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Manuscript Critique

What matters the most

What matters the most to each of us defines us.

To hardcore writers, what matters the most are their manuscripts which, to them, are their defining achievements. Those who are truly serious edit and re-edit until they feel every word is the right word, every thought in its rightful slot.

Beware of the early morning editor

The trouble is that writers get so exposed to their works that one or more faulty thought patterns or choice of words frequently gain their acceptance simply from force of repetition. You read over a paragraph the second time, and it feels good, despite inherent weaknesses, and every time you read that same paragraph again, you merely reinforce your feeling that “it feels okay”.

Some writers take to the proverbial “blunt” ax the next morning when they edit their work of the night before. The “morning after” always brings fresh perspectives—even detecting the weak phrases that appeared acceptable the night before.

The trouble with the early morning editor however is that the writer frequently wields the ax indiscriminately, leaving him or her empty-handed and dejected.

Serious critiques for serious writers

Unlike the axman who may chop away at entire sections, my critiques are usually accompanied with suggestions for resolving issues. I try to understand what the author is trying to achieve—itself a maddening exercise at times—and attempt to direct the author in another pathway. I am only too familiar with the aches and tribulations that serious authors experience, and I reciprocate with respectful yet assertive criticism.

A manuscript is like a rough diamond: the more you rub it, the better the shine, until it is  spectacular and ready for all to see. Any author who wants to go the extra mile and comes to me for a critique gets my full attention. I provide advice that enables the author to cut and clean that diamond until it acquires the desired  luster.

The marketplace is no joke

Let’s face it, the market for our wares is more congested today than it has ever been. It is flooded with new print and digital books, most of them self-published. And although some are worthy and of good quality, the vast majority simply don’t make the grade and are flops from day one. Why anyone ever bothered to put such trash out is a wonder and an embarrassment to serious writers.

Take this fact and lock it up in your safe at the bank: publishing your book before it is truly ready is a sure way to kill your writing career forever. Chances are, you will never have the guts to write another book again. Naturally, there are exceptions to that, and we salute the authors who persevere.

My advice, self-serving as it may sound, is to get professional feedback before publishing your work.

My pledge to authors who seek me out

I’ll read your entire manuscript and will give you detailed, practical advice on how to turn it into a better read. I’ll provide you with:

  1. A strategic overview of your book’s strengths and opportunities. This would be an honest, pragmatic document of approximately 2 pages.
  2. In a separate document of approximately 2 pages, an overall recommendation on how the book can be improved.
  3. Advice regarding weak patterns in your writing that I detect that can easily be improved.
  4. A detailed, page-by-page reference list highlighting the book’s strongest points and specific weak moments. This list can run up many pages, depending on your novel’s length.

I’ll show you how to improve the plot structure, viewpoint, I’ll pinpoint the opportunities in your dialogue and characterization. I’ll list everything that catches my eye.

Why work with me

  • I’m a writer and an avid reader. I write every day, and my books are available on Amazon.
  • I’m an Executive Coach, certified by Lee Hecht Harrison after a rigorous 1-year program. For the last 17 years, I’ve been coaching both business executives facing business and personal challenges, as well as individuals seeking to solve specific problems. I have expertise in how to structure feedback for maximum impact and best results.
  • I drive results. If you’re a highly motivated author, if you’re ready to listen to honest feedback, we’ll find common ground. Just like you, I know how much hard work it takes to reach one’s dreams.
  • I’m passionate. I get involved with my projects, and I work long hours to give my clients my best shot every time. That’s why I never charge by hour—because I don’t want to watch the clock! I love writing, I hate sloppy work, and my desire to help is genuine.
  • This market is big enough for you and me. I am not your competitor. We’re both writers, and readers will buy your books as well as mine.

What I review

I review novels of any genre and length. I don’t review short stories, graphic novels, comic books, blog entries, etc.

What I don’t do

  • I won’t edit your book for you, although I will highlight some grammatical issues if I see any.
  • I won’t ghostwrite, add content, or do any research.
  • Even if I have nothing but glowing praise for your manuscript, I won’t guarantee you publisher acceptance or best-seller status. No one can.

Costs and Timelines

My fee is reasonable: $9 per 1,000 words. As an example, a manuscript of 33,000 words would cost $297. My response rate is usually 2-3 weeks, depending on the length of your work.

Not ready for the professional critique? Request only the Strategic Overview:

–       $50 for manuscripts below 40,000 words

–       $100 for manuscripts of 40,000 – 80,000 words

–       Custom quote for larger works.

Then, if you’re happy, we can group that in with the full project.

I’m pretty booked out, so please book early, even if you’re still finishing a work.

Please contact me to book the time in my schedule, and we’ll begin ASAP!

What matter the most to my clients matters the most to me. Let’s get going.