Take a Course with an Award-Winning Author of more than 140 books!
I’m passionate about helping writers find their own unique voices to share their experiences and wisdom with others in writing. I’ve offered courses and retreats that have helped writers free their creative spirits and enjoy getting their thoughts, wishes, and experiences into writing.
I know how to edit and shape my work into stories that move the hearts and stimulate the minds of others, and I can help you do the same. I will help you use your unique voice to express your thoughts, ideas, and experiences in words for others to enjoy and ponder.
As the award-winning author of more than 140 published books for young readers and coauthor of two gardening books and a cookbook for adults, as well as dozens of magazine articles, I’ve learned the hard way how to get past self-doubt and overwhelm to get my work done and meet my deadlines often with time to spare. My creations have earned dozens of awards and honors, so I know what I’m talking about, and I love sharing my knowledge with other creative people.
For Decades, I’ve Met and Dealt with the Problems That Writers Face
I know it’s scary when you sit down to write and nothing happens. I’ve learned how to get past those blocks and will teach you how.
Once you get ‘into’ your writing, you’ll find yourself enjoying the process. It will bring up your memories of special experiences.
For example, writing about Tasmanian devils at my home desk brought back memories of my visit to a wildlife refuge where I actually got to hold a baby devil in my arms. What a special treat! I remember his fur was coarse, not soft and fluffy, and I knew I had to be very careful to hold him gently so he wouldn’t decide to bite!
Preparing for Editors
I also know that a first draft of any writing is never ‘perfect’ but that doesn’t matter—I can fix it! I’ve certainly had plenty of ‘red ink’ from editors to deal with in my career! My upcoming editing course will take you through your own editing process to polish your work and make it shine.
Once you’ve finished your first draft, it will be a rough draft. Every successful writer knows that their first draft will need more work. But if it’s written freely as the words flow into the writers mind and into the document, the text will express what the author wants to share. Even if it needs a lot of work, that doesn’t reflect anything about the quality of the writer’s work. What’s important at first is expressing the essence of what you want to communicate. That’s why many writers call it their “sh,,,y first draft’ before they edit. They just accept that as a fact and don’t waste time criticizing themselves.
I Love to Help Other Writers Feel the Joy of Sharing Their Stories
Besides my own writing, I’ve helped other writers for years in my critic group and in classes and retreats. And now I can help you, too. The internet makes it possible to help anyone, anywhere, develop and improve their writing. I want you to get your unique and special voice “out there!”
Comments from students
Here’s the official evaluation of my course from a Yellowstone Institute employee enrolled in “Finding Your Own Voice”:
“Dorothy is an excellent instructor. She is also a great facilitator. She is really what made this course work. Gave us just enough freedom, with good challenges, and let people be themselves while drawing them out. The class overwhelmingly loved this course. I heard no complaint or criticisms, no regrets, only praise. I loved this course, and so did the other participants.”
Yellowstone student directly to me:
Dorothy—I think you were such a great balance between head and heart! Thanks so much for the opportunity you afforded to all of us. I really needed to be there! Really needed to write & write, to cry, to laugh.
Thanks a ton! My best, Becky
Here are a few anonymous comments from students in my Osher Foundation classes for elders:
Student: Dorothy was a gift. I am a writing instructor also, and she was just right.!!
Another student: Fabulous instructor!
Another student: Freeing experience
And another: Dorothy is a most accepting listener. She provides a most supportive and safe environment for neophytes to begin to write.
Here’s what my student Barbara H. has to say about my pilot online course:
Dorothy Patent’s ZOOM class,” Write Your True Voice “enhanced my writing with simple, fun exercises. I’ve always dreaded re-writing anything. Her exercises opened my eyes and pen to greater clarity. It was actually fun!
Join me in June to learn how to edit our writing so that it resonates with readers who will keep wanting more of your work! The class consists of three 1 and 1/2 hour sessions on Saturday afternoons. Unlike most online courses, all of our sessions will be in real time, online with me and limited to more 12 students. There will be plenty of time for every student to get the information and support they want. We’ll all be there live, learning together, working together, and sharing our writing. Each student will also have a free one-on-one half-hour coaching session with Dorothy.
I’ve taught in-person classes like this with great success, and now you can benefit from my experience both as an award-winning author and successful teacher, just as if we were together in a retreat center or classroom—writing, learning, sharing, and gaining confidence in what you create.
How to Edit a Page-turner June 3, 10, & 17, 3-4:30pm Eastern Daylight time
When you’re writing your first draft, the most important thing is to write freely, not worrying about your grammar or word choice. Don’t let your inner critic get in the way, just write what you want to express. That way, your true, unique voice will come through.
Once you have written your first draft, it’s time to step back and, if possible, let your work sit while you take a break.
Editing Step by Step
You can see that your first draft needs editing. It’s vital to be able to step back and call upon your thoughtful editor self to get to work. I’ll show you ways to encourage your inner critic to come forth and help you in the process. It’s a question of switching from one part of your writer self, the part that creates spontaneously, to the part that can look at your work dispassionately and make it better. I know how to get your brain to make that switch.
Make your writing shine
The next step beyond the basic mechanical editing—word repeats, passive voice and such, is bringing your words to life through using active verbs, compact phrases, and other techniques that help brighten your sentences.
Creating a page-turner
Whatever genre you work in, you’ll want your readers to be engrossed in what they are reading and want to know what comes next. If you write fiction, you can manage your plot to help with this process. But even with nonfiction you can engross your readers by the way you compose the material, and we’ll explore these opportunities.