it can be developed, unlocked, nurtured, and its output structured. Writer's Lifeline development professionals will help you refine that talent into marketable work.

Our approach is holistic. We address every aspect of the writing process, from time management strategies based on your individual needs and practical considerations focused on achievable goals, to the nuts and bolts of story structure and character development--the carpentry that will shape your concept into solid reality.

The nature of talent is not the same from writer to writer. Some storytellers may have a natural gift for choosing the right word or phrase. They may form beautifully crafted, expressive sentences naturally. Others may excel in the sheer brilliance of their ideas, their story concepts, but become frustrated in the mechanics of actual writing.

The old saying about one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration is true. The best idea, the best story in the world, as long as it stays in your head, or sketchily outlined on the back of an envelope, or crumpled in the three dozen false starts in your wastebasket, will not be read by anybody. Not because its creator lacks talent but because the talent lacks a support system and the auxiliary technical skills needed for the transmogrification of idea to literary product on the commercial market.

As our track record shows, we know how to help writers through the maze of the writing process. We know about the bad days (writer's block, blank-page syndrome), and the good days, when characters, plot elements—everything—seem to just rush onto your page and arrange themselves perfectly, with little apparent effort on your part. We get you through the first, and help you maximize the second.

Bottom line: your goal is our goal. We want to get your talent's product to market.

The contract approach is our way of working with your budget to assure completion of your project for a manageable amount.

If you're not sure whether you need hourly services or a whole-project contract, start with a Free Initial Consultation. We can help you choose the services—or even construct a custom package—that will be the best fit for your needs and your budget.

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AGENTS AND MANAGERS
If you're a literary agent or manager and could use our help perfecting your clients' projects for publication and/or production, we'd love to work with you because we're experienced at fixing stories that aren't working yet.

Writer's Lifeline, Inc., based on our track record, can add potentially multi-million dollar value to projects that you haven't been able to sell, or wouldn't consider representing, because of the "shape" they're in.

In one case, we turned a great idea for a novel into a $1.1 million preemptive film deal, then re-edited the MS and auctioned it for $2.2 million. In another, we took a novel MS that had been shopped to publishers and production companies, worked on it for nine months, then changed the name and sold it for $750,000!

When we receive the referral from you, we will work out our relationship (including referral fees, where appropriate)--which may also involve having our parent company Story Merchant co-rep the work with you.



DID YOU KNOW?
Projects developed by Writer's Lifeline have accounted for approximately seventy percent of sales (over $31 million and rising) made by its affiliated literary management and companies, AEI, Inc. and Story Merchant.