In my copious spare time, I enjoy perusing writing books and writing videos. There are a ton of them, and most revolve around how to game the Amazon system with cranked-out dross “written to market” by squeezing as many short-term dollars out of the time between start and inevitable burnout. Some are by legitimately bestselling authors who clearly have no idea how to teach, no matter how well they might have done personally in the business. Still others charge $99 for what amounts to a series of rambling talks on various subjects and consider that a “class.”
Then you have folks like Rachael Stephen (link). If you’ve never heard of her, don’t be surprised, because I hadn’t either. YouTube‘s algorithm has done a singularly good job of hiding her videos from me, but eventually one did turn up. I enjoyed it, which led to others, and now I’m telling you about her. That ought to give you some idea of how insightful I find her work.
Maybe Stephen‘s actual writing isn’t for you. That’s fine. Maybe you don’t want to pay for her to consult with you on your plot. That’s fine, too. But take some time to watch her videos (link) on plotting, scene- and character-construction and just writing life in general. You’ll find her personable, informative and, best of all, full of practical advice. For someone who doesn’t have an exceptionally large footprint in the industry, she knows her stuff, and I guarantee you’ll find something of utility if you watch long enough.
At risk of sounding like a fortysomething creeper, I’d love the chance to connect with Stephen and chat about her approach to writing, both as an author and as a bestower of sage wisdom. Rachael, if you’re out there, drop me a line at talktosam[at]samhawken[dot]com and let’s have a tête-à-tête. I don’t know how much I can lend you from my experience, but at least I can say thanks for entertaining and educating me.
Since this was posted, Stephen has begun a Patreon campaign (link), which you can join for a single, solitary dollar. Pretty good deal.