My Service

What is a developmental critique? 

 

In short, a developmental critique focuses on the structure and content of your manuscript rather than the grammar and spelling.  When reading a manuscript, I will consider questions like: Does your plot hold water?  Are your characters memorable?  Are your scenes easy to follow and your settings vivid?

 

In addition, I don't just point out weak areas - I help the author find ways to resolve them.  I work with authors to ensure that the content of their story is sound.

 

What makes me different from other critiquers or a beta reader?  The key difference is I don't just stop at reading your work.  Once I have given my feedback, I am willing to work with you to make those improvements.  I am happy for you to run ideas by me to see if I think they will resolve the issue, read a blurb or look at a book cover design to see if I feel it captures your story.

 

I will work with short stories, novelettes, novellas and novels.  I am also happy to read books that are part of a series.  The only things I don't deal with are non-fiction, erotica and poetry.

 

 

What does my feedback include?

What don't I cover?

How is feedback given?

Can you provide sample critiques?

 

 

 

 

 

What does my feedback include?

 

 

 

  1. Was there a strong hook in the opening?

  2. Could I identify with the protagonist?

  3. Did all the characters have depth and personality?

  4. Did the characters behave consistently, and according to the situation and their personality?

  5. Did I care about the fates of the characters and if not why not?

  6. Could I understand the antagonist’s motivations?

  7. Did all romantic pairings feel natural and believable?

  8. Could I follow the plot?

  9. Were the scenes easy to follow and visualise?

  10. Were there any plot holes/flaws?

  11. Was the dialogue realistic?

  12. Was the point of view consistent or if the story switched between POV’s, was it easy to follow each transition?

  13. Was the transition from scene to scene smooth and easy to follow?

  14. Was the narration consistent?

  15. Was there a place in the story where my interest began to wane and if so why?

  16. What were the strengths of the story?

  17. What were the weaknesses of the story?

  18. Who was my favourite character and why?

  19. Who was my least favourite character and why?

  20. What was my favourite scene and why?

  21. What was my least favourite scene and why?

  22. Was the exposition balanced?

  23. Did the author make the best use of the setting(s)?

  24. Did the story keep consistent pace?

  25. Did I notice any repetition/grammar/sentences that derailed me from reading?

  26. Were there any words/phrases I didn’t understand or that didn’t fit/were used incorrectly?

  27. Did the author use language to its fullest potential?

  28. Did the story feel complete?

  29. If there was a plot twist, did I see it coming?  Did it improve the story, make me think about something more deeply or change my opinion of a character or event?  Did it seem viable?

  30. Would I read the sequel/prequel (if applicable)?

 

Please note that some of these elements may not apply to your manuscript.  Every story is different.  If I do not comment on something, it means that in my opinion, it was not applicable.  For example, if there was no plot twist or romantic pairing, I won't comment on it.  If you feel otherwise, please feel free to query it in one of your edit passes.

 

If there is an area of your manuscript that you would like me to look at that is not mentioned on the list, let me know!

 

Similarly, if there is an area of your manuscript that you’re not sure about that you’d like me to pay special attention to, let me know.  A common example of this is the ending.  If you wrote alternate endings and aren’t sure which works best, send me them with your manuscript and I’ll tell you which I think ties it up best*.  I want you to get the most out of my service and your story!

 

*All text, even alternate endings, will be counted and the appropriate price tier will be charged.  All additional items will be negotiated and agreed upon.  If a request falls under what I don't do, they won’t be done.

 

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What I don't do:

 

  • I will not line edit.

  • I will not fact check.*

  • I will not make any amendments to your work.  All final changes are up to you.

  • I will not offer empty flattery.  I give honest but constructive feedback.  Some feedback may be negative but it will always be constructive.  If you are not ready to hear something negative about your work, my service is not for you.

  • I will not format your work in any way.

 

*Although I do not fact check, if I spot something that I know is not accurate, I will point it out.  Further research of this area is the responsibility of the author.

 

 

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How feedback is given

 

When I have finished, you will receive two documents back via email:

 

  1. An annotated version of your manuscript.  It will contain feedback I have made as I have read through your work.

  2. A report which ties all this feedback together.  This is where you will find any suggestions I may have regarding any problem areas.

 

As a writer myself, I understand that you've spent a long time developing this story; you've poured everything you’ve got into it – heart, soul ... various bodily fluids (metaphorically speaking ... I hope).  My aim is to help you make your work the best it can be.

 

Please bear in mind, though, that I will be reading your story subjectively.  The feedback you receive is my opinion and may not be shared by you, other professionals or other readers.  Ultimately, all final decisions remain in your hands.  You are under no obligation to follow my suggestions.

 

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Can you provide samples of your work?

 

I want you to be 100% certain that my service is right for you.  That's why I'm always happy to provide samples of my work from previous clients.  If you'd like to request some samples, you can do so via my contact page.  I aim to respond within 10 working days.

 

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