“Can you give me feedback on my novel?”
I get this question a lot. And I love working with both aspiring and established authors who want to hone their craft! I’ve published more than twenty-five novels across multiple genres (fantasy, YA, sci-fi, suspense) and critiqued millions of words in my two-decade career as a book editor and features journalist. If you’re looking for a detailed, thoughtful analysis of major elements such as plot, pacing, characters, dialogue, and world-building, let’s talk! I offer various tiers of services depending on your needs and budget, and can usually offer a swift turnaround time to meet your publishing schedule.
As an author myself, I know what it’s like to be on the other end of the red pencil and it’s very important to me to honor each individual voice and style. I can look at your manuscript from the micro level of sentence flow, clarity, and word choice to the macro level of scene/chapter/act structure. Some of the questions I’ll ask include: Does the story start in the right place? Does the setting come to life? Does the plot have a strong narrative arc? Are the characters three-dimensional and compelling? Is the dialogue natural and interesting? Are there clear stakes that are raised throughout the book? What do your main characters have to lose or gain, and why do the events matter to them?
I’ve edited memoirs and nonfiction, fantasy, steampunk and sci-fi, literary fiction, and various other genres, so I’m open to a wide range of submissions. Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss scheduling or to inquire about a sample edit (usually the first two pages). Please include your full name, estimated word count, and the type of project you’re working on. I’m also happy to analyze partially completed manuscripts if you need advice about how to bring your novel across the finish line.
And if you’re not quite ready for a professional editor and prefer to explore writing resources on your own, here’s a short list of the books I’ve found to be indispensable.
- Method Acting for Writers by Lisa-Hall Wilson
- The Writer’s Craft series by Rayne Hall
- Bullies, Bastards & Bitches by Jessica Page Morrell
- The Anatomy of Story by John Truby
- The Fantasy Fiction Formula by Deborah Chester
- The Healthy Writer by Joanna Penn
- Between the Lines: Master the Subtle Elements of Fiction Writing by Jessica Page Morrell
- The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene
(Note: This is not a writing book per se, but fabulous for brewing up epic conflicts.)