Editing can make your sentences beautiful, but it can’t fix a flawed story. When your novel has been alive in your head for so long you can’t see the woods for the trees, you need expert analysis and unbiased guidance.
A solid foundation
No amount of proofreading or copy-editing can fix a book if it is flawed at a deeper level. Great books have solid foundations: imaginative and focused stories, carefully structured plots, deeply crafted characters and well-paced scenes. When I write a manuscript critique (presented as an editorial letter, normally around 10-20 pages), I offer you an overall assessment of your novel, highlight any major issues and suggest ways you could improve your book.
An honest appraisal
A manuscript critique gives you a professional, honest insight into your novel – what works, what doesn’t and suggestions on how to improve it. Though I always treat your writing with sensitivity, I don’t hold back on the criticism (otherwise, what’s the point?). With my feedback, you’ll be able to develop your book and get a better idea of its suitability for publication. ‘But my mum loved it’ won’t cut it in the real world!
Improve your future books
Even the most accomplished writers know there is always more to learn. Every book poses new challenges and new opportunities to hone your craft. And every book is a learning opportunity. With a manuscript critique, you’ll not only learn how to improve your current book, but you’ll gain a deeper understanding of your personal writing process, and your knowledge and pitfalls, so you can apply what you learn to all your future novels.
Please note: Manuscript critiques are not suitable for completely new writers. I will expect you to have a basic understanding of narrative technique and the terminology used for literary analysis (e.g. ‘narrative arc’, ‘point of view’, ‘show vs tell’, etc.) If you’ve never taken a writing class, been part of a writing group or read a book on writing craft, this service is not for you.