I’m thrilled to be a mentor for #WriteMentor! I’m offering to work with one author on getting their YA manuscript submission ready. (I’m happy to help with a query letter too, but our primary focus will be multiple edits of the manuscript itself.) For more details on #WriteMentor, check out: https://www.stuartwhitewriting.com/mentoring.
I’ve got some information on what kind of manuscript I’m looking for on the #WriteMentor website, but here are a few more details:
Regardless of genre, the most important aspect to me is voice. This is something that’s very hard to “teach,” and it would be very difficult to rework voice on an entire manuscript in a few months. The voice can be lush and lyrical or ironic and humorous or just about anything else, as long as it’s fresh and interesting and draws me in.
As far as genre is concerned, I have the most experience with fantasy. I prefer contemporary settings or exotic and unique settings. If your novel feels like it fell out of a D&D campaign, I’m probably not the right mentor for it. I’d love to see fantasies or magical realism set in underrepresented nations or worlds based on underrepresented cultures. Of course, contemporary novels set in places such as these would interest me as well. All in all, if the voice captures me and it’s not traditional elves-and-dwarves fantasy, feel free to send it my way!
I’m a person of faith, so I’m not going to be a good mentor for any books that present any religion in a negative light. I’d love to see fiction that explores religious themes in an honest but positive way, as long as they’re not openly proselytizing or campy. I’m okay with dark literature, as long as there’s some hope. If your manuscript has a completely depressing ending, I’m probably going to be too angry that you broke my heart to work with you… Seriously, though, I’m okay with bittersweet endings, but I like at least some degree of happiness at the end.
As far as the manuscript itself is concerned, it’s okay if there are some issues with pacing, plot, or characterization–that’s the point of mentoring! However, we only have about three months for editing, so we won’t have time to work on major issues in all of these areas. I’m hoping we’ll have time to work on these big picture issues in the first round of edits, and then move on to line edits. I geek out over playing with words, so this is the part that excites me the most.
I hope this gives you a good idea of what I’m looking for! If not, feel free to tweet me your questions (@JodiHerlick). I’ll be doing Q&A on Tuesday, May 1st from 8-9 (EDT) and on Thursday, May 3rd from 7-8 (EDT), but feel free to send me questions outside of those times as well.