YA Writing

Author Mentor Match: The Skinny

Most of you know that my manuscript was chosen by a mentor as part of the agented-author project Author Mentor Match #authormentormatch, the brainchild of Alexa Donne.

The short of it: it’s a group of generous authors who are already repped and choose to volunteer their time and talents to shepherd unpubbed manuscripts through the process: from scene collaboration to line editing to query advice. Nice, huh? It’s a great way to pay it forward, especially for those of us who’ve been trying to break into the publishing industry for years. These people are where we want to be so their inside knowledge is invaluable.

My mentor and I clicked right away and she immediately went to work on my novel. She then sent me an editorial letter to review which contained suggested changes to the book.

I was so grateful and willing to make the changes…at first.

Yeah, I fell victim to the ‘I don’t want to change/remove/add this until an agent asks me to’ syndrome. And I hung onto that virus for weeks. Granted, I went ahead and made all the other changes but not the two she really thought I should make. LOL. I stood my ground.

After she read the second version she sent more notes and of course they included that same suggestion, and I resisted yet again. So I made all the OTHER changes and sent it back to her. Being the classy and professional person she is, she let it ride and said ‘Well I can’t read this until Friday in case you have any other changes go ahead and make them.’

Ha! She’s tricky, right? She knows me well enough now to know that I was going to ponder this and would eventually come up with some solution, so I created two versions of the book and sent both to my trusted beta readers. The first said she loved V1 and when she finally realized what was missing in V2, she said ‘I didn’t miss it so you should take it out.’

NOT what I wanted to hear.

That’s when I put more thought into the scene and finally came up with what I think is a great compromise. In fact, I like it much better now.

I made the changes and sent her the updated manuscript and now I am awaiting her reply.

The point of all this is that my mentor was doing EXACTLY what she should do AND what I can expect an agent and editor to also do.

This experience helped me tremendously and prepares me for what’s to come when I land my agent. But I learned a valuable lesson: I am more willing to make changes for the good of the story — way more than I thought I’d be, and that’s a good thing.

So thanks to my mentor and Author Mentor Match. You came right on time!



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