The examples above are given for illustrative purposes only. Individual projects may require different amounts of time, depending on the issues, stage of the work, whether it needs extensive line editing, level of the writer, etc.
Individual Consultation Process:
Rates for Individual Consultation are $70.00 an hour.
“When I began working with Paulette two years ago, I had already published a few stories in literary journals, but I needed a critical, informed reader to help me revise and refine my stories. I had worked with four people who offer critiques (one being quite well known for previously being a fiction editor at a renowned journal), but I was always disappointed with the result. In a fit of desperation, I sent the same story to three readers (one of whom was Paulette). The other two readers offered the types of observations I had grown accustomed to, mostly affirmations and minor suggestions. I had been there before. These kinds of critiques neither helped me refine my craft nor helped me get published. Then Paulette's critique came, and my search was over. She had the insight to identify the problem in my approach for this particular story. She called attention to the point of view, gave me a hand-out she had composed on the uses of third-person limited point of view, suggested some stories for me to read, and she did it all while still affirming my commitment to writing. She sent me back to the story with a new level of awareness about my own process of writing.
Now, I send Paulette a story when I think the story is finished, when I think the story will never be finished, when I'm proud of the story, when I'm confounded by the story, or when I simply need an honest, informed opinion about my writing. She treats every story individually, sometimes calling attention to minute details, sometimes calling attention to structural concerns, sometimes asking questions about my basic approach, such as the point of view I've chosen. In every critique, I find both a confirmation of what I've sensed is wrong with a story (but had no courage to change), and a new insight I hadn't come to on my own. Both types of comments give me the direction and confidence to go back to the computer to finish, polish, or reconstruct the story. With her help, I have published stories in The Notre Dame Review, The Nebraska Review, and The Other Side. It has gotten to the point that I never send a story out to a journal before I have first let Paulette offer guidance and advice.
One thing I appreciate about Paulette is that she is both a writer and a teacher. As a writer, she knows the long, arduous process of bringing a story to completeness. She respects that process, and her comments reflect this knowledge and respect. As a teacher, she is able to provide observations and guidance about every level of the craft: structure, detail, character, voice, etc. And finally, as a published writer, she provides an awareness of the capricious nature of editors. I have taken classes with writers who cannot teach the craft because they work very intuitively. And I have worked with editors who do not respect and know the process of writing. Paulette offers a balance that is rare and wonderful.”
decade ago, I took a writing course from Paulette. It quickly
apparent to me that she is both an exceptionally acute reader of
manuscripts and someone who is unusually generous in sharing her deep
knowledge of how to write well. When I recently decided to revise a
novel that seemed too complicated and inaccessible to readers, it felt
natural--and smart--for me to turn to Paulette for her suggestions.
again showed her uncanny instinct for zeroing in on problem
areas in my work. More than that, she gave me a sense of how to approach
restructuring the book so that its story would have more direction and
power. Perhaps most importantly, there was absolutely nothing
destructive in the process. Though Paulette was candid in addressing any
weaknesses in my manuscript, she offered her suggestions in a manner that
increased my confidence that I am really writer enough to get this book
right. In addition, she offered practical ideas on how to prepare for
tackling the actual revision and suggested a rough timetable for
worked on my revision, I’ve felt focused and optimistic.
grateful for Paulette’s part in this. Without question, she's helped get
me on track.”
You are a gold mine! I'm so thrilled and inspired by your response to the
new stuff. I was whooping aloud reading your e-mail. It's so rewarding to
have a reader who gets anything you try, both the hits and the misses, and
who's got solutions in mind! I feel myself in real conversation with you
about what I've written.
I've just re-read our entire correspondence and I'm in awe that your
original suggestions are the answers to many of my questions nearly a year
later. You seem to know where I'm going well before I figure it out.”
“Thank you for your fantastic comments. They are extremely useful, confirming in some places what I’d suspected, raising important questions for me to consider in other sections. I very much appreciate your thoroughness. I’ve had a few other editors and no one so far gives me the scope and depth that you do. Thank you. Thank you! I’ll be sending something along again soon.”
Alden's critiquing my work is one of my greatest blessings. I
like best of all her honesty. She knows when to be tough and I never doubt her judgment. She is always indubitably right. She brings out the best in me."