“Who Do You Think You Are?” The Top 5 Blocks For Writers

The book coaching process, especially at the beginning, can be a very safe space. The coach is there to nurture the new writer, to allow experimentation, offer inspiration, provide support, and pass on constructive advice. We aim to OPEN the writer, and that only happens with unconditional love for the person and the creative process. […]

Semiautobiographical Novel: A Eulogy

On June 9, 2012, I hosted a reading of six memoir and fiction writers at Santoro’s Bookstore in Seatte. My father is dying of Parkinson’s. One evening I was thinking about how at his funeral all the eulogies would be cleaned up, politically correct versions of the truth. Why couldn’t someone tell a real story, I thought, about […]

5 Tips for Writing Fiction

Angel at Kerepesi Cemetery in Budapest, Hungary, http://www.carolineallen.com It’s more difficult to sum up writing fiction than it is writing memoir. Fiction can be too amorphous, too soulful, to be forced into linear alignment. However, there are a few guidelines you can follow for writing good fiction. 1. Start with character. Spend time really getting […]

How to write: Outsider art

Screaming Me, acrylic on cardbaord, http://www.carolineallen.com I have an art studio at the base of the apartment building where I live. It has windows to the street. A local artist called, said she saw my art in the windows, and was curating a show for outsider artists. Could she come into my studio and see […]

How to write believable characters

Statue at Kerepesi Cemetery, Budapest, http://www.carolineallen.com I’ve been working with Julie for four years. She’s writing a fascinating novel, where half of the novel is set in Medieval Wales and the other half in modern times. The protagonist has lived both lifetimes. Read more about Julie, as well as an excerpt here. http://www.artofstorytellingonline.com/#!__site/case-studies Because Julie […]

Coaching Scholarship for Writers

digital photography, http://www.carolineallen.com Because of the financial crisis, and its effect on writers and artists, I’m happy to offer a 3-month coaching scholarship. I’ll coach the winner on memoir, nonfiction, novels or short stories twice a month, including written feedback and phone consultations, a $900 value. This is a full-scholarship and will not cost the […]

Trauma Trumps Tenderness

Grandparents Weider I’ve been working with Ellen Newhouse, a Seattle healer (wwww.ellennewhouse.com) for a few years on her memoir. Every two weeks we dive into a chapter, refine the language, explore the setting, develop the characters. We relive her childhood together, remembering everything from the living room sofa to the 6th grade classroom. Remembering, too, […]