The First 50: 7 Sessions to Finding the Hook For Your Book
The First 50 is for fiction or nonfiction writers at the beginning of their book writing journey. It's for writers who want to write free, write bold, and write as true to their heart as they can imagine. It's a series of 7 sessions, over the course of 3 months (To start July-September, every 2 weeks, please sign up by June 30).
You'll also receive one free session to see how you've progressed after you complete The First 50!
Unlike most writing workshops, there is no application, there is no process of rejection or me selecting you, and the focus is on YOU. If you've read my work,you know that I speak the truth, and I write from my heart. This is for the writer who believes that investing in their writing process with me, and with me specifically, will yield a deeper clarity, skill and get you closer to the completed manuscript that only you can write, with sound professional advice, insight on how to find an agent, sample query letter, outlines, meditation practices and all that comes after you've got a complete manuscript.
These are One on One Sessions with Tanaïs, an invaluable resource, all with the aim of helping you write one of the most crucial parts of your manuscript, to hook your readers from the first sentence, into the captivating world that you're building: the first 50 pages. While I am open to any genre, my expertise is with literary fiction and creative nonfiction. The First 50 series is not a full manuscript writing course or consultation, but we will discuss how we can reconnect when you complete your manuscript! If you want some feedback, inspiration, critique on a short sample work, consider booking one of my Write Your Inner Truth sessions.
WHAT YOU'LL GET FROM THE FIRST 50
- Written feedback on your work after each session
- Rigorous attention to your specific story within the sessions, broken down into key aspects of writing literary fiction or non-fiction. Though the two have their own distinct craft (we also are breaking open any notion of that!) I will utilize my experience with both to get to the heart of your work.
- Shared proposals, query letters, templates, reading lists tailored to your book
- We will work towards the goal of completing the first 50 pages of your book with a lot of love, tears, real talk, close reading, respect and excitement!
- If you write 500-1000 words a day during the duration of this series, you will reach this goal and then some!
This is an investment and to pay in smaller installments over a longer period of time, please click on Shop Pay & choose Shop Pay Installments at Checkout. If you really want to do this work, but need some financial aid, please email me, and I will let you know what's possible.
Part of my work as a writer is to share my experience: my process, what has worked for me, the structural and personal challenges I've faced, and how I've moved closer to my inner truth. And how I've learned to write free.
HOW THE FIRST 50 WORKS
- Each session in the First 50 series is a one-hour, single session Zoom call with me. Your session will be on the same day of the week / same time to keep us organized (i.e. Every other Wednesday, 1 PM) One week prior to our first Zoom call, we will email to figure out all 7 dates that we will meet. If you are NYC-based, we can discuss one in-person meet (either the first or last session). After we email, you'll share your work-in-progress. (Double-spaced, 12 pt font) before the call—This is up to 50 pages, but it can be 5, 10, 20 pages, whatever pages you have!
The Zoom call will be recorded, so you can return to this conversation.
After each First 50 Session, I will write you a letter with insight, advice, helpful writing/reading resources, prompts and questions to ask yourself, tailored to this project, and related to the next session.
JULY 2023 — MONTH 1
Session 1: The Big Picture: World Building, Structure & Scenes I'll read your pages in preparation for our first call, where we'll have a conversation about THE BIG PICTURE this gorgeous work you're doing, how it is full of reckoning, power, imagination, healing, honoring lineage, breaking cycles of violence and trauma, documenting history and erasure. We will discuss how to map out your writing plan, and the future you want for this work. This is about editorial vision, but not line edits yet. You will be asked to come up with a rough outline of scenes.
Session 2: What's the Point? POV, Meaning & Deeply Realized Characters We discuss the point(s) of view you're working with in the manuscript, the WHY of what you're writing, and what makes a memorable character, who are these people in your story? Where are they rooted? Where do they come from, and where are they going? Is this your story—what makes you come to life on the page?
AUGUST 2023 — MONTH 2
Session 3: Plot & The Passage of Time Movement and action are the lifeblood of your book, how you pace the work and utilize the passage of time help the reader to keep the momentum of the story. Remember: once you've got them, never let them go.
Session 4: Dialog & Dramatic Stakes How you write your characters' dialog gives us critical information, about their identity, their secrets, their place in the world. When characters are in dialog we deepen our understanding of what's unfolding. We discuss dialect, foreshadowing, and the power of what is left unsaid.
SEPTEMBER 2023 — MONTH 3
Session 5: Line Edits & Fine-Tuning Your First 50 By this time, you will be nearing your first 50 pages, and it's time to be conscious of grammar, inconsistencies, what's not working. On these pages, I will offer line edits and give you insight on fine-tuning the voice that is undeniably, innately yours.
Session 6: Line Edits & Outlining the Rest of Your Book We will continue the work of fine-tuning the first 50, but I'd like you now to map out the chapters, how the plot will take shape over the course of the ENTIRE book that you've set in motion in the first 50.
Session 7: Your First 50 & The Future of Your Manuscript Congratulations!!! You've reached your first 50 pages! We will have a call to reflect on this process, how you want to move towards finishing the manuscript and what comes afterwards: finding an agent, writing a query letter, handling rejection and landing the book deal!
Session 8: This is a check-in session, 1-3 months after you've completed The First 50, and we will go over any questions or insights you need!
After each Session (within 48 hours), I will write you a letter with insight, advice, helpful writing/reading resources, prompts and questions to ask yourself, tailored to this project, as you embark on completing that glorious First 50.
Doing things in my own way has not been easy, but I've written two works that were true to my artistic, literary and spiritual aspirations during the period they were written. I have many more stories to tell. Bright Lines, my debut novel, was a Finalist for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize, Edmund White Debut Fiction Award and Brooklyn Eagles' Literary Prize; and most recently, my hybrid memoir In Sensorium: Notes for My People, won the Kirkus Prize for Nonfiction. I want to say this: prizes and awards are undoubtedly created in a dominant culture system that proffers privileges to a few and denies them to most; and like most things, it's complicated, these allow a writer to receive recognition or funds for their work, but it's not forever, and it's NOT the goal.
I wrote these books to outlast me, to deepen the world's understanding of what it means to be a brown-skinned Bangladeshi Muslim femme person; we each have our own story to tell, and I want to help you as you tell yours.
In 2024, I hope to be able to host group workshops, in-person, with other writers in the mix, but until then, happy writing!