My Writing Mentors

Veronica Rossi 4 Thursday, June 23, 2011

We've been talking about writing mentors this week. Two people immediately come to mind. Eric Elfman and Lorin Oberweger, my writing Jedi masters, both of whom mean a great deal to me.

I met Eric Elfman at a writing conference nearly eight years ago. He was leading a small critique group. It was the first one I had ever been in. Eric immediately put me at ease. We spoke several times over the course of the weekend workshop. I was taken by his sense of humor, warmth, and editorial insight. When we exchanged email addresses that last Sunday, I knew I'd see him again.

In the years since, Eric has become a mentor and a dear friend. I treasure his creative mind and his keen grasp on story structure. More so, I appreciate that he tells me the truth about my writing and he does it with his signature brand of wit and respect.

I met Lorin more recently, only three years ago. She critiqued an excerpt of the manuscript I was working on at the time. The pages I had submitted to her for the critique had been heavily work-shopped. They were lean, solid pages that had earned me some agent interest, and given me ideal results in writing contests. I was proud of them.

Those pages came back to me from Lorin so marked up, I initially didn't believe they were mine. Then I read her notes and--there is no better analogy--I fell in love. I'd found someone who could push me well past the boundaries of what I could do at the time. With Lorin, I'm certain that'll always be the case. I'll always be learning from her. She's just really, really excellent with both craft and story. Her personality--generous, sweet, and yes, funny--sealed the deal.

It occurs to me that best kind of mentorship feels more like a partnership with really kick butt people who are a lot smarter that you. Do you have anyone like this who you can learn from? If you are serious about your writing, I highly recommend being on the lookout for your own Jedi Masters.

Now, go! And may the writing force be with you!


I'm very lucky, I have two wonderful mentors. They are both great authors in two very different genres and they have pushed, inspired, and motivated me so much!

They are priceless, aren't they Heather? Thanks for stopping by!

I love how in the writing community their are so many Jedi Masters willing to drop anything to help a writer out! *Amazing* I just experienced the "what I thought was polished" come back very marked up, but I too am happy to be learning more from them! :)

I have had the pleasure of working with Eric also. He helped me brainstorm through my manuscript, opening pathways to better character and story lines. It's exactly like you said, a partnership, with someone who wants to help you make your story shine!

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