Writers' Comments about Robert's Work
Robert expanded my knowledge beyond my wildest expectation. The dream to someday write a novel was often overshadowed by sheer terror at the monumental task at hand. Robert shifted the terror into hope and possibility. His insights were not only positive and extraordinarily helpful, they were simultaneously exact and nuanced. Robert knows more about story craft than anyone I have ever met. He makes you hungry to learn more. Writing my novel became a joy under his tutelage. My rewrites became gifts for my teacher. I've never had a teacher like Robert and I cannot imagine not working with him again and again. What began as a dream to write one novel before I die has shifted into a deep desire to learn as much as I can about craft and continue that exploration through my own writing. I owe that to Robert and his keen eye and endless encouragement. I am forever grateful. – Deborah Spera, Executive Producer of Criminal Minds, and author of Call Your Daughter Home, forthcoming from Park Row.
This is why Robert is fantastic: His first goal is to see the writer's vision. Once he understands what the writer is trying to accomplish, his next move is to find how to guide and teach the writer toward that vision. I have had few teachers capable of this art. Maybe it's a thing of the ego. If the goal is to bring out the unique beauty that each writer/student is trying to invoke through their art, then the teacher must forgo their own ego, and become, in essence, selfless. Robert led me to see and understand the thing I myself am trying to bring into being. – Parnaz Faroutan, author of The Girl from the Garden, from Ecco Press.
When I enrolled in my first class with Robert Eversz, I held in my hands the fragmented pieces of a novel. Robert was able to transform those mediocre pages into something that became award-winning. He changed my life. He was able to use my own words—those pages—to teach me to write and plot better, and offered firm examples while encouraging me. Robert is responsible for the realization of my first novel. Highly recommended. – Natashia Deon, author of the award winning debut novel, Grace, from Counterpoint Press
What I love about working with Robert is that he is able to see both the writing and the writer clearly. Early on Robert was able to see how I wrote, and what my strengths and weaknesses were. He helped me capitalize on those strengths and celebrate them. And he worked with me to understand and overcome the weaknesses in my writing. Rather than simply critique, Robert's keen eye for story and phenomenal understanding of plot and structure provided me with the tools I needed to take my writing to the next level. His ability to dialogue intelligently about the work at any stage and offer suggestions when needed is a rare and valuable thing, and something that I have come to look forward to and rely on. I've engaged his services for final drafts and works-in-progress, and each time the writing is better for it. I continue to incorporate his guidance and support into my writing and look forward to every opportunity that we have to work together. – Gina Sorell, author of Mothers and Other Strangers, published by Prospect Park Books
Even in my MFA program and taking classes from countless luminaries over the years (many of whom wrote a thousand times better than they taught), I’ve never worked with a reader or editor who so completely understood what I was trying for in the book. He's encouraging and optimistic, and steers me directly to what I most need to adjust and develop. That’s quite a talent. – Mary Carroll Moore, PEN/Faulkner Nominee for Qualities of Light, and award winning author of Your Book Starts Here
I’ve worked with hundreds of writers in workshop on novels in all phases of development, from page one to revisions of completed manuscripts. When consulting on manuscripts, I seek to combine the best of a strong editor and a good teacher, striving not only to improve the manuscript under review, but to help the writer refine her craft.
I react to a story line by line and scene by scene when I review a manuscript, jotting down my comments as I engage the text. This gives the writer real-time, dynamic reactions to sentences, characters, and story development. Though I don’t copy edit, I’ll line edit work until I’m confident that the writer understands the problems and can correct further instances as they occur. My intent is to provide specific comments regarding creative issues, and then to trace those issues through the narrative.
A good critique identifies strengths in a story as well as weaknesses. If I love something, I won’t be stinting in my praise, whether it’s a witty line or smartly conceived plot turn. Writers need encouragement, but more importantly, they learn how to rewrite a story according to what’s working, as well as to what’s not.
My engagement with a project doesn’t end when I return the manuscript with my notes. The writer reads my comments, reflects upon them, and then replies with a set of questions, requests for clarification, and strategies for revision. This dialog between reader and writer continues until the writer’s vision for the next draft clarifies, and the revision can begin. The ideal critique is one that leaves the author clear eyed about what she has written and energized by newly seen strategies for improving her work.
Be assured that I’ll deliver a more in-depth reading than most other manuscript consultation services. Typically, I’ll write about a page of comments for every 15 pages of manuscript. Expect 15 - 20 pages of commentary for a 300-page manuscript. I work with writers of all levels of technical accomplishment. It's my goal to guide writers to the next draft, and to teach skills that can be built upon in a lifetime of writing.
How to Book a Consultation
Full manuscript consultation – I offer manuscript consultation services to writers directly and through the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program. To work with me through UCLA, please contact Consultation Services at UCLA and ask for me by name. To work with me directly, send me an email that briefly describes your story and the number of pages or words in your manuscript. You can reach me through the Contact page on this website, located to the far right of the navigation bar at the top of the screen. I charge by the page or by the hour, depending on the project. I'll send my full schedule of prices on request.
First chapter consultation – Booking a manuscript consultation requires a writer to place her trust and money in my ability to guide her revision. Writers who have studied with me in the past are not reluctant to trust my eye, but it's sensible to hesitate if we haven't yet worked together. I'm happy to offer writers a first chapter consultation at $8 per page. A first chapter consultation will establish a working relationship at low cost. After a first chapter consultation, you'll know whether or not my method works for you. First chapter consultations are offered directly, rather than through UCLA.
I was thrilled with the concrete nature of Robert’s comments, his encouraging yet hard look at what was working and what wasn’t working, and his suggestions on better ways of presentation to keep the flow of the novel and the pace of the novel strong. Unlike some critiques, Robert’s comments were specific and he often gave an example that made it easier for me to understand what he was getting at. He finished the critique within the timeframe that he said he would, which is also welcome when you’re waiting for feedback. Finally, Robert got to the heart of the story and forced me to clarify areas that needed it. The advice was so helpful that rather than being discouraged, I was excited to begin re-writes, knowing the characters, the dramatic arc, and the overall emotional impact would be heightened. I cannot recommend Robert highly enough. – Christine Whitehead, author of Hemingway's Daughter, represented by Writers House Agency
In one reading of my novel manuscript, Robert not only understood my characters as well as I did, but showed me precisely how they were integral to the novel’s organic structure. His ability to operate on two levels is extraordinary. He gives the writer both an immediate response, asking questions about the smallest details in plot, characterization, setting, and phrasing; and a remarkable bird’s eye perspective that sees how characters fit into scenes, scenes fit into movements, and movements fit into the entire narrative arc. Above all, he treats the writer’s work with the respect and appreciation we wish from all our readers. Because he respects the work so much, Robert transforms the reviewing and critiquing experience from the customary blend of agony, embarrassment, and occasional rage to a friendly, wise conversation marked by the kind of excitement and inspiration a writer feels during the best moments in the writing process. Consulting with him is consulting with someone who is as invested in your work as you are. – Amy S. Gottfried, Co-Director, Creative Writing Concentration, Hood College
Robert is a manuscript surgeon. His comments were careful and precise and cleared away the diseased and excess tissue around my novel, making it leaner, more functional, and a hell of a lot healthier. He also has a gift for compassionate support – I felt safe with my novel in his hands and at the same time was both buoyed by his encouraging comments about my gifts as a writer and inspired by his direct, non-sugarcoated insights about areas of my work that need to be strengthened. Bottom line, the guy understands writers, what makes them tick, and what they need to keep going. I would easily recommend him to anyone. – William DeNoyer, author of The Blood Driver, in manuscript
Robert grasped the heart of my novel, even in its early stages, and provided a thorough analysis of what was on the page and where the story might go. I returned to his notes numerous times throughout the drafting process, and looking back, I consider his close observations and insights an essential step in the manuscript’s evolution. – Vanessa Blakeslee, author of the debut novel, Juventud, from Curbside Splendor
Robert Eversz is not only a talented novelist, he is a dedicated teacher and mentor. Robert thoroughly analyzed a manuscript I'd been working on for over a year and gave me cogent suggestions. His insights encouraged me as a writer and led to the publication of my first book, Moonfall: Tales from the Levant. Robert did not try to change my voice; he had a way of probing my thoughts and words to get to the heart of what my story was trying to say and make it better. I still find myself returning to Robert's comments on Moonfall to glean golden nuggets for my current project. – Vanessa Morton, author of Moonfall: Tales from the Levant, nominated for a Double Decker Award in YA
I worked with Robert while I was writing the early drafts for my novel, Life, Death, & Santiago. Robert was a godsend. Not only was his analysis and technical ability excellent, but, perhaps more importantly for a first-time novelist, he was able to see through to the core of the story, and to why I was writing it, and to offer encouragement and mentorship at a time when my confidence in my ability as a writer was low. A good few drafts and a lot of hard work later, I have secured a leading agent and am hopeful of the book being in print soon. – Gideon Roberton, MFA Creative Writing