Can a Book Be An Interactive Tool That Grows With the Reader? We Think We’ve Found an AWEsome Way to Do Just That

by Kendra Bonnett on August 3, 2012

catnav-alchemy-activePost #58 – Memoir and Fiction, Writing Alchemy – Kendra Bonnett and Matilda Butler

cover-mb-1The first wave of Writing Alchemy books are out there. And already we’re hearing what you think. Helene Moore posted this comment on Women’s Memoirs just the other day:

“I began reading your new book, and now I can’t wait to start using this technique or system. I hate outlining, but I love this. I’m only on page 68, and can’t wait to finish the book. Then I will go back and start writing, starting with me as the character in my memoir. Thanks for all the information and support.”

And Helene isn’t alone.

Here’s What People Are Saying About Writing Alchemy

We’ve been using Writing Alchemy in our classes and workshops for more than three years. One of our advanced students, Kathryn Spencer-Licht, wrote us to say, “It’s one of the smartest investments a memoirist can make.” And just last week she wrote us again, “There’s something about this book that behooves even the worst procrastinators to start building their stories and writing them down! (Even those of us who work full-time jobs and go home exhausted when the day is over.)” Kathryn does have a way with words.

And Karen Dabson, another of our superb advanced students who is currently working on a novel, wrote this after one of our online Writing Alchemy classes:

“This course really encourages the writer to stretch beyond her comfort zone to give her characters the full attention they deserve. Characters will be deeper, more complex, and more interesting for people to read about if the lessons learned in Advanced Character Development are applied. For those looking for a challenge, this course is it–in a good way!”

Susan AlbertWe’ve also had several authors who read Advanced Review Copies. Story Circle Network’s Susan Wittig Albert–memoirist and NYT bestselling author of the China Bayles series and other mysteries–wrote:

Writing Alchemy is the Next Best Thing. It will help you create purpose-driven writing, develop a more productive writing practice that makes better use of your time and energy, and take more pleasure from the creative process….You’ll find something you can use on every page–and it’s fun to read, too!”

Linda HoyePersonally, I love this comment from Linda Hoye, the author of the new memoir Two Hearts: An Adoptee’s Journey Through Grief to Gratitude:

Writing Alchemy is going to have a permanent home on top of my writing desk and will become well-worn and dog-eared in no time….I know I’ll be using Writing Alchemy in my future writing projects.”

Robyn ChausseWriter and manager of the WOW! Women on Writing Blog Book Tour, Robyn Chausse, gave us this:

“Deconstruction to the rescue! If you feel your writing is missing some ‘magic’ element, this is the book for you! Using analogies, Matilda Butler and Kendra Bonnett present the left-brained processes of story construction in a right-brain friendly way….And you can begin improving from the very first chapter!”

Get Your Free Charter Membership in the Association of Writing Excellence

I could go on, but my face is already red. And Matilda is practically speechless…and if you know Matilda you know that’s a rare thing indeed. Suffice to say, thank you to everyone for all the nice words and good wishes you’ve bestowed on us.

Now let me get to the real reason for this post. I want to tell you about another aspect of Writing Alchemy that has both Matilda and me very excited. On page v of the book, we invite our readers to register their book and receive a free Charter Membership in our Association for Writing Excellence (AWE). Yes, it’s completely free.

For a long time now, Matilda and I have been looking for a way to build on the original concepts in Writing Alchemy. We think we’ve found it in AWE. As Matilda likes to say, we believe in the ability of every memoirist to be an AWEsome writer and to put down on paper the stories and messages that she “sees” in her mind’s eye.

The trick is to stay positive, keep pushing your envelope and learn to rely less on elaborate metaphors, lazy adverbs and fancy writing…and more on describing the details of scenes, characters and conversations. By getting deep into the elements that only you know, you make your story come alive for readers. You place them in your scenes and give them the opportunity to look around, react to characters, hear people talk and come to their own conclusions and opinions. This is what our writing teachers are trying to say to us when they advise to “show, don’t tell.”

As Ernest Hemingway once wrote, “Show the readers everything, tell them nothing.” It’s simple advice. Of course, Hemingway spent a lifetime in pursuit of “one true sentence.” We believe Writing Alchemy can help you in your quest for the same.

But to further help you, we created AWE as a way to stay in touch, encourage dialogue among our readers and students and give you additional information in the form of audios, videos, webinars, writing prompts, discounts and opportunities to get published in a new series of ebooks we have planned for the Kindle and Apple iTunes.

And because writing is only one part of the equation for an aspiring author, we’ll also be giving you marketing and publishing advice. As a Writing Alchemy reader and Charter Member of AWE, all this is yours free for life. This may change in the future. We may charge a membership fee, but not to you…if you act now.

What You Will Get With the Association for Writing Excellence

Here’s a sample of what we’ll give you as a Charter Member of the Association for Writing Excellence:

  • Exclusive access to at least one new audio or video interview a month. On the 15th of each month, we’ll post an audio or video with an author, marketer or publisher. The first video will be available online on August 15th.
  • Heads-up on coming interviews so you can ask questions of our guest in advance…then listen for the answers.
  • Members-only webinars–a wide range of topics covered in special sessions only open to you.
  • Opportunities to enter Writing Alchemy contests and have your work published in one or more of our new series of The Annotated Memoir ebooks.
  • Special member pricing on Writing Alchemy classes and critique sessions.
  • Special member discounts on all Writing Alchemy add-on books and products.
  • Your own special, password-protected section on Women’s Memoirs.
  • The opportunity to interact online with other AWE members…you’ll be able to post questions, share experiences, respond to questions, engage in discussion and comment. AWE is YOUR writing community online.
  • And much more that we’ll share with you in time.

AWE is going to be great fun. And you’ll have plenty of opportunities to make it into a useful tool that will move you to your goal of finishing your memoir, getting published and learning how to market and promote your book to readers.

I’m currently working on a detailed description of Writing Alchemy that we’ll launch on Monday. If you’re on our mailing list, I’ll be sending you an email on August 6th, directing you to where you can read more about Writing Alchemy and save on the regular price. In the meantime, if you don’t want to wait, our limited-time special price is available today by going to our Women’s Memoirs store.

You can click now and save $5. And once your book arrives, go to page v to find the link that invites you to register your book and receive your free Charter Membership in the Association for Writing Excellence.

P.S. And for even more savings, if you’d like to couple Writing Alchemy with one of our online classes/critiques offered through Story Circle Network, you can receive the book at our student discount of just $12 when you register for Writing Fast, Writing Deep: Introductory Quick Start. Fall sessions will be announced on their site in the next few days.

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