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What Is Included?

Photo by Gaelle Marcel on Unsplash

Unlike many critique services, my critiques are thorough and in-depth analyses of all the major components needed in a manuscript. I do an annotated, comprehensive critique—which means I make notations and comments in the margins on every page using Word’s Track Changes.

I don’t just write up a general overview or summary at the end, which is what many critique editors do. Your manuscript is evaluated for clarity, structure, pacing, organization, sentence structure, and voice. (Take a look at the critique checklist to see all the components that are analyzed and discussed.)

However, if you are on limited funds, you can opt for a “read-through” of your manuscript, which would include a brief summary of observations at the end. I charge doing read-throughs by the hour. Contact me to discuss.

For fiction manuscripts I also look at character development, dialogue, tension, plot and character arcs, scene structure, climax and resolution, voice, and style. A critique does NOT include any copyediting, rewriting, or proofreading, though I sometimes rewrite sample passages to show writers how to tighten their writing.

I bring nearly thirty years of novel-writing experience and training to your critique and do more than two hundred partial and complete manuscript critiques a year.

My Pushy Philosophy

My clients appreciate how approachable and helpful I am. I love helping writers. It brings me great joy to see so many of my clients take really rough, sometimes pretty disorganized, (and, well, even awful) manuscripts and turn them into terrific novels that win awards, garner agent and publishing contracts, and sell hundreds of copies a day when published.

Your success is my success, and I’m passionate about my tough-love approach in helping writers push themselves to write the best book they can.

Being a novelist, I have a great respect for the author voice and style, and I never seek to try to squelch that to make my clients write like me or anyone else.

I believe everyone has a unique gift, talent, voice, and experience they bring to their story, and my job is to nurture and coax that out so it brings passion and uniqueness to the manuscript. I may make you work hard and challenge you, but it’s good for you!

No serious author wants a critique partner or editor to just say “good job” and pat you on the back. At least I don’t. I want my critique partners to point out every little flaw, weak spot, bad line of dialogue, and plot hole (however tiny), and lay them on the table.

With that said, your book is your own, and you may not agree with some of my suggestions, and that is perfectly fine. My hope is that by giving you a lot of ideas and insights, you’ll get a clearer picture of what you want to accomplish with this story you’ve written and see ways to make it the best it can be.

You Don’t Have to Go It Alone

The author life leaves little room for procrastination or pride. It’s a tough road to tread, and it takes hard work to succeed, but the good news is we don’t have to go it alone. Having a writing coach or mentor can be a godsend, and I often wish I’d had someone like me thirty years ago to point out the pitfalls and show me my weaknesses in my writing. I

wasted two decades of my life thinking I knew it all, when I didn’t. And so, I like to share with my clients what I’ve learned so they don’t make the same mistakes—in their writing or in their writing journey. I want you to know the joy and satisfaction of writing “The End” on the last page of a book you can be proud of!