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Creativity Coaching : Jurgen Wolff : Review: Your Writing Coach

Your Writing Coach: From Concept to Character, from Pitch to Publication

Everything You Need to Know about Writing Novels, Non-Fiction, New Media, Scripts, and Short Stories by Jurgen Wolff (Nicholas Brealey Publishing, 2007)

Book Review by Chris Dunmire

Your Writing Coach by Jurgen Wolff"Jurgen Wolff has written over 100 episodes of TV, and six books," notes his bio at the end of the Chapter 4 excerpt (An Endless Flow of Ideas) now published on the Creativity Portal Web site. With an impressive resume like this, you can imagine how pleased I was when Jurgen contacted me about his latest book, Your Writing Coach: From Concept to Character, from Pitch to Publication and gave me permission to share the excerpt with Creativity Portal readers.

Plus, I was thrilled to learn that in addition to his over 25 years' experience writing articles and books, Jurgen's written scripts for several popular television shows I've grown up with: Benson, Family Ties, and Relic Hunter. This confirmed two things: Jurgen Wolff knows his stuff, and he has the experience in the industry to back it up. This qualifies him to be anybody's writing coach.

What's in the coaching book?

Your Writing Coach is a 248-page book filled with a wealth of practical knowledge, industry insights, writing exercises, and coaching tips that will teach and encourage writers at all levels to write, persist, and sell better. It's smartly divided into four parts with 18 chapters that covers a remarkable range of issues and topics all writers face somewhere along the spectrum.

Imagine for a few minutes that you're Jurgen's coaching client. Here's what Your Writing Coach will do for you:

Ready Steady... primes you for the writing journey ahead by focusing on how to overcome legitimate fears and the usual excuses keeping you from your work. It covers finding your writing niche and how to use your special knowledge and expertise from your interests and profession in your writing.

Write! guides you towards the endless flow of inspiration and ideas available to you and the technique of using the magic of "why?". It shows you how to create powerful characters and wisely make use of the "secrets" for story elements and structure (plot, subplot, exposition, and dialogue) and follows up with a discussion on revising and feedback.

Persist! gets into your personal writing space (physical and mental) with writing at home, working around others, dealing with inner and outer criticism, working with your strengths, taming the inner critic, and 'hanging in there' on large projects.

Sell! shows you how to approach publishing, marketing, and promoting your work on the Internet and offline. It covers agents, writing query letters and book proposals, new media markets, self-publishing, e-books, Web sites, blogs, and podcasts.

The last chapter (18: The Writing Life), shares an array of insights and coaching points to help you stay on track and make your writing life successful. It gets into goal setting, being flexible, expecting and managing obstacles, turning troubles into assets, being bold, remembering what's important, and staying true to yourself.

And what else?

With the thousands of books on the market today covering the how-to's of writing and publishing, what makes Jurgen Wolff's Your Writing Coach stand out? Several things, in my mind. Despite Jurgen's successful career as a writer in the industry with a prolific list of impressive projects, the tone of the book remains coach-friendly, helpful, and never condescending.

Here's what else:

  1. Bonus material for each chapter accessible to readers on the Your Writing Coach Web site including: writing and rewriting demos and techniques, audio and video interviews including "a video interview with Robert Cochran, the co-creator of the international hit series 24."

  2. A discussion of the most current Web-based technologies available to you to promote your work online, in which the author himself is making successful use of. Among these are Web sites, blogs, and podcasts.

  3. And one of the most important, respect-earning actions a coach-author can do: The personal invitation Jurgen gives to readers in his introduction on page 2:

    "Once you've read the book, if you still have questions you are welcome to e-mail me ... and I'll do my best to answer them because I'm serious about being your writing coach."

After reading his book and seeing all of the extra effort he's put into engaging the reader in the pages and on his Web site, I have no doubt that Jurgen Wolff is serious about being Your Writing Coach.

Sample the book now by reading an excerpt from Your Writing Coach: Chapter 4: An Endless Flow of Ideas »

© 2007 Chris Dunmire. All rights reserved. [an error occurred while processing this directive]