Last week, I finished the draft of a flash nonfiction piece. I’ve been writing a lot of these short essays since last year, and while I’ve developed a good eye for finding subjects and crafting the pieces themselves, I find that I have a really hard time ending them.
Fortunately, I have a community of writing friends who were ready to help. The essay was my response to a prompt we were given for the week, so I posted the draft in our forum, along with a special request for help with the ending.
The ending included some reflection and commentary on the events I wrote about, but I wasn’t sure whether I needed it or if it made the essay too heavy handed.
My friends had plenty of advice. In short, my reflective final paragraph was a little too much. However, I left the conversation in the forum with lots of ideas for tying the piece together in a way that was more lyrical and less preachy.
I am really blessed to have writing friends to help if I get stuck with something. But I also know that not everyone has someone to reach out to with questions or problems with their work.
One of my goals is to make sure that all writers have a place in Inkling Creative Strategies. While editing, book development, and independent publishing are among my core services, not everyone needs help in these areas.
A lot of people just want to know more about the writing process, get answers for small parts of their project, or are feeling stuck in other ways that contact with another writer could remedy.
That’s why I offer complimentary writing consultations as part of my services.
I like to call it a Virtual Meetup.
Because that’s what writers do, right? Meet up and talk about writing! And usually drink coffee, or tea, or whatever.
“But wait!” you might be thinking. “You’re a busy, experienced professional. Your time is worth money, and as a small business, you really need that. Why would you just give away something so valuable?”
It’s because Inkling is for everyone.
Like I said, not all writers need extensive editing services . . . but they might have questions about point of view, revision, how to end or start a story, and other topics that someone else can step in and help with.
That’s why I make a portion of every week available for people to connect with me one on one about any writing-related concerns they have.
Since launching this service in late 2020, dozens of writers have booked complimentary Zooms to discuss everything from finding motivation to write to understanding how plot works to getting feedback on a poem or flash fiction piece.
Two people have even published or are in the late stages of publishing projects that started in one of these consultations.
It’s been really amazing to see authors who took advantage of this free service find their footing in their work.
So, how can a free 30-minute Zoom give you the confidence, encouragement, and knowledge you need to tackle your writing project?
Here are five ways it can happen.
#1 – You Get Access to an Expert
I (Kori Frazier Morgan, founder and Chief Literary Strategist of Inkling Creative Strategies) personally conduct all consultations. You won’t be farmed out to someone you’ve never heard of.
That’s why I make so much information about myself available on my website and social media. You deserve to put a name with a face when you are taking the risk of sharing your writing with someone.
I’ve been active as a professional writer for almost sixteen years and hold a Master of Fine Arts in fiction writing, as well as fiction, nonfiction, and poetry publications in numerous literary journals.
I’ve also taught creative writing to high school and college students and am passionate about mentoring people in their literary pursuits.
You will find that my coaching style is friendly, down to earth, and encouraging. I’m about helping you find solutions for the good of your work, not showing off how much I know.
“[The Virtual Meetup] helped me strength and improve my story,” Havelah McLat, who is publishing her first novel this summer, said. “The feedback and insights were really helpful and their service and support are wonderful.”
#2 – It’s in a Manageable Time Frame
Look—I know you wish writing could be your whole life, but the fact is that sooner or later, reality strikes again. You’ve likely got a host of responsibilities—work, kids, home projects, and of course, sleeping, eating, and all that stuff needed for you to sustain life.
This consultation is short enough to get it in between commitments and yet long enough to have a good, solid conversation (and honestly, if we go a minute or two over, it’s okay).
Also, if your kids or pets around, that’s fine. The more the merrier. One of my writers who transitioned from the free consultation to enrolling in a service always brings her two-year-old, and it’s an absolute delight.
#3 – You Get an Outside Perspective on Your Work
I’ve found that a lot of problems I face with my writing happen because I’m too deep “in my own head.” Sometimes I stare at a project so long that it becomes too familiar, and when I run into difficulties, I’m not able to objectively find solutions.
And let’s face it—if you don’t have a writing group or writing friends like the ones I mentioned above, you’re pretty much left with your mom or some family members, and they aren’t always the most accurate in their assessments.
A writing consultation can help you see your hang ups with more clarity by enlisting someone who is not familiar with your project. It’s amazing how quickly someone’s comments or answers to questions can give you a reset button that lets you keep working.
"Doing my free consultation with Kori at Inkling Creative gave me hope for a project I wasn't sure was worth pursuing,” author Dylan Miller said. “I had worked and reworked the opening chapters on an idea, but I just wasn't convinced that I was on the right track. Kori gave me some great feedback to get better, equipped me with some options to move forward, and left me feeling encouraged that I could do this as a writer!"
#4 – You Can Get a Better Handle on Elements of the Writing Process
A lot of people who schedule consultations have questions about the external factors of writing a book—plotting, developing characters, revision, etc.
We’ve talked about tools for building character relationships, how to create conflict, exploring difficult topics in memoir writing, crafting lines in a poem, and more.
If you want a quick mini-lesson on a particular area of creative writing, I can give you some pointers. More than likely, I’ll also point you to some teachers, authors, and books that will help you learn more in those areas.
“Inkling’s free consultation service is one of the best freebies around,” poet Katie Rouse said. “Kori helped me narrow my focus and settle in for a long-haul memoir I’m still working on. Her encouragement and advice were crucial where I was trying to figure out my next steps.”
#5 – You Get a Bonus Thank You Gift
Yes, you read that correctly. As if a FREE consultation with a writing expert isn’t enough, I’ll give you a surprise gift just for showing up on Zoom.
No, I’m not going to tell you what it is. It’s a surprise. You’ll have to sign up for the consultation to see ;-)
So, How Do I Get Started?
It’s easy. Just click here to access my personal calendar and pick a day and time that works!
Don’t see a time that fits your schedule? No problem. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll be happy to coordinate something.
See you on Zoom!