Memoir Editing, Fiction Editing: Critiques


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Tell me about your manuscript: topic, themes, word count, publication goals, the kind of feedback you'd like to see. Let me know if you're seeking memoir editing or fiction editing. I'd love to hear all about it! 

References available upon request.



What is a critique?

If you're looking for feedback on the content of your writing, you'll need a critique. This is an option for memoir editing as well as fiction editing. I'll give you an objective evaluation as well as a blueprint for revision.

When I critique a manuscript, whether short or book-length, memoir or fiction, I provide an honest, thorough, straightforward assessment of the work. I examine all of the elements of storytelling: prose; sentence and paragraph construction; characterization, pacing, dialogue, sensory details, and other aspects of scene writing; chapter structure, overall narrative arc, and emotional/psychological impact. 

How much will it cost?

My rate is the same for all levels of critique: $50 per hour, with a 2-hour minimum.

Below are several options, based on the time it takes to provide the detail you need. I offer a 10 percent discount for full prepayment of $300 or more.

NOTE: The following are general examples, not actual quotes. To determine the fee for your project, I'll consider your word count, your specific needs, and your budget.

Option: Manuscript review

I'll give your work a careful reading and present all feedback in a summary. I'll outline overall strengths and weaknesses and provide specific advice on revising the manuscript. If requested, I'll also offer an assessment of the manuscript's potential for publication.

On a manuscript review, I cover about 6,000 words per hour. Say you have an 80,000-word manuscript: 80,000 divided by 6,000 words per hour = 13 hours. 13 x $50/hour = $650, or $585 if prepaid in full.

Option: Standard critique

This option covers all of the storytelling elements outlined above; you can also ask me to focus on particular issues. I type comments directly on the page, offering specific suggestions for improvement: a scene that might be expanded, an idea that needs clarification, a section of text that could be deleted or moved in order to improve flow.

I also point out the strengths of the piece: insightful, moving, or humorous lines and passages; engaging descriptions of people and places; fresh, original language that expresses the writer's unique voice. I make notations on approximately one-half of the manuscript's total pages (spread throughout).

On a standard critique, I cover about 4,000 words per hour. Returning to the 80,000-word example: 80,000 divided by 4,000 words per hour = 20 hours. 20 hours x $50/hour = $1000, or $900 if prepaid in full.

Option: Detailed critique

This option offers all that the standard critique provides, but in greater depth. I read your work twice: once to get a sense of the content and a second time to make comments. I make notations on approximately two-thirds of the manuscript's total pages (spread throughout).

On a detailed critique, I cover about 3,000 words per hour. Returning to the 80,000-word example: 80,000 divided by 3,000 words per hour = 26 hours. 26 hours x $50/hour = $1300, or $1170 if prepaid in full.

As part of the standard or detailed critique, many writers find it helpful to receive a critique summary containing my overall impressions and recommendations. A short story or an essay might warrant a 1- to 2-page summary, while a book-length work usually requires 4 to 6 pages. A summary adds another 1 to 3 hours to the total.

On a budget?

If you have a specific amount budgeted for your project, and it doesn't cover any of the options I've outlined, let me know what it is, and I'll let you know what I can provide for that amount.