Leading up to the Mslexia Women’s Novel Competition this year, TLC reader Rose Gaete wrote an article with some straightforward suggestions for how writers might strengthen their submissions.
“…the balance between action and introspection can too often be weighted in favour of frantic activity. Yet there are times when third person reported speech or an objective narrative stance in an extended passage, would offer the reader more insight into a character’s development. It might be ‘realistic’ that a woman who discovers an unwanted pregnancy would first cry, then rush about tidying her house, then visit the doctor and speak to her friends – as in one manuscript I read recently – but what the reader wants to know is why she doesn’t want the baby. What are the emotional and psychological complexities of her situation?”
Rose has worked for many years as both a reader and a mentor for The Literary Consultancy. In addition, she has also worked as an agent at the Wylie Agency, where she worked with Salman Rushdie, Martin Amis, Paul Theroux and others. In addition to TLC, Rose now works for publishers and literary scouts, including HarperCollins and Virginia Marx.
Click here to read her article.