You've been thinking about it for a ages, but there's always a reason not to start. Or you got stuck, and now thirty pages live buried in a folder on your desktop.
Or maybe you're like me: You've been so receptive to feedback and writing "rules" that you've lost direction.
But your novel or memoir is burning inside you—and you know that feeling isn't going anywhere.
If so, hi! Read on.
It took me six years to write my first novel.
In the beginning I was plagued with self-doubt. I felt like a novice because I was one—I didn't yet know how to write a novel, and so I relied on others to tell me. The problem was that there are many perspectives on how to write a novel. I tried to listen to all of them and became too receptive to feedback—I would rewrite my entire draft based on what one person said.
I pored over books on fiction writing then used them against myself to poke holes in my work-in-progress. I handed the wheel over to the world of writing adages like "show, don't tell."
This all left me confused, discouraged, and aimless.
It wasn't until I was sitting in an online writing course listening as the instructor explained, plot point by plot point, precisely what I should write next in my novel—and feeling that sense of dread that descends when you hear advice you know isn't right for you, but that you fear you're going to take anyway—that I realized: I'm the only who knows what this thing is.
I packed a bag, took off to the middle of nowhere for two weeks (this was before I had a kid), and set the advice and instruction aside. I wrote a draft of the novel based on my own vision of it—weird and untraditional as it was. Six weeks later, I got an agent. And within the next year I wrote the first draft of my second novel—this time more confident in my own vision, which helped me trust myself as I continued to discover my process.
Both novels sold at auction and to major publishers around the world.
Once I began to write from the gut and not from a formula or someone else's vision, my writing life became more prolific, more joyful, and more successful.
The truth is that some of the most often cited "rules" about writing can easily become weapons that writers use against ourselves to justify our inaction. They become a means of resistance—that which inhibits creativity from blossoming in the world.
I've discovered that the block many writers face isn't lack of talent, motivation, or time. It's rule-based resistance.
In overcoming resistance, would-be authors become authors.
Over 4 weeks, you will:
How this course is different from other writing courses:
Weekly Video Lessons on Process
You'll learn my exact process, from how to start, to how to overcome resistance, to what to do when you finish.
Templates & Examples
You'll get access to my best stuff for outlining and brainstorming, including Google templates that you can actually use.
An Accountability Partnership Option
Interested in an accountability partner who will check with you at your direction to help you meet your goals? We'll pair you with a fellow novelist so that you can rely on the exact kind of accountability—type, format, and frequency—that you need to be successful.
Lectures & Summaries
Lectures and summaries reflect and build on the video lessons. These are yours to download, keep, mark up, and reference as needed.
10+ Lessons on Craft
In bite-size videos I share my favorite tips on getting better at writing, getting unstuck, and getting the most out of your writing time.
Quizzes confirm actionable understanding of key concepts and engage you more deeply in the process.
Instructor Feedback on up to 25 pages
Submit up to 25 double-spaced pages of your manuscript for feedback from me at any point for one full year after your course ends.
A Writing Community
From Day One, you'll be invited to join your fellow novelists in our private Facebook group, where we'll engage in ongoing, guided discussion around weekly themes in the course. I'll be there regularly to answer questions (and ask them!).
Reward Upon Completion
When (not if!) you finish, you'll receive a special gift from me. And it's not a bumper sticker.
BEFORE YOU START | The Kernel: Flesh out your idea so it can carry a novel
MODULE 1 | The Prep & The Beginning: What to do before you start and managing workflow
MODULE 2 | The Early Middle: Story Structure & The 4 Notebooks Method
MODULE 3 | The Late Middle: Overcoming resistance and leaning to mystery
MODULE 4 | The End: Nail the Landing and what to do from here
BONUS: After You Finish
I have never written more or better than when I was working on my writing with Mary.
— Joselin Linder, author of The Family Gene
I cannot recommend her enough as a creative writing instructor.
— Alex Difrancesco, author of All City and Psychopomps
"Tart, sweet, poignant, and rich with humor; completely irresistible.” — Library Journal (starred review)
"I mean like, crazy funny. The offbeat story about love, family and mortality really sticks with you. The ideal summer read." — A Cup of Jo
“I loved every word.” — Meg Cabot
"When You Read This feels miraculous and leaves a lasting impression long after its final moment.” — Val Emmich, author of The Reminders and Dear Evan Hansen: The Novel
Enrolling in TELL, DON'T SHOW doesn't just mean you're committed to you finishing your novel...it means I'm committed to you finishing your novel. If you don't feel you've become equipped with the tools to do so by the end of the course, you are welcome to join the next cohort of students for free. And you and I will meet for a 30-minute coaching session to tackle your concerns.
Includes all of the modules, resources, and materials described above.
NOTE: The next round of the course will open in fall 2020.
How does this work?
Once you purchase the course, you will receive an email with log-in instructions. As soon as the course begins, you will have access to the first week's materials (video content, pdf downloads, and more). Each week new content will be unlocked in your syllabus. You'll also receive, via email, details about the live workshops and instructions on attending them.
Do I need an Internet connection?
Yes, you will need an Internet connection to watch the videos.
What if I don't finish my novel during the course?
No worries! You will continue to have access to the video content for a full year, and all of the content that is not video-based you can download for lifetime access.
Can I take the course if I'm writing a memoir/nonfiction?
This course is designed for novelists working on long pieces of fiction (novella or novel-length— 40,000 - 80,000 words), but it is also useful if you're writing narrative-based nonfiction. Non-narrative books it's not suitable for.
Can I watch the videos on my phone?
You sure can!
Do you offer refunds?
Sure! You may request a refund within 7 days of when the course begins on 4/13/20—just shoot us a quick email. After 7 days we don't offer refunds, but you are still entitled to the Creative Block Guarantee.
Copyright 2020 Mary Adkins