Manuscript Critiques

Make Your Story Magnificent

A magnificent story requires intentional characterization, intelligent theme development, thoughtful plotting, and adroit pacing.

Before you send your manuscript to agents or get ready to self-publish, team up with a skilled editor to make sure your story works from its deepest foundational levels all the way to the sparkling prose at the surface. 

I offer manuscript critiques to give you objective insight into what’s working, what needs work, and how to go about solving the story problems in your book. When you begin your revision, you’ll know exactly what needs to be done, so your process will be efficient and effective. 

My feedback is compassionate and direct. I know how much hard work you’ve put into your book and how important it is to you.

I also know how easy it is to lose perspective when you’re on your own in the world of your book. It’s my goal to help you gain clarity, objectivity, and direction when it comes to taking the next steps with your manuscript.

My Methodology

I approach developmental editing work through the lens of my training and my own experience as a writer.

My training includes Sophie Playle’s Developmental Editing: Fiction Theory and Developmental Editing: In Practice courses, where I earned her praise for my well-structured analysis, thoughtful comments, and empathetic communication skills.

I’ve studied story development and storytelling through my screenwriting courses and mentorships with ScreenwritingU, Chris Soth, and Corey Mandell, and The Story Grid methodology (including taking The Story Grid Workshop).

In addition to my story and editing focused training, I’ve worked with dozens of writers, helping them solve story issues, been hired by directors and producers to develop and write scripts, and worked as a consultant for a TV series pitch, with a particular focus on story development.

What’s Included In a Manuscript Critique

A manuscript critique is the primary tool I used to provide feedback to writers seeking clarity and insight on their next steps revising their manuscripts. I specialize in working with science fiction and fantasy writers. (I also work with creative non-fiction and self-help authors.) (Screenwriters, find information about receiving script notes here.)

In a manuscript critique, I read and analyze your manuscript and provide you a written summary report (in a PDF format, usually between 10 to 20 pages in length) to address and provide feedback on how you can improve the following:

  • Theme
  • Title
  • Genre
  • Structure
  • Story development, including plot, storyline, timeline, and subplots
  • Character development, motivation, goals, conflict, POV, and consistency
  • Story pacing
  • World building
  • Narrative techniques
  • Voice and tone

I generally read full manuscripts only. (We can confer about other options if you’d like feedback on an early story development plan or partial manuscript.)

I provide one round of reading and feedback. I offer follow up reviews for an additional fee if substantive revisions are made to the manuscript after my initial critique.

How the Critique Process Works

Here’s how to request a manuscript critique and what to expect along the way: 

Step 1: Get In Touch

Start by emailing me to let me know you’re interested in a manuscript critique. Include the genre and word count for your book and any timeframe requests you might have. Note: Critiques must be scheduled in advance, and usually take 2 to 3 weeks to complete.

R

Step 2: Send In Writing Samples

I’ll respond with my current editorial availability and request up to three sample sections so I can get a sense of the current state of the book and the depth and breadth of the feedback I might need to provide. 

w

Step 3: Receive a Quote From Me

After I receive your samples, I’ll provide a quote for my services based on the length of your manuscript and on your sample sections. My quote will include time to read and analyze your manuscript, provide your written manuscript critique (10 to 20 pages), and answer follow up questions via email. I’ll also offer a specific available time slot in my editorial calendar. 

Step 4: Reserve Your Spot on My Calendar

If you choose to accept my quote, I’ll invoice you for a 50% deposit and send you an editorial questionnaire to complete so I have the full picture of your book and your goals. Your deposit reserves your place on my calendar.

Step 5: Submit Your Manuscipt

You’ll submit your full manuscript (and completed questionnaire) two days prior to our start date.

I’ll read and analyze your novel during our agreed upon timeframe. I may email you with questions as I read.

i

Step 6: Receive Your Critique!

On our agreed upon deadline, I’ll email your critique to you along with an invoice for the balance due, which is payable upon receipt.

Rates

My rates for manuscript critiques generally range from $675 to $1575 based on manuscript length and the level of feedback required. Manuscripts longer than 120,000 words will range higher, accordingly.

Full developmental edits with detailed notes in your manuscript are available on a limited basis for select clients at a higher rate.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are answers to frequently asked questions about my manuscript critiques and other developmental editing and coaching services. 

Am I a good candidate for a manuscript critique?

If you’re 90-100% finished with your manuscript and you’re ready to check for and address deeper story issues or issues you might have overlooked, yes! You may have already completed your first or second draft, or be deep in revisions and have received feedback you’re not sure how to address.

 

What if I want coaching AND a critique?

Why certainly! If you’re partway through a manuscript or even close to done, and you want a critique to help you identify issues and coaching to help you tackle them, I’m your huckleberry. Just let me know you’re looking for a combo pack and we’ll take it from there. 

 

Is a manuscript critique only for fiction?

I offer manuscript critiques for fiction novels, with a particular specialty in science fiction and fantasy. I also offer critiques for memoir and self-help. I’m happy to consider other manuscripts and to suggest other editors if I’m not the right fit. 

For screenwriters I offer script notes

 

Start the Manuscript Critique Process Here
(Feel Free to Ask Questions Too!)

Ready to get started by requesting a quote? Let me know about your book, including genre and word count, anything specific you’re looking for in terms of timing and feedback, any questions you have, and we’ll go from there! I’m looking forward to hearing from you.

Manuscript Critique Request

2 + 3 =

You May Also Be Interested In

Looking for something else? 

Script Notes

Story Coaching

Author Website Reviews