Manuscript Critique


Manuscript Critique


Please note that a manuscript critique is $1000 for a manuscript up to 80,000 words. After that, it is the base $1000 plus an additional 2 cents per word. I take on a limited number of clients for critique, so please email me and tell me more about your book and what your timeline is - don’t use the cart option to purchase a critique here! (I have no idea how to disable this feature, sorry). I read full manuscripts only: fiction and narrative non-fiction in any genre - please no picture books, poetry, or short stories.

See below for info on what a critique entails.

You’ve finished the book - huzzah! First, massive congrats. This is an ENORMOUS accomplishment and I hope you celebrated. Now you’re ready to get this baby in shape. That’s where I come in.

One thing that’s important to me is taking a holistic approach. I don’t just read this book and throw it back at you. I look at your process, your craft, and where you’re at in your career and I take all that into consideration with my feedback. It’s important to me that this critique doesn’t just help you with this particular book: I want it to lay the groundwork for your future work, as well. My editorial letters are meant to be a mini master class in writing. They often include writing exercises and go deep into craft areas that I’ve been able to identify some issues with. I want this to make you a better writer, not just a writer who has a better book.

What exactly is a manuscript critique?

· All critiques consist of comments in the margins of your word document using track changes, as well as line edits.

· All critiques receive a lengthy editorial letter accompanied with the critiqued manuscript.

· One round of Q and A is available one week after your critique. The week in between receiving the critique and contacting me is intended to give you time to mull everything over, perhaps do some of the writing exercises, or read one of the recommended texts. This Q and A will consist of you sending me one email with questions and me sending you one email back with answers. Some clients prefer a phone call instead, which is fine by me. These run up to an hour.

· If you want to do a revision of the project and would like me to read that, as well, there is a discounted rate.

· Note: Novel Development is a whole different kind of service—please see the info for that on the website.

What is an editorial letter?

· An editorial letter is the letter you get from me in addition to all those delicious notes on your manuscript. These are quite long with LOTS of info in them.

· I cover things that are working in the manuscript as well as things you can improve on in both the manuscript in particular and in your own craft. I pick out particular areas of craft you struggle with and give you a mini class via the letter on that craft issue, as well as offer suggestions for further growing.

· I will go over all relevant aspects of story including character arcs, story arc, pacing, plot, language (as in, voice / tense / POV), theme, genre tropes (if you are writing in genre, such as fantasy or sci-fi), and structure.

· I will include questions I have about the story/characters that are for you to think about as you revise your manuscript on your own.

· I will always give recommendations for further reading and research

· I will often give writing exercises that you can try at home.

· Sometimes I will give advice based on your autobiographical letter related to time management as a writer, artist lifestyle, solutions to writing problems or blocks, or perhaps something regarding your particular situation. I believe in a holistic approach to critique that takes the writer herself into account.

What I Ask Of My Writers

· The manuscript (I mean, duh), properly formatted and readable

· A one to two page autobiographical letter outlining what your writing career has looked like thus far, information about you and about what drew you to this story, what sorts of books you read, and what genres you’ve worked on in the past. If you’ve published before or have an MFA or are in a regular critique group, I’d like to know that too. This will help me see what your foundation is and will allow me to make a more informed critique.

· If you have specific concerns regarding the manuscript or pertinent information about it, you may include a one-page letter with this information (this is in addition to your autobiographical letter). If you don’t have anything to tell me before reading, then this will not be necessary.

I’ve Critiqued Your Work: Now What?

· Wherever you are in your novel, it’s time to revise! Don’t wait too long to get to that: the critique is fresh in your mind and you want to stay in the flow.

- There’s always the option to do a revision with me, which I offer a discounted rate for

· Read my recommended books, try out some of the writing exercises.

· Consider taking a writing class to rock out your craft

· Consider joining a writer’s group or finding a critique partner

· Breathe. Be kind to yourself. Write every day. Don’t give up. Repeat.

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