Manuscript critique

Now you’ve completed your novel, before you embark on a copy-edit you want to be sure that the big-picture elements of your story work successfully. I’ll write you an unbiased and honest editorial report which will offer constructive feedback on your book’s strengths and weaknesses, and provide some suggestions for development and improvement. I’ll also address any specific concerns you may have.

In your report, I’ll consider issues such as:

  • themes, audience and structure
  • the opening chapter
  • plot and sub-plots
  • characterization
  • point of view
  • tension, pacing and narrative shape
  • showing and telling
  • scene construction and setting
  • dialogue and tagging
  • climax and resolution
  • credibility and plausibility
  • language and style
Line and copy-editing

You’ve spent a lot of time in the company of your writing and know it inside out. But will your readers understand what you mean or might they be confused? I’ll highlight any plot or narrative issues and clarify any ambiguous phrases. I’ll also make sure that the enjoyment of your readers isn’t disturbed by inaccurate facts, awkward grammar or inconsistencies.

I offer a combination of line and copy-editing, which takes place before proofreading and involves an in-depth treatment of the text at word and sentence level. If your budget only allows for one editing process, my advice would be to make it this one. As well as checking for grammar, spelling and punctuation, I’ll be focusing on areas such as:

  • improving style and flow
  • avoiding repetition, ambiguity and awkward syntax
  • character and plot inconsistencies
  • point of view and narrative voice issues
  • consistency of tense and detail
  • coherency, continuity, loose ends and timing issues
  • appropriate choice of language for your audience
  • avoiding lazy metaphors and clichés
  • checking for accuracy and correcting basic factual errors
  • adherence to a style guide, e.g. Chicago Manual of Style or New Oxford Style Manual
  • creating a personalized style sheet
Proofreading

Proofreading is the final polish, enabling you to publish with confidence knowing that your readers aren’t going to be distracted by irritating typos and spelling mistakes. If your work has already been professionally edited and revised, this is the last thorough review where I’ll look for any errors which have slipped through or been more recently introduced. This includes the following checks:

  • spelling, grammar and punctuation
  • clarity of meaning
  • consistency of style
  • typography
  • formatting

‘Nicky presented her corrections in a caring and gentle manner. This attribute I found essential as it fostered an excellent relationship between writer and editor.

I still marvel at the level of detail unearthed by the scrutiny Nicky applied consistently over the whole novel.  No errant comma was missed and no section of text was left leaving the reader puzzled by the meaning.’

William V Kelly, self-publishing author

How it works

A manuscript critique usually consists of 8–15 pages which I’ll send to you as a PDF.

I edit and proofread on-screen using Word Track Changes. You’ll receive your work clearly marked up with my suggestions, corrections and queries, which you are free to accept or reject. This way, you can see exactly what I have done. It can be distracting to read, though, so I’ll also send you a copy with all of the corrections accepted (so no longer visible) but still showing my comments, and a clean version which only shows your writing, making it even easier for you see how it reads.

Free sample edit

To help you decide, I offer a 1,000 word sample edit for free. That way, you can see how I work and get a feel for whether I’m the right match for you. It’s also a good way to establish the foundations of our working relationship and ensure that your expectations are being met.

Prices and payment

Prices aren’t listed here because it depends on the size, complexity and level of editing required. I charge either per 1000 words, an hourly rate, or a fixed fee; whichever is more suitable. I offer flexible solutions based on your individual requirements, priorities and budget. If you’re on a limited budget and confident your work is almost ready for publication, I’ll proofread for a fixed reading fee per 1000 words plus a per error charge.

I am registered in Spain as autónomo and, in accordance with Spanish law, my fees are invoiced in euros + iva (21%).  I accept payment by bank transfer to my Spanish bank account. Please ask for a copy of my terms and conditions.

Disclaimer

Please bear in mind that no editor or proofreader is perfect! While I will do my job to the best of my ability, I cannot guarantee that the end result will be 100% error free. And while I wish you every success, I make no promises that your book will become a bestseller as a result of my services.

Interested? Then don’t hesitate any longer! Click here to contact me for a no-obligation quote.