Pitch Wars Mentor Wishlist - #TeamTigerWraiths

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Welcome!

Thank you for taking the time to read the Team Tiger Wraiths Pitch Wars 2018 Wishlist. We are BEYOND EXCITED to help our future mentee polish their work until it shines.


About Us

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Roseanne A. Brown is an immigrant from the West African nation of Ghana and a graduate of the University of Maryland, where she completed the Jiménez-Porter Writers’ House program. She was an editorial intern at Entangled Publishing, and her work has been featured by Voice of America among other outlets. She currently teaches in Japan, where in her free time she can usually be found exploring the local mountains or thinking about Star Wars.

She is represented by Quressa Robinson of Nelson Literary Agency.

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Swati Teerdhala is a storyteller at heart. After graduating from the University of Virginia with a BS in finance and BA in history, she tumbled into the marketing side of the technology industry. She’s passionate about many things, including how to make a proper cup of tea, the right ratio of curd-to-crust in a lemon tart, and diverse representation in the stories we tell. She currently lives in New York City. She is represented by Kristin Nelson of Nelson Literary Agency.

The first novel in her debut trilogy, THE TIGER AT MIDNIGHT, will be released on April 23, 2019 from HarperCollins.

Add THE TIGER AT MIDNIGHT on Goodreads

Preorder THE TIGER AT MIDNIGHT

Here are some things you won’t learn about us from our official bios:

  • Rosie is a Huffleclaw and her favorite HP character is Harry Potter.
  • Rosie’s favorite video game is Fire Emblem Awakening. She physically can’t play the game without marrying Chrom.
  • Rosie once got lost on Mt. Fuji and had to be carried down the mountain by a very attractive Marine.
  • Swati is a Slytherdor and her favorite HP character is Sirius Black (RIP) 
  • Swati found ATLA about a decade late (aka in 2017) and has LOTS of opinions about it. Beware.
  • Swati hates onions with a passion. Yes, she can taste and smell them a mile away. No, you won't trick her. 

Swati and Rosie both believe it’s bullshit that there wasn’t enough room for Jack on that door.


Our Mentoring Style and Strengths

We plan on doing at least two full rounds of revision with our mentee, plus a final read through before the agent showcase if time permits. Our editing style is extremely thorough. (Rosie once left 362 comments on her own manuscript during edits.) However, we will be as equally vocal on the areas we feel are working as we will be on the areas we feel need improvement.

Our MS comments are known to include many Kermit/ATLA gifs. 

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Swati’s specialties are finding the emotional core of your story and worldbuilding (this is where her inner history nerd comes out). She loves diving deep into character’s emotions and their relationships with others to add weight and depth to prose. She also loves immersing herself into a new (or familiar!) world—exploring the history, politics, magic (if there is any), religion, food, and cultural nuances to craft a true-to-life world that feels unique and whole.

Rosie’s specialties are character development and plotting. She loves breaking down how characters interact within the story and finding ways to make those interactions more engrossing and those emotional climaxes even more gut-wrenching. She also loves rearranging scenes to have the most compelling effect they can have. She enjoys the kind of endings that leave readers screaming “WHAT THE FRICK FRACK!?” and also weeping.

We plan to share with our mentee our favorite, tried and true craft and publishing resources. We’re talking craft books. We’re talking beat sheets. We’re talking query tips and how to navigate the wild world that is publishing. You know the “I’ll Make a Man Out of You” montage from Mulan? We as a duo are sexy, shirtless Shang, ready to get down to business and help you defeat the Huns (The Huns being whatever is keeping your manuscript from being the best version of itself.)

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Communication-wise, we are extremely flexible. Swati is on Eastern Standard Time and Rosie is on Japan Standard Time, so it’s likely one of us will be awake for any questions/concerns you may have during revisions at any time of the day. You will never have to wait more than 24 hours for a response from at least one of us, barring extenuating circumstances, plus we will alert you ahead of time if communication will be difficult for any reason. We are big fans of Slack, but can communicate over email, twitter DM, Skype, or other platforms as needed.

Also, we have both been where you are right now. Rosie was a 2017 Pitch Wars mentee and Swati was a Round 1 Author Mentor Match mentee, so we know what it’s like to pour your heart and soul into a revision with no guarantee all your hard work will pay off. Because we are so familiar with this process, we will be there for you through the highs and lows of the revision process, all the way through the agent round and beyond, like our mentors have been there for us.  

Once a Tiger Wraith, always a Tiger Wraith.

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Our Ideal Mentee

Our ideal mentee is someone who is ready to dive into the nitty-gritty of their book. We believe that the true writing magic comes in rewriting. Our ideal mentee would come into Pitch Wars with the knowledge that their manuscript can always be improved and a willingness to do what needs to be done to push their story to the next level.

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Though we don’t expect our mentee to agree with every suggestion make, we would want them to give serious thought to our feedback. We hope that they are ready to explore their work from multiple angles and are prepared to go through the kind of work required for two plus rounds of revisions. Our ideal mentee is someone who is working towards building a career, not just publishing one book. They are someone who wants to know more about the ins-and-outs of publishing, while also being aware of the challenges and sometimes frustrating realities of pursuing traditional publishing. Basically, if talking for hours about why and how books work is your idea of a fun time, then you’ll be perfect for us.

 


and now without further ado...

What We're Looking For!

Category: YA

Genre: Fantasy (High, Epic, Contemporary, Urban)

Sci-Fi (think Star Wars)

 

Things We Love

  • Fantasy worlds inspired by non-Western societies

  • Enemies-to-lovers

  • Characters who lead double lives and/or have secret identities

  • Cool creatures! Monsters! Dragons!

  • Fierce girls who fight for what they believe in (doesn’t have to be with a sword!)

  • Soft boys who challenge toxic masculinity

  • Political/court intrigue

  • Real, true friendships

  • Royalty who actually do things

  • Stoic soldier boys

  • Humor!!

  • Heart-racing action scenes

  • Found families/Strong group dynamics (think Six of Crows or ATLA)

  • Unique magic systems

  • Compelling descriptions of food

Books We Love

  • An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

  • The Grishaverse books by Leigh Bardugo

  • Warcross by Marie Lu

  • The Wrath and the Dawn by Reneé Ahdieh

  • Defy the Stars by Claudia Gray

  • Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

  • The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski  

  • City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty

  • The Fifth Season by N. K. Jemisin

  • A Darker Shade of Magic by V.S. Schwab

  • The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern


No-no’s

However, we probably wouldn’t be the best mentors for any works featuring one or more of the below:

  • Any age category outside of YA (We aren’t allowed to accept Middle Grade or Adult per the rules! Don’t waste a slot on us if you wrote a manuscript in either of those categories!)

  • Fae

  • Mermaids

  • Any premise based on a bigot learning to be a better person at the expense of marginalized people

  • Explicit depictions of sexual assault/rape

  • Hard science fiction (Think Star Wars level soft for the kind of SF we like.)

Phew! That was a lot. Thanks for reading and hopefully, we've convinced you that you should be a part of #TeamTigerWraiths! 

Can't wait to see all of your amazing submissions!

Love,

Rosie & Swati


Check out the other Mentor Wishlists for Pitch Wars 2018!

on showing & telling

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I recently completed a pretty deep revision pass on my recent manuscript after some great suggestions from my agent. While plotting out how I wanted to get to the end product I envisioned, I struggled with the dreaded "info dump" and the idea of how to communicate this vast world I had built up in my mind.

Of course, I turned to craft books and wisdom from my CPs which led me to a big realization.

Sometimes, it's ok to tell. 

A lot of the issues I had in my story's setup was from a lack of clarity, which required good, old fashioned telling. Showing would've further muddled the narrative so that readers would be even more confused. And that's not a good look.

Character emotions? Show me that. Make me feel every feel and truly understand what the character is going through internally. Telling takes away from that.

Set up? Be straightforward and tell me what I need to know when it's relevant. Say the country has a monarchy and who the Queen is, be clear that there are three moons which means constant night. Especially if it is vital knowledge to the reader's understanding of the world. Losing vital information in extended metaphors and half answers only makes the narrative frustrating.

It's a small thing, and not always applicable, but telling crucial information can save the reader a lot of time and effort which they can then pour into loving your characters and story. 

 

on listening to yourself

Oof, so it's been awhile. I have all the normal excuses but a big part of it was simply living my life and falling (hard) into writing.

There's something about finding and joining a community of writers that has made my heart so full, it's hard to describe. I've met incredible people who are so giving of their time and of themselves. And as a result, I've become a better person and certainly a better writer. 

I could go on for paragraphs about the writing community and the people I've met but I wanted to talk about something else.

Being a writer isn't a solitary act. To fully reach the pinnacle of your ability, you have to first of all admit that you probably will never reach it. But the goal is to keep trying and to compete against yourself. Always improve. Always work hard. 

Part of improving is getting critiques and having your work read by other writers. I think this is a crucial step to becoming a stronger writer. But sometimes, you have to trust your own gut. Writers have one of the nastiest case of Imposter Syndrome I've ever seen, and if you combine that with an environment of constant critiquing and edits and revisions and that need to improve, it can be a quagmire. So, I've found something to be really important when receiving critiques or helpful suggestions. 

Sleep on it. And then, listen to yourself. If it's a craft thing, definitely consider it. If it's a plot thing or a character thing, take a beat to center yourself. You know the story you're trying to tell better than anyone else.

As Neil Gaiman famously said, “Remember: when people tell you something’s wrong or doesn’t work for them, they are almost always right. When they tell you exactly what they think is wrong and how to fix it, they are almost always wrong.”

I, and some of my dear writing friends, have gotten critiques that ask us a little too much--to remove or add something that feels wrong. But the instinct is to cut, scratch out, rewrite, fix, add immediately. I've seen too many writers take every critique that comes their way and then lose their story. And when the heart is gone, you're just left with a bunch of words that you don't love.

So take a beat. Let out that breath you've been holding and don't assume that THIS will be the key to fixing your manuscript (if you think it needs to be fixed). Let it be a guide though.

I realize this is all pretty vague for first time writers, so I'll follow up with some more details on how you can look at a critique in different ways and let it help spark your own ideas.