Thursday, May 2, 2013

Who's Your Writing Mentor?

Have you ever needed a swift kick in the backside to keep you moving? At other times, someone to hand you a tissue and commiserate is what it takes. There's often someone ahead of you in the journey who can give wise counsel or a helping hand.

I think any of us who have been writing for a few years have had a mentor or two deliver all the above. I know my own 12 years of writing have been seasoned with various people who've made all the difference for me.

I've hung out my shingle as a writing instructor and mentor on an official basis. So many people want to write fiction but have no idea how to go about it. I'm not sure if anyone reading along here at ICFW is in that boat, but maybe you know someone who is, even if you're not, and I'd be grateful if you'd recommend me.

To Write a Story is a site dedicated to learning the craft of writing fiction from beginning to end. I'll be blogging on the basics, but the main focus of the site is to channel folks into the free writing course I'm offering which will land in their inboxes weekly for the better part of a year. It will walk the wannabe-writers from planning through plotting, writing, editing, publishing, and marketing. Not intended as an in-depth course, How To Write a Story will provide an overview of the various steps and things to consider.

What qualifies me to teach and mentor? 12 years experience with 11 completed novels—and 1 novella in Rainbow's End. 12 years of learning from many sources. 12 years of struggling to find my own voice and my own method of plotting, somewhere between pantsing and outlining. 12 years of watching the industry and learning how it works. 12 years of others pouring their wisdom into my life. And many more than 12 rounds of teaching in online forums, at regional conferences, and one-on-one.

Do I know everything? Absolutely not. But I do know more than some folks, and those are the ones I want to help—the ones who need a helping hand and a little guidance to understand the process needed to write a story from beginning to end.

I hope you'll join me or encourage your friends to do so. The party's just getting started for those who want To Write a Story.

In comments below, tell me ways someone has mentored you. . .or that you have mentored someone else.

Valerie Comer is an author and a blogger where food and faith meet fiction. She's taught workshops online and at regional writing conferences, and is thrilled to offer a fiction writing course at To Write a Story. Visit her to glimpse inside her world of food and faith.


  1. What a super site, Valerie. I've promoted it on our local writers' email loop.

  2. This is great, sounds like a wish coming true. I am signing up

  3. Thank you, Ruth Ann! I appreciate help getting the word out.

    And Retha? Thank you for signing up. Feel free to respond to the lessons if something is unclear? I'd appreciate that.

  4. I've never had the privilege of having a mentor, unless you count my sweet sister who tells me to keep going until I find a place and voice. I always wanted one though, and I am sure going to apply.


  5. Congratulations on your willingness to share what you've learned over the years, Valerie. It just might save some new writers from the pitfalls we've all made at times. If you're studying music you need the basics. And so with the writing craft.

  6. Thank you Fifi and Rita, for your encouragement.