Love reading, critiquing and writing?
I’m looking for someone:
- To do reading for me and write reader’s reports
- Who can give 10-20 hours a week for 3-6 months
- Who can work remotely
- That likes YA and women’s fiction
- Who ideally has publishing industry experience, is professional, can follow deadlines, and knows what a reader’s report is
Interested? Email a resume, cover letter, your availability, and a list of your 5 favourite authors to info(at)psliterary(dot)com with the subject heading Carly Watters Reader Application. I will accept applications until March 14.
It is an unpaid and remote role, but I will happily give a recommendation for any successful candidates. Ideal role for publishing or writing students, those looking to get into publishing, or those who have a little bit of experience under their belt.
Do you ever get feedback from a beta reader, editor, or critique partner to the effect of: “Something is missing from what you (the writer) know about your characters versus what is showing up on the page.”
Writers have a tendency to bring their characters to life in their heads before they come to life on the page. Or hold on to who they thought the character was, and refrain from letting the character evolve as the book goes on–and subsequently go back and edit according.
And most commonly, through the editing process, they edit away certain characteristics or motives and forget what is left.
Below are some tips and tricks I tell my authors or writers at conferences to help them better understand their characters:
- Letters: I love this tip. Write an open letter or diary entry from your character’s POV. Get their voice out and make sure it’s different than yours.
- Family Map: Do you have a complete cast of characters? Don’t hesitate to do a family tree or historical family map that covers time or territory.
- Color coding edit: Writing historical, mystery, or setting-sensitive subject matter? Don’t forget to print out your manuscript, get the highlighters out and color code important things like clues, red herrings, character traits, setting quirks and more to make sure everything is cohesive.
- Dialogue: If you did a blind test (with no dialogue tags) would you know who is speaking? Characters must have unique ways of speaking that are different than one another. Dialogue is the one way they can speak for themselves, don’t let it go to waste.
- Sketch: Write a character sketch with only characteristics that you’ve written in the current draft of your book. No extra notes. Is it complete? Add back in what’s missing.
- Follow this checklist!
Q: How do you make your characters stand out after the book is done?
Don’t you love this cover? Taylor Jenkins Reid’s new book does not disappoint!
AFTER I DO comes out July 1/14 (Atria Books) so add it to your Goodreads, or pre-order today!
From the author of Forever, Interrupted—hailed by Sarah Jio as “moving, gorgeous, and at times heart-wrenching”—comes a breathtaking new novel about modern marriage, the depth of family ties, and the year that one remarkable heroine spends exploring both.
When Lauren and Ryan’s marriage reaches the breaking point, they come up with an unconventional plan. They decide to take a year off in the hopes of finding a way to fall in love again. One year apart, and only one rule: they cannot contact each other. Aside from that, anything goes.
Lauren embarks on a journey of self-discovery, quickly finding that her friends and family have their own ideas about the meaning of marriage. These influences, as well as her own healing process and the challenges of living apart from Ryan, begin to change Lauren’s ideas about monogamy and marriage. She starts to question: When you can have romance without loyalty and commitment without marriage, when love and lust are no longer tied together, what do you value? What are you willing to fight for?
This is a love story about what happens when the love fades. It’s about staying in love, seizing love, forsaking love, and committing to love with everything you’ve got. And above all, After I Do is the story of a couple caught up in an old game—and searching for a new road to happily ever after.
Agents talk a lot about query letter writing and how we manage the slush pile. There’s the flip side of that too: once we request your material what happens? Well today, you get inside my brain. This is how I read requested material and how you make yours stand out:
1. I read on my iPad
I don’t print manuscripts out until I sign them and start to work on them. So I’m trying to see if I enjoy the writing and pair the writing with a name or book title to distinguish one manuscript from the other.
Lesson: Formatting! For the love of pete number your pages and title your file something like: Author Last Name BOOK TITLE. I don’t want to play a guessing game about which manuscript matches which query. The last thing I want is confusion when I’m trying to organize my slush. I also ask for a synopsis pasted into the first page of the manuscript document so that I can jog my memory and refer back to it.
2. I read 3-10 partials in a row
I’m not sitting down to indulge in one story, I’m sitting down to get through the virtual stack of manuscripts. Often it is between 3-10 when I start to read. That’s 3-10 different authors, voices, characters, plots and things to keep straight. When I read partials and other requested material I’m reading for plot, pace and potential. All I want is to be drawn in more than the story before that one. Continue reading