A few weeks ago a fellow writer messaged me and asked me to read her novel and give her notes after I said I was looking for work. I combed it over and gave really thoughtful, detailed notes about the things that landed, the things that didn’t, where I was confused as a reader, what I wanted to see more of, less of, and just how to make the story emotional hit me more. Or at least make me laugh harder. I gave suggestions of what to add and where to cut the fat. I really loved throwing myself into someone else’s work for a change and she’s an excellent writer. Like all of us, though, she needed someone to help her kill her darlings.
In doing all this, it reminded me of how good I am at that shit. Why it never occurred to me to put the skills I’m best at, storytelling and being brutally honest, into something that I could make a living off of is beyond me. DUH, Melanie! Plus it was really fun and allowed me to strengthen my own story muscles some more. I’ve been asked to read someone else’s novel when they finish up their draft early next year.
So basically, I’m just putting this out there – if anyone, whether you do it professionally or out of pure love, wants feedback/notes/coaching with a story (written or for the stage), help with a book proposal or essay or script (my first feature script was a finalist in three different competitions) or just any writing stuff in general, please message me! I would have never written a kick ass book proposal without my story editor, Michelle, who was so brutally honest with me. God that women did some magic. We all need outside eyes. Maybe let me be yours! Also, I’m reeeeeally trying to figure out a way to make ends meet so I don’t have to leave crazy-high-rent-LA and quit comedy and become an ESL teacher in Korea. My mid-life crisis rages on y’all! But I just can’t wait tables anymore.
ANYWHO, Catherine wrote a blurb for me about my work. Between that, my ten years on the stage with Moth wins, Asssscat monologues and RISK! podcasts, or the fact that Elizabeth Gilbert read my book proposal and blurbed by book cuz she thinks I know how to tell stories, surely someone out there thinks I got some skills, yo. Here’s what Catherine Serbousekhad to say about my work:
“I’ve struggled with the writer’s dilemma: where to get an honest, constructive critique? Friends and family are great, but I didn’t need a cheerleader. I wanted a trustworthy, objective opinion. Melanie Hamlett was great to work with. She used her years of experience as a writer and storyteller to fine tune my work. She helped me look at my work with the eyes of a first time, unbiased reader. Melanie has a great sense of humor; she’s concise and most importantly, she’s not afraid to (constructively) tell you what you need to hear.”
Also, I charge half of what most story editors do cuz I’m trying to find new clients. So get in now before I realize my rates are too low lol.
You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org .