Confused about this mentoring/reviewing offer. Could you help me with what I should ask for?
Downwiththetrombones · 22/03/2018 16:45
I’m 35, on maternity leave, mother of 3.
I have been writing fiction all my life, and been on a few writing courses, but it’s only during my maternity leaves that I have had the opportunity to really write a lot. I have written 30k words in total of a novel and have used reviewing services from well known authors and have had good feedback and constructive criticism. General feedback is that my writing is very effective, should be publishable, obviously depends a lot on luck/market, but just keep at it and get to the end of the novel. Fine.
I was lucky enough to meet somebody very high up at a top literary fiction imprint, quite randomly through a charity that I volunteer for. We spoke a lot about books and our lives and after a while she said, “I know you are a writer, and if you would prefer to use me (ie pay me) instead of the reviewing services you use for your novel, i’d be very happy to read through what you have written.”
Great! I thought. So I told her that i’d get it to a point I thought it was suitable to be reviewed/read by her and then i’ll send it over. We didn’t discuss a fee but she implied that why should I pay these other people when I could pay her to look at it and I should pay her whatever I was paying these other reviewers.
I’m 30k words in now, have a good plot. We’ve stayed in contact and I brought it up with her again. She said,
“absolutely, my offer still stands, just tell me what exactly you want. Do you want me to just look at it as a friend and tell you what I think? That will be more difficult as it is only 30k words and it means I can’t speak for the whole novel itself, but i’m happy to do that. Or would you like to pay me for a reviewing service and I can help you with where you’re going with it and give you some suggestions? I do this with other people, but not people at your level.”
I’m a bit confused by this. Obviously, like anyone would, I would like to get my novel published, and I consider knowing her, as good a way in as any. I don’t expect her to take an incomplete novel, but it would be helpful to know whether it is the kind of thing that is publishable or not. I worry that perhaps by submitting myself to be reviewed by her and paying her I am not doing myself credit because she might want to be very gentle and not as honest, and that I perhaps should ask her to look at it with her professional hat on, to take me seriously and be very honest.
Which option would you take and which do you think would be most beneficial to me?
undeecided · 23/03/2018 08:19
Personally I'd finish it first and then ask her
Witchend · 23/03/2018 09:34
I think I'd be tempted to ask her to take a glance (tell her not to spend too long) at looking at the first 30K words and say all you really want to know is does it have a future and if not why :D
If she does think it has a future, then ask her to properly review it when you've finished.
If she doesn't think it has a future then look at why and decide to pitch to others who may have different tastes.
MyBrilliantDisguise · 26/03/2018 18:11
Finish the book (she can't possibly tell whether it's publishable without reading 2/3rds of it.) I would then send it to another agency and get someone who didn't know me to read it (if you're unsure about sending it off.)
To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.