STOP PRESS. MENTORING EXTENDED PACKAGES!
I am introducing, from Monday 15th March, 2021, extended mentoring projects which take place over a few months or up to a year. So, I work with you on your initial concept, through to draft manuscript, we stay in touch for agreed amounts of time – say a call and a zoom once a month each – and our involvement in your manuscript is ongoing over that agreed period of time, when I read and annotate your work and am by your side. I will care about your work just as much as I do about my own and do my level best to support and encourage you during our agreed time together. We might agree to put together a year’s mentoring package where I help you with submission towards the end, looking over your pitch and everything you have put together.
Costs: each project will be individually priced because I need to tailor it to your needs and the time we both have, but a year’s mentoring with the aforementioned level of contact and input would be £1,500-2,000.
Back to the original menu!
Have you written a story, novella or novella and you’d appreciate someone else’s opinion on how you might improve it? I should love to help with that.
Let me read, ponder and provide an objective critique of your work. I will look at voice, language, plot, structure and style. I will also look VERY closely (and several times) at your manuscript for spelling and grammatical errors, missing words – because we all miss those in our own work and, err, editors miss them too.
OR to put it all another way…
We can work on proofing – checking for errors of all kinds. You might be amazed at how many words are missing or how many typos or misspellings have found their way into your manuscript. Top of the tree are those pesky homophones: words that sound the same but…you get the idea. There/they’re/their; passed/past; who’s/whose. Funny little things, too; like ‘to all intensive purposes’, ‘upmost’, ‘hairy fairy’ (a personal favourite that) and ‘passer bys’ – not to mention all those poor apostrophes which appear when they don’t need to and don’t when they should definitely be there! You can ignore me if you think I’m a pedant too far. Insisting that ‘disinterested’ means not having a dog or a stake in the fight, rather than being ‘uninterested’. You get the picture.
Line editing – where we look at the creative content, writing style, and language use at the sentence and paragraph level and focus on the way you use language to communicate your story to the reader. Gosh, you will read a lot about this. Culling your adverbs, for example. Showing not telling…
Structural editing (you might also hear this called developmental editing or substantive editing) and it is really the most complex and time-consuming stage of the editorial process. It means that you evaluate the manuscript as a whole and analyse for its author how well its constituent parts cohere. In other words, the big question is, ‘Does this work as a book?’ To make the matter more complex, not everyone agrees on what, err, does make a book. There are plenty of algorithms about on the structure of a successful novel BUT there are plenty of texts that defy those; there are many texts that are genre defying and experimental work. We can talk about that, because I also want to say that your work is your work.
I will also guide, encourage and do my utmost to help you grow in confidence; I will share what I have learned and I won’t pretend to know something that I don’t. I may also recommend someone else if I feel I am not right for you. We will have a good discussion before anything happens!
(Actual picture of me in book and author cheer-leading pose with my favourite pompom)
Details and prices below, but you could DM me through twitter where I am @bookwormvaught for an initial contact because there may be a project which is rather a hybrid, so here https://twitter.com/BookwormVaught Or you can call, text or whatsapp on my mobile 07814954063 or on my landline, 01225 866488. I apologise in advance: no answerphone because I bought one of those retro 70s style ones and they won’t connect. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org Obviously there’s no charge for that chat. If you are in my area, West Wiltshire, it may be that we can meet face to face. I am based in the Bath area but am also frequently in South and West Wales. That could work too. Or we can do the whole thing online: you might be anywhere in the world!
Novel extract (up to 5000 words) and synopsis: £80
Short story (up to 5000 words): £80
Longer extract or longer short story (up to 10,000 words): £140
How about a submission package, to included detailed feedback on your cover letter, synopsis and first three opening chapters (or fifty pages – dependent on what you are being asked for at submission)? I am happy to read an agent submission or one which is going directly to a small press. £150
Full novel read (up to 100,000 words) plus your synopsis: £500
Longer novel read – you may have written a stunning and vast work of fantasy or historical fiction – £600 approximately, but we might need to have a chat because HOW LONG ARE WE TALKING HERE?
I will send your critique back to you within 4 weeks of receiving your manuscript and you are then welcome to have a follow-up phone call with me. Sound good? You may wish to send me a paper manuscript but a PDF, Word or a googledoc share are preferred. Either way, you’ll get a report from me plus all my little comments on the manuscript itself. You will know it has been read and loved and more than once.
Ah yes, who am I?
*I am a novelist, short and flash fiction writer, non-fiction writer, editor, reviewer, poet and essayist. My short fiction, poetry and critical work are widely published online and in print. I’m BA and MA in English Literature and hoping to start a PhD in published work (focus on memory and trauma) when the multiple offspring are a bit older. I am represented by Kate Johnson of Mackenzie Wolf Literary Agency in New York. Works out IN 2021 included Saving Lucia (Bluemoose) on 30th April and Famished (Influx) on 10th September. Quite a bit of short fiction and creative non-fiction, too. But oh, what a year. I am beginning 2021 with an essay in Dodo Ink’s Trauma anthology and a short story coming in Unsung Stories Out of the Darkness. As I write, I am finishing edits on a new novel, I have my first full non-fiction book…out on its journey, collaborative work ongoing, I am editing further short stories and have also been researching and writing a new novel. In addition to this, I am also increasingly presenting book events and discussions, offering short films to help literary quandaries you might have and offering mentoring and talks for universities and large writing projects. This is not my day job! I want to say right here that I did not think I could do ANY of this a few years ago.
*I am an experienced proofreader, copy editor and copywriter. For literary and business texts.
*Now, you may or may not think this relevant, but I am also a very experienced English teacher – secondary AND adults – and tutor and former examiner. This means I am a grammar geek, a spelling whizz and dedicated to preventing crimes against apostrophes. I am a nerd on the deepest level and actually get excited when I see homophone errors or an it’s which should be an its. That might sound a bit weird. I have also worked in a variety of community roles with disadvantaged groups of people, to make Arts projects or boost literacy. It is all really important to me, and all connected.
*I am a mentor and advocate – meaning that a joy of my life is to help people – sometimes in very difficult circumstances – improve their confidence and skills. In other words, let me cheerlead you and encourage you to make the mental leap, if you need it, that allows you to say I AM A WRITER.
*I read about three books a week. May I add yours?