Manuscript Evaluation

Can’t see the forest for the trees?

Most authors are too close to their stories to view them with clarity. How can you see the forest canopy if you’re sitting in the shade of a tree?

That’s why manuscript evaluations are so helpful. An objective reader maintains distance so he or she can see the forest as a whole, all at once. From this vantage point, it’s easy to spot the excesses and gaping holes in your plot that you’re blind to.

We’ll hold up a mirror for you.

Our manuscript evaluations give you comprehensive feedback on every aspect of your story. This is a “big picture” analysis of the manuscript’s core elements such as plot, conflict, narrative arc, character development, and consistency.

We offer evaluations of both fiction and nonfiction manuscripts in all genres.

“Ms. Mhyana edited my fiction manuscript. Her work was thorough and she gave very insightful comments, from punctuation and grammar to the overall structure of the book, which greatly helped to improve and refine my writing.”

–M.E. Walsh, Artistic Director, St. Mark’s Cultural Association

In a two to three page report, we give you a detailed analysis of your story’s strengths and weaknesses. Our evaluations address countless factors, but the following is a list of the most common elements we critique in fiction manuscripts:

  • Is the plot driven by perpetual conflict? Does anything happen?
  • Is there a clear beginning, middle, and end, or does the story meander?
  • Are there scenes, and if so, does each contribute to the overall story?
  • Does each scene contain its own conflict?
  • Are there major gaffes in the storytelling? Inconsistencies?
  • Are there scenes that don’t pull their weight?
  • Is the middle sagging? Does the ending lack closure or panache?
  • Are there holes in the plot that need to be filled?
  • Are your characters two-dimensional or predictable?
  • Is your characters’ growth steady and believable?
  • Does your dialogue sound natural?
  • Is there too much info-dumping or exposition?
  • Too much telling instead of showing?
  • Are your metaphors clichéd?
  • Does your timeline make sense (flashbacks, foreshadowing, etc.)?

We address these issues and much more in our evaluations, allowing you to go back into your story and make changes as you see fit before sending it out into the world.

We’re tough as nails, but we strive to be kind.

We’re authors too; we know how brutal this industry can be. Though the writing market demands a thick skin, we think it’s just as important to point out what works as what doesn’t.

Our assessments involve constructive criticism and praise.

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Please note that this is not our editing or proofreading service. A manuscript evaluation is just that – an evaluation. Just as you would take your car to a mechanic for an evaluation before you sell it (and not expect the mechanic to make repairs), we take a look at your book and give you an honest appraisal before you send it out for publication, or self-publish it.

If you’d like more detailed feedback, we suggest you take a look at our editing services.

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