Your Writing Coach – Author Resources

There are so many books out there that can help you become a better writer, that it is sometimes hard to know where to start. In this Author Resources blog series, I will help you out, by recommending some of my favorite books for (aspiring) writers. In this installment, I present to you: Jurgen Wolff’s “Your Writing Coach: From Concept to Character, from Pitch to Publication”. This book is great if you want to figure out ways to keep your reader interested. It’s also a fantastic book if you’re looking for a lot of tips and tricks to improve your writing. So let’s dive in!

How to keep your reader's interest

Your Writing Coach Cover

Jurgen Wolff’s book is a treasure-trove of tips and tricks. Though many of his examples seem to focus on fiction – and there’s more on screenplays than in any other book I’ve recommended so far – this book really is a wonderful source of advice for any problem you might encounter while writing. 

One of the more interesting things he talks about is the “Q/A strategy”: If you introduce a mystery, a revelation or problem that leaves your reader with a Question, then don’t immediately answer it. If the question is pressing enough, this will keep your reader reading for as long as it takes to get an answer to that question. This is what keeps a reader interested. 

And he takes this one step further. According to Wolff, a reader will be most interested for as long as they have two to three questions in their head. So: don’t pose Question 1 (Q1) and then answer it (A1), before posing the second question (A2). Instead, mix it up a bit and leave your reader wondering about two or three issues at the time. This is great advice. Not only for fiction writers: it works the exact same way for non-fiction. 

Your Writing Coach

In addition to the Q&A strategy, the book has great advice on a variety of topics. It addresses the seven main fears that keep you from writing. It gives advice about writing query letters and book proposals. One chapter discusses starting and finishing, another negotiating your writing-time with your family… And there’s chapters addressing everything in between. 

It’s also incredibly well-designed. The chapters are short and end on a bullet-pointed summary. In this conclusion, the author lists the key points of the chapter, and links to exercises and bonus material on his website. This book is a great manual to have for anyone who likes to write. Not only because it helps you think through your own issues, but also because the book itself is exemplary.

The book doesn’t have an index. And because of its structure, you don’t need it. The logic behind this volume is so clear that the table of contents (ToC) in combination with the last page of every chapter is enough to easily let you look up exactly what you were looking for. (Trust me, that was my process in preparation for this post). 


My favorite quotes from Your Writing Coach

These are three of my favorite quotes:

“Keep setting and reaching goals.”

“The time to start rewriting is when you have finished a first draft, not while you’re still working on that draft.”

“The biggest obstacle to writing success is usually yourself.”

Which one do you like best? Share them on social media or let me know in the comments!

Why hire me as your Writing Coach?

With this book on the market, that would honestly be a great question. However, books can only take you so far. 

Sometimes what you really need in order to become a better writer is some one-on-one time with an expert. If you’re at that point right now, just schedule your first free Passionate Writer Coaching meeting here!