“You write to communicate to the hearts and minds of others what’s burning inside you, and we edit to let the fire show through the smoke.”
“When my publisher asked for a thorough restructuring of my book, I contacted Katey because I couldn’t see how pieces of the story might fit together in a new way. Katey read the manuscript and offered specific, insightful suggestions. She revealed connections I hadn’t seen and her comments guided me to a fresh configuration. Her promptness, professionalism and warm support were superb; truly, Katey was delightful to work with. I would recommend her to others looking for an assured push forward with their writing project.”
Elizabeth Heaney, author of The Honor Was Mine, Grand Harbor Press, September 2016
Congrats! You have a full or partial manuscript that is ready for creative and developmental feedback. Whether you’re a published author, aspiring for a first collection of short stories, self-publishing a memoir, or completing a first or second novel, finding a professional, critical, creative reader to help you think outside the box is crucial to creating a complete manuscript you feel proud of.
Offering a full or partial manuscript review is one of my favorite services because it allows me to really immerse in the world and creative work of another writer. With a fresh set of eyes, I will be able to answer your big-picture questions and likely catch smaller-picture mannerisms in your style or word choice you hadn’t noticed before.
HOW IT WORKS
This is a very individualized process and will vary from writer to writer, manuscript to manuscript. The things that remain the same no matter what your project is, are the following:
- Contact me to set up a 20-30 minute pro bono conversation to discuss your intentions for your project and to determine if we’re a good fit. If we decide together that we’re ready to proceed, you’ll make your reservation (I am booked out several months in advance) and send me your word count. I will then provide you with a customized estimate for the review and a contract.
- Pay the $100 flat fee to hold your spot, then 50% of estimate on the first day our work begins together. These details are outlined in your contract, which is sent via email. On the first day our work begins, you’ll also email your properly formatted manuscript to me.
- Receive feedback within a previously agreed upon time (rush orders are a possibility; please inquire). Average time for feedback ranges from 2-4 weeks, depending on length and depth of critique.
- Pay the remaining 50% of your bill and receive your manuscript review.
Some Common Craft Concerns Writers Often Have:
1. Movement through time. It’s not unusual to need help with the structural components of prose, including the balance of exposition, summary, scene, reflection, flashback, and backstory. Early drafts often consist of a repetitious pattern of half scenes and flashbacks, while other components may be missing entirely.
2. Metaphor. Many writers simply don’t know how to generate it. I’ll help you find compelling imagery, identify verbs that reveal worldview, and revise key narrative moments so they move beyond the anecdotal, carrying readers through your story with metaphors that speak to the human predicament.
3. Pernicious sentence-level issues. I see a lot of good stories with a strong structure and powerful metaphors that unfortunately have issues at the sentence level in every paragraph. I will guide you toward precision in your writing.
4. Does the story “gel”? My skills in developmental editing, identifying themes, and compressing time and events to yield greater tension will guide you toward a solid, page-turning manuscript that eases your concerns and leaves readers wanting more.
Questions & Answers:
Once I send you my manuscript, how long will I have to wait for my review?
Depending on the length of the manuscript, I will have your review to you within 2-4 weeks.
What is included in the review?
In addition to getting back your manuscript with comments and suggestions in the margins, you will receive two documents from me. The first document will discuss each chapter and summarize what’s working and what isn’t, along with mini-lessons on how to fix the problems. The second document, a critique letter, will provide you with my assessment of how to move forward with the work, with a focus on the larger thematic issues and story arc.
I don’t know if I can afford a full manuscript review. Will you do a partial manuscript review?
What if I have questions after receiving the review?
A 30-minute follow-up consult, to answer all your questions, is included in your contract. (Must be scheduled within a month of receiving your review.)
“I read my manuscript critique and felt uplifted! Thanks for ‘hearing me,’ both in the writing and the intentions behind it…I’ve received so much from working with you. It reminds me of my training in yoga, being seen clearly in both strengths and weaknesses. Most places in the world emphasize one side and minimize the other. So powerful that you speak clearly to both. A treasure, to me.” (Ruth)