I have given writer talks encouraging aspiring indie authors for eight years, on a wide variety of topics. I dearly love it and can put you in touch with attendees and organizers for feedback.
Presentation– if you just want to hear ideas and get tips, the talk will run between 45-60 minutes. $75
Workshop– with time for discussion, Q&A, free writes and more, the time usually extends to 90 or 120 minutes. $100
I use PowerPoint slides with your venue’s projector setup, and make them available to the attendees via email sign-up.
Browse the list or contact me to set up a new topic!
I Can Show You:
World-Building so Sneaky the Reader Never Finds Out
Epic fantasy naturally involves a ton of background since potentially anything could be new to the reader. But all genres, including literary fiction and even memoirs, need to immerse you in another world. Will gives six big tips to avoid eclipsing the dreadful Patience Horizon! Makes a terrific workshop. Featured on Anne R. Allen’s blog as well as a series on Will’s site.
Now Hear This:
Audiobooks Make Joyful Noise
Even the bravest writer tends to shrink from the challenge of making an audiobook, but it would be a mistake to ignore this fast-growing niche of NEW customers. Will covers the options from hiring a narrator to DIY, and walks you through how to record your own voice (yes, YOURS!) to edit and produce audio files. Will has narrated dozens of his own works as well as those of other authors. You have choices, exercise them!
Any Which Way But Done:
Writing a Series For the Win!
The allure of series writing is obvious, but don’t fall into the trap of thinking they are all the same. Will covers three major categories of series, and touches on how to, as well as how NOT to, go about series writing. This talk will help you decide which of your ideas may be best suited to series, and how you can leverage a series with your “tribe”.
How I Learned to Relax and Love My Blog
Writers tend to want to focus–you know, there’s this book? When everything on earth conspires to pull you away from finishing the WiP, it seems utterly ridiculous to take writing time in order to, um, write? But blogging can be terrific mental floss, a big boost to your marketing efforts, and one of the only free ways to get your name and titles out there. This writer talk is particularly good for first-time and aspiring writers, helping crack open the mysteries of marketing for indie authors. Own your name on the web!
Hook ‘Em from the Start
The Many Uses of Your Tale’s First Line
We’ve all got a great story to tell. But it’s hard to realize that readers won’t wait forever for it to start! In this writer talk, Will reveals the many objectives that can be accomplished in the very first words of a story. Examine and discuss what some of the great fiction authors of all time have done in Sentence One. List the kinds of impact you can have; give yourself credit for the powerful ways you can set the stage. This talk is great for authors who have finished a draft or are close to it, as they consider which edits and polishing their tale still requires. Laugh and gasp at the efforts of other authors–including Will himself– and start to put those lessons to work immediately.
B(u)y the Cover
The Amazing Tale of How Books Don’t Sell Themselves!
Writers usually hate to think about the cover of their tale: surely, the words themselves are what sells? First of all, stop calling me Shirley. Secondly, the fact of the matter is that the first thousand words of your tale a reader sees are not, in fact, the words. New and aspiring authors will delight in the schadenfreude of what some of their colleagues have chosen to put on the front of their books: honest, these are truly, hilariously, awful. But what does that mean for us? Do traditional publishers really control what we look for as we browse the bookstore aisles? Is there any hope for independent writers to match that level of success without breaking the bank? Will demonstrates factors such as image, consistency, branding and more. Remember that the cover, just like the book, isn’t always “done” the first time.
Never Mind Your Voice… Find THEIRS!
Understanding PoV to Power Immersion
Most authors have an instinctive understanding of “where they are” in the story. It’s deeply felt, they can see the movie already in their mind. Great! But does the reader see what you’re pointing to? The various choices of character Point of View (3rd, 2nd and 1st person) are crucial to the impact your story will have. Does it vary by genre? By gender? How can we analyze which voice-choice is best for our tale? Using examples from his own work, discussion, and free-write time, Will helps you to see the power of choosing the right voice. Which decisions have you already made?
That OTHER Thing You Can Do with a Book
Sounds absurd on its surface, doesn’t it? Your own writing beckons, who has TIME to read anything else! But your love of reading–those tales you’ve been eating up since your childhood–that’s what drew you to the writing desk now. Trying to JUST write your book is like driving a car on fumes. Will looks at famous tales from yesteryear, found in his blog series Classics You’ve Never Read, to reveal the remarkable features and tactics that past masters devised (and you can carry on). The many benefits of reading for a writer will stand out, and you’ll carry away freedom from the guilt of continuing to read.
The Writer’s Bloc Expose’
Including Whether It’s Actually a Thing
Most writers have hit it. Some still suffer from it, and a few believe they’ve given up writing because of it. And that’s a shame, because for one thing Writer’s Block is not an “it”. Will explores the various things that often get lumped together, confusing and demoralizing us as writers, and opens up a discussion about which “variants” of this malady are running amok with the group, as well as how to combat or “cure” them. Sometimes stuff happens. But very often there are things we can do to help ourselves get back on track, as some of the world’s most famous authors have. The word “Bloc” in the title is no accident– we’re all in this together and that’s one way we overcome.
Contact Will for any questions or to arrange a talk: