Posts Tagged ‘themes’

Dear Writers/Caregivers/Advocates for Loved Ones,

Coach Teresa LeYung-Ryan here . . .  I see how helping a loved one/being an advocate is so much like writing a book.

My papa has been diagnosed with Parkinsonism by his neurologist. If Papa is telling his story, he would be the first-person narrator; if I’m telling the story about him, then I would be the third-person narrator.

A book (story) consists of one main character (also known as “hero” or “protagonist”) or multiple main characters and other characters (other archetypes), a subject matter that is discussed repeatedly (“theme”) and at least one plotline (“what happened?”). The merging of these elements helps the writer show the hero’s journey.

Helping a loved one/being an advocate consists of at least 2 protagonists (YOU and the loved one) and other archetypes (physicians, healthcare and social service providers, other family members and friends, neighbors, coworkers, vendors, . . . the stranger who gives up her/his seat on the train for you), themes (the cause for help and advocacy and the related issues), and plotlines (the interconnected events associated with all the characters).  Who will be the most transformed in the story?  The loved one?  You the caregiver/advocate? The person who is most transformed would be the main character/hero/protagonist.  Perhaps both people will go through great transformation.  Two protagonists!

I am writing – I keep a notebook for whenever I visit my papa or when I do something on his behalf- gosh, there are so many little “subplots” to keep track of! (Is this Papa’s third or last session with the physical therapist? Mary and I need to witness the exercises so that when the P.T. closes the case, we would be able to coach Papa. Did he say he wanted another heating pad? Oh my, there are at least 18 model to choose from.   Gotta review friends’ advice about what is a comfortable bed and also Consumer Reports. Then Papa has to “test drive” some beds. You just can’t shop for a mattress the way you shop for a pair of shoes.

MATTRESS SHOPPING TIPS (from Sealy’s website)

  1. Plan to spend at least one hour in the store.
  2. Wear loose clothing and easily removable shoes.
  3. Test out mattresses in groups of three for easier comparison.
  4. Lie on each mattress for 5 to 15 minutes to let it fully adapt to your body.
  5. Don’t feel rushed. It’s ok to ask for privacy.

I would add:  Bring your own pillow so that your neck is supported while trying out mattresses; maybe bring an extra pillow case too.

And, I am reading the book The Brain’s Way of Healing: Remarkable Discoveries and Recoveries from the Frontiers of Neuroplasticity by Norman Doidge, M.D.  Chapter 2 is titled “A Man Walks Off His Parkinsonian Symptoms”  . . . how John Pepper has been able to reverse the major symptoms, the ones that Parkinson’s patients dread most, those that lead to immobility. He’s done so with an exercise program he devised and with a special kind of concentration . . .

All the “characters” in Dr. Doidge’s books (The Brain’s Way of Healing  and The Brain that Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science) and in Dr. Victoria Sweet‘s book (God’s Hotel: A Doctor, a Hospital, and a Pilgrimage to the Heart of Medicine) are guiding me on my journey as an advocate for my father.  And, I just know that my mom plays a huge role in helping me.

I thank everyone who has given me her/his time, energy, and prayers.

Here are links to websites I’ve relied on lately:

https://franceskakugawa.wordpress.com/category/caregiving/  Frances Kakugawa

http://www.writeradvice.com/ywmtdw.html  B. Lynn Goodwin

http://www.normandoidge.com/  Norman Doidge, M.D.

https://www.michaeljfox.org/  Michael J. Fox Foundation

Special thanks to Margie Yee Webb, Frances Kakugawa, Penny Manson, Debbie Ramos and her daughter Melanie who went out of their way to help me research specific items and to Mary, my sister Maria Leung, Linda Harris, Sue, Janet, and Elaine for being there in person.

Sincerely,

Writing Coach Teresa LeYung-Ryan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Author & Fanbase-Building Coach Teresa LeYung-Ryan says: “Reach out, not stress out. Enjoy your writer’s journey.”
http://WritingCoachTeresa.com

http://lovemadeofheart.com/

http://lovemadeofheart.com/blog/

https://www.youtube.com/user/teresaleyung

 

 

 

 

 

 Coach Teresa says: “Fortify Your Platform with New Tags for Your Books and All Your Writings.”

How do you attract new fans?  When your friends and colleagues brag about you?  Yes!   What else?  How do you help your prospective fans find you?  By making your name synonymous with the issues / themes / subject matter you write about?  Yes!!  After all, when folks need something, don’t they go to search engines and type keywords and key phrases (aka “tags”) to find what they need?  Those folks will find you through the tags associated with your name!

Here’s an excellent examplelet’s look at author Wendy D. Walter and her tags.  Wendy writes fantasy / adventure stories for young adults / teens.  Her protagonist is fourteen-year-old Ambril Derwyn.

I hosted Wendy D. Walter (author of Ambril’s Tale, Return of the Dullaith) in a live-blog event on January 5, 2013.  Nineteen fans (old and new) showed up to greet her and cheer for her and to ask questions.

Thank you, Anne M. Beggs, Bardi Rosman Koodrin, Christopher Wachlin, Deborah Taylor-French, Diane LeBow, Dorcas Cheng-Tozun, Eugenia Budman, Eve Visconti, Janine, Jean Morrow, Kate Farrell, LakshmiLove, Linda C. McCabe, Margie Yee Webb, Maria, Tera, Thonie Hevron, Yolande Barial, for participating on January 5th, 2013!

To see complete questions and answers and  comments from please click on: http://lovemadeofheart.com/blog/please-help-me-welcome-author-wendy-d-walter-to-this-live-blog-appearance/

To read my interview with Wendy, please click on:

http://lovemadeofheart.com/blog/coach-teresas-interview-questions-for-author-wendy-d-walter-ambrils-tale-the-return-of-the-dullaith/

Here are some tags associated with Wendy D. Walter’s writings

  • Ambril’s Tale, Return of the Dullaith
  • father’s death
  • half-truth
  • ancient Celtic magic and nature-based magic
  • introverts
  • Global Warming, rising seas, raging storms
  • Utah in the middle of winter
  • taking on the bullies
  • fictional California town Trelawnyd
  • fantasy stories
  • monsters
  • young adult Y/A
  • secret warriors
  • human morality

Thank you,Wendy, for having written a compelling story. What a page-turner!

Look for more “tags” in Wendy D. Walter‘s answers to the questions asked by fans:

“My all time favorite writer is Jane Austen. It’s been over 200 years since she was first published and her stories still enthrall me. From her books, I learned that the most important thing a writer can do is to make your readers care about what happens to your character and to never underestimate your reader.”

“I’m also a great admirer of Diana Wynne Jones, my favorite fantasy writer. She also never underestimated her readers and gave us incredibly intricate and original stories. Her books are often funny as well!”

“And that is why Ambril’s Tail has a very robust plot, with lots of twists and turns and strives to be humorous as often as possible!”

“Some of my characters are right out of my imagination, but some of them have roots in mythology. The Aunties, for instance, are the seers of the story, who share one pair of glasses. Perseus runs into three crones who share one eye and a tooth in one of his adventures, but groupings of three witches/hags/seers appear in all sorts of ancient Nordic and Germanic stories as well!”

“The Cerberus, the guardians of the underworld, is one of my favorite Greek legends.”

“I’m not sure why this is, but if you take a simple bullying exchange off the playground in our world and give the characters fangs and fairy wings, the issue becomes much clearer. In fantasy, we get a bit heavy handed at times and tend to make our bullies actual monsters (it’s more fun that way). Also, as bullying is an obvious abuse of power, it works well within worlds where it’s clear who the good and bad guys are, at least most of the time! Check out the Q & A Teresa posted on this blog for more on bullying: http://lovemadeofheart.com/blog/coach-teresas-interview-questions-for-author-wendy-d-walter-ambrils-tale-the-return-of-the-dullaith/  Bullying appears to be a behavior that some mistake for strength, particularly the immature (of all ages).”

“And there is a great male main character called Ygg. My beta readers all chose him as their favorite character!”

Ambril’s Tale is for the 10-14 marketplace, just right for middle schoolers!”

Get your copy of Wendy D. Walter's book or ask your library to carry it!

Where to Find the book Ambril’s Tale, Return of the Dullaith:

http://www.amazon.com/Ambrils-Tale-Return-Dullaith-ebook/dp/B008EALE3A/

Ambril’s Tale, Return of the Dullaith at Barnes and Noble

http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/174750

“Book 2, Ambril’s Tale, Riding the Cursed Shoots, is coming out in March, 2013!”

 

Cheers to Wendy D. Walter, protagonist Ambril and everyone she cares about!

Sincerely,

Coach Teresa LeYung-Ryan says: “Reach out, not stress out, to materialize your dearest dreams.”
http://writingcoachteresa.com

As author of Love Made of Heart, creator of Love Made of Heart gift items and the “Talking to My Dead Mom Monologues,” Teresa encourages writers to speak out (in print) for those who cannot speak for themselves.

As coach and author of Build Your Writer’s Platform & Fanbase In 22 Days: Attract Agents, Editors, Publishers, Readers, and Media Attention NOW , Teresa says: “Whether you are writing fiction or nonfiction, make your name synonymous with the issues you write about.”


 

 

 

June 16, 2012

Part II  Writing Coach Teresa LeYung-Ryan Has Fun on Authors Day with Colleagues at Literary Arts stage, San Mateo County Fair 2012

Please click on the title bar of this post, scroll down, and submit a comment – what are the themes and issues in your book?

Bardi Rosman Koodrin welcomes audience to Literary Arts stage San Mateo County Fair 2012

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Writing Coaches Teresa LeYung-Ryan and Beth Barany inspire writers and readers at San Mateo County Fair Literary Arts

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Laurel Anne Hill inspires audience at Literary Arts stage San Mateo County Fair

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Valerie Estelle Frankel dresses for her celebrated Harry Potter parodies

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Writing Coach Teresa LeYung-Ryan wishes Caroline a joyful writing and college life

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author Elise Frances Miller at Literary Arts stage, San Mateo County Fair

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children's book author Renee Rojas asks: What Color Is God? (title of her book)

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author Jay Hartlove talks about the themes in The Chosen at Literary Arts stage

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author Elizabeth Fajardo with author and coach Beth Barany at San Mateo County Fair

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Author Jo Carpignano chats with fans at San Mateo County Fair

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author Albert Flynn DeSilver talks about cultivating consistent writing practice

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Bardi Rosman Koodrin, Martin Shane Dowd, Elise Frances Miller having fun on Authors Day

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author J. Malcolm Stewart talks about the themes in The Eyes of the Stars

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Lakshmi Hannah Kerner aka Goddess in Retirement cheers for Writing Coach Teresa and her workbook Build Your Writer's Platform & Fanbase In 22 Days

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Sincerely,

Coach Teresa LeYung-Ryan

http://writingcoachteresa.com

Coach Teresa says: “I love helping writers build their platforms and published authors fortify theirs with individualized coaching.”

As coach and author of Build Your Writer’s Platform & Fanbase In 22 Days: Attract Agents, Editors, Publishers, Readers, and Media Attention NOW, she advices: “Make your name synonymous with the issues you write about.”

Teresa has built her own platform happily; her novel Love Made of Heart and her short play Answer Me Now carry the theme closest to her heart: mother-daughter relationship.

Teresa LeYung-Ryan helps clients identify themes, universal archetypes, front-story and back-story in their manuscripts.

Teresa created the annual “Immigrant Experience Writing Contest” and cheers for all contestants.

http://writingcoachteresa.com  for her Blog, events, and other resources.

 

September 5, 2011

Dear Lynn Henriksen,

I miss my mom so so much. Your inviting me to guest-blog is a huge gift and I thank you. Today is Labor Day. I salute you, your mom, my mom, and all moms who labor/labored with love and hope for their families.

Sincerely,

Teresa

“What Does Your Protagonist Want?”

By  Teresa LeYung-Ryan, aka “Writing Career Coach & Manuscript Consultant Teresa”

“If you’re writing a novel or memoir, what does your protagonist want?”
“What are your themes and who are your archetypes?”
“If you’re writing a how-to book, what are the issues?”
“Do you want to build your platform to attract agents, publishers, and fans/readers?”

These are the questions I ask when writers hire me as their coach.

For many writers, the first question (“What does your protagonist want?”) is not an easy one to answer. What does your main character want when the story opens? As the story moves forward?

For memoir authors, the protagonist is the Self. You the author lived your story and you know the outcome; now is the chance to engage readers via story-telling techniques and show them what you wanted and how you went about getting (or not getting) what you wanted.

For novel authors, oftentimes the protagonist (or another major character) is modeled after the author; what the protagonist wants is also oftentimes a recurring theme for the author.

In the opening scene of Love Made of Heart (my autobiographical novel about an adult-daughter struggling to understand her mother’s mental illness ), protagonist Ruby Lin asks herself: What have I done? (as she watches police officers escort her mother from her apartment).

Ruby wants her mother to get well; she wants to return to her routines; she wants to forget her past; she wants a wise elder who listens and doesn’t judge. As we get to know Ruby, we find out what her “big wants” are—to find love and forgiveness.

I, Teresa LeYung-Ryan, author of the novel, did not have a maternal grandmother. How I used to fantasize about a kind and wise Grandmama to run to! Writing fiction gave me the luxury to give my protagonist something I never had, so, I created the elderly neighbor Mrs. Nussbaum (embodying the mentor and ally archetypes); she would listen to Ruby and not judge her.

In the introduction of Lynn Scott’s memoir A Joyful Encounter: My Mother, My Alzheimer Clients, and Me, the author reveals: I needed money. I was sixty-seven and living thinly on Social Security… As we read on, we meet the other characters/archetypes and see how they help the author get the “big want” (what money can’t buy) . . .  a spiritual journey to her mother’s love.  Lynn Henriksen’s review of this same book ends with “… Scott’s book made me laugh, cry, and wish I could have my mother back for just a day, even one more hour.”

Aah, to have Mom back for just a day, even one more hour. That is exactly what yours truly wants right now.  I’ve been ill (coping with symptoms from wheat-intolerance) and I yearn for my mom’s hugs and encouraging words: “All will be fine, my darling daughter.” But, I can’t get what I want on a physical level; Mom died over ten years ago of metastasized breast cancer.

My biggest angel is my mom, and, I ask her to help me on a daily basis. “Mom, I want to feel well.”  My muscles and sinuses were hurting; fatigue overwhelmed me; then, when depression moved in . . . I knew that I needed to be an active protagonist. I stopped eating breads and anything made with wheat flour (and that include flaky pie crusts, almond tea cakes, Challah, tortilla that hold a burrito together, Pad Thai, and pasta).

My mastermind colleague Lori Noack reminded me that wheat is in soy sauce (gosh I eat a lot of Chinese food too) and in marinades and salad dressings (yikes).  LN, thank you for your encouraging emails!

Next, I went to see a Chinese Herbal Medicine practitioner. Heather Richmond said “Teresa, the foods you’ve been eating are ‘damp.’ To treat the ‘dampness’ so that you’ll feel better, not only am I advising eliminating wheat from your diet, I’m also recommending eliminating soy as in tofu and corn.” No tofu and corn, in addition to no wheat?  Oh my.  Heather had explained that wheat, soy and corn are the top three most genetically-modified foods in this country.

Mrs. Nussbaum’s voice (my inner Wise Self) stepped into my head.  “Making a lifestyle change calls for perseverance. Go easy. Go gentle.  I’m proud of you.”

I tell my clients “Reach out, not stress out, when pursuing your dreams.” I too have been reaching out—by telling my friends about what I want—to feel energetic again. I will need their moral support (to cheer for me when I turn down a slice of bread, a fresh croissant or homemade pizza crust).

At a meeting, Linda Joy Myers, author of 3 books and founder of National Association of Memoir Writers, gave me delicious rice crackers, wild salmon, and green beans when she found out about my wheat intolerance. Thank you, LJM!

Thank you to all my friends and family members who are supportive of my goals!  My sister sent me a gift card for shopping sprees in “organic produce” aisles.  Thank you, Maria!

These books continue to be helpful as I want to live well in spite of food allergies:

  • Eating Gluten Free: Delicious Recipes and Essential Advice for Living Well Without Wheat and Other Problematic Grains by Shreve Stockton
  • Optimal Healing: A Guide to Traditional Chinese Medicine by Patricia Tsang, M.D.

Heather Richmond is recommending I stop eating rice in the next phase of treatment.  Oh oh . . .

I still want hugs from my mom.  I feel them.  Every morning and every night, in my prayers.  And I give hugs back. “Thank you my Main Angel.”

Lynn Henriksen aka The Story Woman, thank you so much for asking me to guest-blog. You’ve given me a lovely gift—a chance to talk about my mom, knowing what the protagonist wants, and how to reach out not stress out!  I cheer for you, your books, blog, and classes!

Sincerely,

Teresa LeYung-Ryan

Author, Writing Career Coach, Manuscript Consultant.

Teresa’s blog http://writingcoachteresa.com for resources.

Teresa uses Love Made of Heart to inspire adult children of mentally ill parents to speak openly about the stigmas and find resources for their families. (the novel is available in libraries, archived in the San Francisco History Center, and used by teachers in college and universities).

She’s also the author of Build Your Writer’s Platform & Fanbase In 22 Days: Attract Agents, Editors, Publishers, Readers, and Media Attention NOW (a workbook to help writers of all genres gain a competitive edge before and after publication. Available as ebook too! Customers of the workbook are saying that it’s useful for anyone who has anything to promote.)

Coach Teresa LeYung-Ryan says: "Reach out, not stress out, when pursuing your dreams."

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Lynn Henriksen wrote: “Teresa – it was my pleasure placing your guest post on The Story Woman blog! Thank you for an interesting piece and for speaking from your heart as you always do.”

Kate Farrell, Wisdom Has a Voice wrote: “Teresa–What a great post that speaks to how writers think, yearn, and write for themselves, to connect and to share in a way that makes the world a community!”

Dear Writers,

I just submitted my application to become a contributing writer from Examiner.com (thank you, Yolande Barial, for the referral!  Read Yolande’s blog and article on Examiner.com).

Please use my blog to promote yourselves because Writing Career Coach Teresa’s Blog is getting over 17,000 viewers.  Tell my fans about your writing projects — by submitting a comment to this post. To do that, click on the blue title bar of this post, fill in the boxes, then press the [ submit comment ] button.  Need advice on writing and publishing?  Ask me–Coach Teresa.  Keep your questions short and sweet please.

•        Whether you want to be your own publisher or sell rights to another publisher, attract readers/fans now!

•        Whether you write fiction, narrative non-fiction or prescriptive non-fiction, you are THE expert of your experiences and an authority in your field.   Make your name synonymous with the themes/issues/subject matters in your book.

•        When you stick to a program, you develop new habits.  Let Coach Teresa show you how to gain a competitive edge.

•        “A platform is not what I stand on, but what I stand for.”

•        “Build your platform–22 minutes for 22 days.  Your writing career is worth the time.”

•        “Reach out, not stress out.  Help your fans find you!”

Sincerely,

Writing Career Coach Teresa LeYung-Ryan

http://writingcoachteresa.com

Build Your Writer’s Platform & Fanbase In 22 Days: Attract Agents, Editors, Publishers, Readers, and Media Attention NOW (the fun workbook that helps fiction and nonfiction authors gain a competitive edge before and after publication). See reviews on Amazon.

Build Your Writer's Platform & Fanbase In 22 Days bookcover

This blog post is to encourage my clients and all the writers who are on their umpteenth rewrites.

When you’re writing a novel, a memoir, or any lengthy story, keeping track of the elements (plotlines, character arcs, archetypes, themes, hooks, foreshadows, metaphors, dialogue, front story, back story, internal monologue, exposition, irony) becomes a monumental task.

My analogy:  The elements in your story make up the pieces of a ten-thousand-piece puzzle.  Revising a piece of the puzzle could mean adjusting all the other pieces, especially when you’ve been rewriting and rewriting. Has your overall puzzle become a fuzzy picture?

Here’s my advice: Work in sections. Start with the first quarter of your story. Print your pages and read them out loud, chapter by chapter.  As you read, take notes; use color coding to track each element.  Example:  you might use yellow highlight to track your “hooks.”  Whatever method you choose to track, ask yourself these questions:  What’s my intent to introduce this hook?  Am I going to keep the reader engaged by re-baiting this hook in successive chapters?  At what point will I satisfy the reader by releasing the hook (delivering the “aha” moment)?

Happy rewriting and tracking!

I salute you!

Coach Teresa LeYung Ryan

author / manuscript consultant / writing career coach

author of Love Made of Heart (the story that inspires adult-children of mentally-ill parents to speak openly about the stigmas and to gain resources for their families)

author of Build Your Writer’s Platform & Fanbase In 22 Days: Attract Agents, Editors, Publishers, Readers, and Media Attention NOW

http://writingcoachteresa.com

Talk about writers collaborating and having fun… Barbara Whittaker, GM of The Axe & Palm Café, Stanford University, created a literary series and invited yours truly Teresa LeYung Ryan, author of Love Made of Heart, to kick-off the new program on November 12, 2009. Dear friend Elisa Southard, author of Break Through the Noise: 9 Tools to Propel Your Marketing Message, showed up to take photos and video. What a delightful evening.  My hubby was there to record and cheer.

Teresa LeYung Ryan shows Chinese word for "love" and Barbara Whittaker holds Teresa's novel Love Made of Heart

Teresa LeYung Ryan shows Chinese word for "love" and Barbara Whittaker holds Teresa's novel Love Made of Heart

Stanford students Natalia, Chana Rose, Zach with Teresa LeYung Ryan (middle) and Barbara Whittaker (right)

Stanford students Natalia, Chana Rose, Zach with Teresa LeYung Ryan (middle) and Barbara Whittaker (right)

small photo Lyle Ryan & Teresa LeYung Ryan photo by Elisa Southard

Lyle Ryan & Teresa LeYung Ryan

Stanford students Natalia Birgisson, Chana Rose Rabinovitz and Zach O’Keeffe read scenes with me. These young people made a deep impression on me.

David, thank you for setting up P/A system; Anthony, thank you for tranforming space; Scott (Barbara’s hubby), thank you for helping with sound-check. Friends who couldn’t attend, thank you for sweet  emails and voicemails.

Stanford students & The Axe & Palm Cafe staff are memorable characters.

The heroes & heroines at The Axe & Palm Cafe with Teresa and Barbara, photo by Elisa

The heroes & heroines at The Axe & Palm Cafe with Teresa and Barbara, photo by Elisa

Everyone at Stanford who contributed their time and energy also deserve praise.

QUESTIONS that I answered:

  • Is Love Made of Heart autobiographical?
  • Where do you get your ideas for stories?
  • What other genres do you write?
  • What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
  • You write about sobering subject matters; what do you do for fun?

A portion of the proceeds from book sales was donated to Save-the-Libraries.

Thank you, Barbara Whittaker, for further promoting literacy and sharing your brainchild with us!

Stanford student Mitchell Holt represented Marketing Dept. with authors Teresa LeYung Ryan & Elisa Southard

Stanford student Mitchell Holt represented Marketing Dept. with authors Teresa LeYung Ryan & Elisa Southard

Last week while my husband was at a music workshop, I started a new writing project–a guide for writers to build their names so that they’d have the competitive edge when pitching to an agent or an
acquisition editor at a publishing house  or pursuing the independent publishing route. The guide will serve my clients as well as writers who prefer to learn from written instructions.

The catalyst for my coaching came from their reports:

  • “I landed a big acquisition editor. He helped me with the book proposal over months. Everything looked promising until he pitched my book to the sales people at the publishing house and they asked him: ‘What kind of platform does this author have?’ Just like that I was rejected. I hope they won’t take my idea and let a big-name author write it before I build my fame.”
  • “I’m tired of getting rejection letters from agents. They tell me I’m a fine writer, but, they also tell me that fiction is very competitive . . .”
  • “I’m an expert in my field, and, still I can’t get a publisher to take my book. They asked me: ‘How big is your readership?’ Isn’t that their job, to find the readers?”
  • “I was a ghost writer for a celebrity. He got the big advance from the publisher. I got paid one time, a small sum, and, I’m supposed to keep my mouth shut that I did the work.”
Writing-Career-Coach Teresa LeYung Ryan

Writing-Career-Coach Teresa LeYung Ryan

Here’s a tip from my upcoming guide:  Whether you’re writing fiction or non-fiction, identify the themes in your work.  In my all-time -favorite story, Charlotte’s Web, the themes included: cycle of life; friendship;
self-esteem; courage; loyalty. In Love Made of Heart, the themes included: daughter wanting mother’s approval; woman carrying guilt; traumas from domestic-violence and effects on children; stigmas with mental illness; struggles and courage of immigrants.

When you’re describing your book to anyone, focus on the themes. When  you’re calling in a talk show, make your comment or question relevant to the themes of the program as well as to your book. Be sure to say your full name.

What is fame, really?  Fame is when people hear or see your name, again and again.

Are you writing letters to newspaper editors? Read the paper and see what your community is most concerned with; then write the letter and offer a solution. Pure complaints usually don’t help; succinct proposals offering resources often do help (and get published).

I hope to see writers and readers in the next few months, at these events:

Sunday, August 23, 2009 1:00-3:00pm

Three Stories, Three Writers, Three Paths.

Teresa LeYung Ryan, Martha Alderson, Luisa Adams at San Mateo County Fair/Peninsula Festival

Teresa LeYung Ryan, Martha Alderson, Luisa Adams at San Mateo County Fair/Peninsula Festival

with Luisa Adams, author of Woven of Water; Martha Alderson, author of Blockbuster Plots—Pure & Simple; Teresa LeYung Ryan, author of Love Made of Heart; Moderator: Tory Hartmann, author of The Ghost of Harvey Milk and president of California Writers Club-SF Peninsula Branch
Expo Hall–Creative Arts Stage (west of #13 on festival map)—-at San Mateo County Fair/Peninsula Festival

www.sanmateocountyfair.com/event-info/fairgrounds-map
They met through the Jack London Writers Conference and the California Writers Club over 10 years ago.
How are they inspiring the reading and writing community today?

http://www.lovemadeofheart.com/Teresa-LeYung-Ryan-s-Events.html

Thank you, CWC SF Peninsula Branch President Tory Hartmann, Bardi Rosman Koodrin and Alexandra King,  for orchestrating this fun gig for us!  Other CWC members at the festival will include:  Tory Hartmann, Christopher Wachlin, Laurel Anne Hill, Joyce Robins, Geri Spieler, Inés Villafañe-León, Jo Carpignano, Lucy Murray, and Linda Okerlund.

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Thursday, Sept. 3rd, 2009  6:00-8:00pm
Library Advocates MEET!
Oakland Main Library – West Auditorium
125 14th Street, Oakland, CA

http://savethelibraries.spaces.live.com

Teresa LeYung Ryan and fellow library advocates show up at Save-the-Libraries meetings

Teresa LeYung Ryan and fellow library advocates show up at Save-the-Libraries meetings

Find out how we can help the folks who have lost Book Mobile.

Find out how we can help the learners and tutors at Second Start-the adult literary program in Oakland.

Find out how our might voices can influence city council members.

http://savethelibraries.spaces.live.com

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Saturday,  September 19, 2009,  10:00am–4:00pm in Santa Rosa

Sonoma County Book Festival,  Old Courthouse Square, Santa Rosa, CA  http://socobookfest.org/

sonoma-county-book-festival-logo-middle

Teresa LeYung Ryan, author of Love Made of Heart www.LoveMadeOfHeart.com

Mary Lunning, aka “Shyne” the poet, author of My Human Heart www.shynespoems.com

Kate Farrell, author of Girl in the Mirror www.girlinthemirror.info

Marcia E. Canton, Ph.D., co-author of Mentoring in Higher Education: Best Practices
www.cantonassociates.com

Stop by and say hello to these 4 authors and members of Women’s National Book Association.
http://www.lovemadeofheart.com/Teresa-LeYung-Ryan-s-Events.html

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Saturday & Sunday, October 10 & 11, 2009

Jack London Writers Conference http://jacklondonwritersconference.org/Event-Schedule.html
Saturday October 10, 2009  11:00-11:45am

cwc_logo

Map Out Your Career NOW:
3 Easy Steps for Fiction and Nonfiction Writers

with Author and Coach Teresa LeYung Ryan

Learn how to:
• identify advocates, endorsers and fans.
• gain recognition through your words and your community.
• build your platform by reaching out, not stressing out.

How do writers thrive in the fiercely competitive industry?  Find out for yourself in this fun

interactive session.

http://www.lovemadeofheart.com

Cyberspace Coach Linda Lee reminds us the vitality of blogs.

Plot Coach and Author Martha Alderson asked me to blog about building a platform/promoting novels.

Read blog comment

Martha, thank you for posting this subject. Promoting a novel or memoir is a major challenge because unless you are already a best-selling author or your publisher has committed a six-figure marketing budget for your book, how do you give your book the attention it deserves?

I remember how excited I was when my mother-daughter novel Love Made of Heart was released by New York publisher Kensington. Although I landed readings/signings at bookstores (through friends’ and colleagues’ help), I soon received this response from media folks: “We can’t interview/invite you. Not interested in novels…”

Then, Elisa Southard (non-fiction author and PR coach) came along. She said: “YOU are bigger than your book. What are the ‘issues’ in your novel?”

Then, Anny Cleven (Area Marketing Director at Borders Books) reminded me that I was shedding light on ‘mental illness’ and ‘domestic violence’ in the Asian-American community.

Kim McMillon, friend and colleague, pitched me to be a guest on KPIX “Bay Sunday” when she saw that I was ready to speak out on the issues. I became Teresa LeYung Ryan who advocates compassion for mental illness and the author who helps survivors of family violence find their own voices.

Now that I’m a career coach for writers, I encourage all my clients to build their platforms by articulating the themes in their stories as community/national/global concerns.

So, after you have used the tools from Blockbuster Plots to structure your story and you have the first draft of your project, look for the issues or self-help elements to weave what Martha Alderson calls “thematic significance.”

Writers who have spent years working on their books (fiction or non-fiction) deserve recognition for their dedication. I want to see all diligent writers shed light on “the issues” and thus speak out for those who cannot speak for themselves.

Happy Writing!

Teresa LeYung Ryan

author of Love Made of Heart

www.LoveMadeOfHeart.com

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Nina Amir of Write Non-Fiction in November asked me to blog about “How to Make Your Manuscript Compelling” and so I wrote “How to Look at Your Manuscript with an Editor’s Lens”

How to Look at Your Manuscript with an Editor’s Lens

By Teresa LeYung Ryan

Manuscript Consultant and Career Coach

Author

Since writing a story with the intent to engage the reader is so much like meeting a stranger and wanting him/her to be interested in you, I will focus on how to make the first quarter of your story a compelling read.

I love working with diligent writers who want to transform their manuscripts into page-turners. However, there are things you can do before you give your work to an editor. Let me show you how you can help yourself.

As an editor, the four biggest mistakes I encounter are manuscripts that are weak in these elements:

  • Planting hook(s) or story-question(s);
  • Grounding the reader with the three Ws (Who? When? Where?);
  • Showing (not telling) what the protagonist wants;
  • Paying attention to language and rules

Let’s learn from the pros.

Planting Hook or Story-Question:

In The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts, Maxine Hong Kingston hooks us with the first line: “You must not tell anyone,” my mother said, “what I am about to tell you…” Then, Ms. Kingston transitions into her story with: “Whenever she had to warn us about life, my mother told stories that ran like this one . . .”

Grounding the Reader with the Three Ws:

In Woven of Water, while the story timeline spans from 1957 to 2005, Californian author Luisa Adams brilliantly shows us who she was as a girl (not with a year-by-year narrative, but with a single exquisite chapter). Because she grounded us with “who, when, where,” we eagerly follow as she takes us into her enchanted world of a “cottage in the forest.”

Showing What the Protagonist Wants:

In The Other Mother, young Carol Schaefer wants to ask questions: “Was there any way to keep my baby? Was there anyone who would help me find a way to do that?”

Paying Attention to Language and Rules:

Read the first five pages of Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt and you will see how this wordsmith plays with language and rules. (You can “bend” the rules to create flow, but you must not ignore them.)

Sentences Deserve Your Attention:

Nina Amir’s post on her blog http://writenonfictioninnovember.wordpress.com/2007/11/ is a must-read.

Remember Groucho Marx’s line “One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas…”? That sentence got a lot of laughs. But, what if you didn’t want to be funny (ambiguous in this case)?

How would you rewrite these poorly constructed sentences?

  • He likes to fish near the Farallon Islands and they jump when they’re hungry at dawn or dusk.
  • She insists on knowing when I come home and leave, not to be nosy, but for safety reasons.
  • Being cautious as not to step on the dog’s tail, the children tip-toed away from him while sleeping.
  • My husband still in bed snoring, I have always enjoyed rising before dawn and I eat my toast and drink my green tea on the terrace.

To improve your sentence structure and other skills, I recommend these books:

  • The Elements of Style by William Strunk, Jr. and E.B. White
  • Woe is I: Grammarphobe’s Guide to Better English in Plain English by Patricia T. O’Conner

More Advice:

  • In all four stories (The Woman Warrior, Woven of Water, The Other Mother, Angela’s Ashes), the authors present memorable experiences by employing authentic details, unusual story-worlds though real, and poetic language. You want to do the same for your story.
  • Also, these stories have another vital component-all four plotlines have what Martha Alderson, author of Blockbuster Plots, Pure and Simple, calls “Cause and Effect” linked scenes. Another must-read blog: Plot Whisperer
  • When you’re writing non-fiction and do not have the luxury of rearranging the sequence of events to create a page-turning plotline, you can engage the reader by using concise expositions to leap over blocks of time in order to focus on the core themes and fast-forward the story. A helpful website: http://www.memoriesandmemoirs.com
  • You the author must show the reader what the protagonist wants, even if the protagonist doesn’t know at first.
  • We don’t have to “like” a protagonist, but, we do need to connect with him/her on an emotional level.

In the fiercely competitive arena of the publishing world, how does one stand out in a crowd? Building relationships is one key to success in this business. Another key is to know how to translate the themes from your life to your writing and articulate those themes as community concerns. I want to see all hardworking writers realize their dreams.

My best wishes to you!

Teresa LeYung Ryan

www.LoveMadeOfHeart.com

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If you’d like a website or blog that speaks your messages, ask Linda Lee to design one for you.

AskMePc-Webdesign

Smart Women, Stupid Computers

Teresa LeYung Ryan
http://www.WritingCoachTeresa.com

Career Coach for Writers

and

Manuscript Consultant

  • polish your manuscript by identifying the themes and archetypes;
  • market yourself to agents and publishers;
  • map out your career.

Teresa edits women’s fiction, mainstream fiction, memoirs, children’s and young adults’ fiction, and short stories.

Some comments from her clients:

Teresa is not only a lovely writer and a wonderful person, but also an enthusiastic, inspiring, and thorough mentor. Her far-reaching knowledge, networking expertise, and organization ensure that an aspiring writer will have the strongest foundation possible to launch him/herself on a successful career.Pat Windom

Teresa, . . because of you, the story has grown. You make me dig deeper and it brings more life to the story. E. Hartshorn

Teresa, . . . I even see myself succeeding and being put into print and making money with my writing ability. I am so grateful to you. D.Warner


Teresa LeYung Ryan is:

  • Member-at-Large at Women’s National Book Association-SF Chapter;
  • Past Co-Chair of Group Mentoring at California Writers Club-San Francisco Peninsula Branch;
  • Past President of California Writers Club-San Francisco Peninsula Branch;
  • a 2004 recipient of the Jack London Award for her services to California Writers Club;
  • Speaker and instructor.

Teresa LeYung Ryan uses her mother-daughter novel Love Made of Heart to advocate compassion for mental illness and to help survivors of family violence find their own voices.

In Love Made of Heart, protagonist Ruby Lin is forced to look into her past when her mother shuts down her own painful world. The story explores the complex bonds between mothers and daughters, the choices we make when our hearts are broken, and the choices we make when our hearts are healed.

  • archived at the San Francisco History Center;
  • recommended by the California School Library Association;
  • recommended by the California Reading Association;
  • used in Advanced Composition English-as-a-Second-Language classes.

www.LoveMadeOfHeart.com

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