Fictionfire website handscuppingflame.jpg

Welcome to my consultancy and advice service. Find out how I can help you here. You can book your online consultation with me via the calendar below. New appointment times have just been released.

Please note that only those times in bold print are bookable. My online consultations are usually via Zoom.us but I can also arrange consultations in person or on Skype, by email or telephone, in which case please contact me at info[at]fictionfire.co.uk or use the contact form. Longer-term coaching or mentoring can be tailored to your needs. Before you make your booking, I encourage you to read my Frequently Asked Questions about the service: if you have any questions they may well provide the answer. If your question isn’t covered, contact me.

‘You are magnificent. I came away from our meeting feeling enlightened and inspired, and readier than I have been for ages to do more writing.’
— Julie H.

Why book a consultation with me?

  • Because I’m a writer too and I’m familiar with all the joys, challenges and concerns you, as a fellow writer, may be encountering. I know that writers are driven people who tend to doubt their capabilities. I know that writing is a constant learning curve and want you to benefit from my decades-long experience as a writer, a teacher and an editor. Over the years I’ve been traditionally published and I’ve self-published. I’ve won prizes – but I also know how it feels when you’re rejected and you don’t quite know what to do about it.

  • Because I tell it like it is. It’s my job to help you create your writing practice, find your way through the story-writing process, or help you rediscover your writing mojo when it goes missing. I will shine a light on your story’s potential and guide you through the maze of publishing possibilities.

  • Because sometimes you’re too close to your work to see it clearly. I’ll offer a fresh clear eye, helping you to focus on what is and isn’t working in your story or submission. I’ll suggest practical strategies you can follow.

  • Because, if you need me to be, I’ll be tough, because I want to encourage you to believe in yourself and prove it by taking action. But I’ll also be kind, positive and reassuring. I’ll help you see the fine detail and the bigger picture as we find solutions and make your writing life as fulfilled as it can be.

The hour I spent with you completely exceeded my expectations. There are gems in that recording – things, I couldn’t imagine I would learn, too many to mention. It was a wonderful combination of practical advice and motivation.
— Moira v. K.

Book an Appointment

Want to book a one-to-one appointment with me to discuss your work, your plans or your problems?

 
 

'I had been writing and revising my novel Unspeakable Things for a very long time and I had written myself into a dead end. I no longer knew what was working and what wasn't, and I had reached the limits of what I could learn in my writer's bubble. 

I looked for a literary consultant, and found Lorna. All writers know what a vulnerable thing it is to reveal work you have invested a lot in to someone else's critical eye. I went to meet Lorna with trepidation, but from the first she was friendly and encouraging. As she laid out clearly what was good and what needed work, a new way forward opened up for the novel. 

Over the following months, I made improvements and sent each further stage for Lorna's comments. I learned to hone, tighten and sharpen up every sentence, and to cut out everything unhelpful or distracting.  It was a writing masterclass, entirely focused on my novel. 

Working with Lorna made the difference between working alone on a personal project and creating my best work – a novel fit for publication. Unspeakable Things is now available on Amazon, and early reviews say you can't put it down.'  Sophie Kersey, author

Sophie Kersey author photo round 300x300  DSC_8585Small.png

Consultancy FAQs

What are your areas of expertise?

I focus on fiction-writing and the writing life. I can help you with mindset and motivation; creating your writing routine; advice on aspects of story construction and planning; advice on improving your style and expression; advice on your options for publishing; agent and publisher submission reviews.

Can I send you my work in advance of the consultation?

Yes. If you book a standard consultation hour you can, if you like, send me up to 5000 words as a Word file, which you upload via the client information form I’ll ask you to fill in. Please send your work 48 hours before the appointment so that I can give it thorough consideration prior to our meeting and refer to it during our discussion.

How much work can I send you?

As part of a standard consultation hour booking, you can upload up to 5000 words. If you want me to read more of your material, there are staged add-on options offered via the booking form, giving you the chance to send as much as 20,000 words. If you would like to send me more than that contact me first at info[at]fictionfire.co.uk to discuss your requirements and I can advise you about cost.

Do I have to send you written work in order to have a consultation with you?

No, not at all. It may be that you have a general question about your writing life, or problems or plans that you’d like to discuss with me. There is absolutely no need to include written work unless you wish to, but I do give you that option (see above).

I don’t like seeing myself on camera – is that a problem?

During our online consultation, you can choose whether to use your camera or be audio only. Do please choose whichever is most comfortable for you.

I’ve never used Zoom – is it technically difficult?

It really isn’t. I will send you a link to our meeting and when you click onto it, you’ll see the Zoom interface and a little box will drop down, prompting you to download Zoom.us. Click on that and the meeting room will open up. Make sure your computer’s volume is turned on so you can hear me! At the bottom you’ll see the camera turn on option (a video camera icon) so click on that if you want me to see you. Zoom is very similar to Skype, if you’ve used that, but I find that Zoom is more stable and have been really pleased with it when using it for meetings and recording interviews.

What if I need to cancel or reschedule?

You can do so, using the buttons in your confirmation of booking. Please note that you cannot cancel or alter your appointment later than 12 hours beforehand.

Do you offer in-person consultations?

Yes. I do. Email me at info[a]fictionfire.co.uk and we can discuss it.

Would you be willing to mentor me?

If you want guidance and feedback throughout the whole process of writing your novel, contact me at info[a]fictionfire.co.uk to tell me about your project. Please note that because of my schedule and the intensity of the mentoring relationship, slots for mentorship are very limited.

Are you the right person to help me?

I certainly hope so! However, there’s no guarantee that we will have a rapport or that I’m the best person to answer your specific need or query. If I don’t feel I can assist you, I’ll let you know, refund your payment if you’ve already made it and if possible recommend another service that might suit you better. I want only happy clients who are taking their writing to the next level, with my help! 

‘Lorna not only helped me to identify the excitement and potential of my story but by respecting my unique ideas she instilled me with confidence as a writer.’
— Wendy S.