Critiquing

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for short stories of up to 20,000 words.

What will I get with a critique?

I will send you two documents. One contains my general comments and advice on the areas listed below. The other is your work which will be marked up with comments using track changes.

I will mark any obvious spelling or grammar errors, but more importantly, I will give you feedback regarding the following:

  • -Hook: Does the opening paragraph grab the reader? Why or why not?
  • -Characters: Are they well-developed and believable?
  • -Dialogue: Is it natural? Does it serve the story?
  • -Plot and pacing
  • -Setting
  • -Resolution/ending

If there is a particular aspect of the story you’d like me to comment on, please let me know.

Great! So I won’t need proofreading after you’re done?

It’s still advisable to get your work proofread. You’re most likely going to be making changes to your story after I’ve given it back to you, so there’s always a chance that new errors will be introduced. As well, a different type of reading is required for proofreading. Whilst proofreading, I’ll be looking at your work as though it’s under a microscope and will be more likely to catch spelling and grammar errors. I don’t read this way when I’m critiquing, so I will not catch every mistake.

Are your comments going to make me cry?

I hope not! Where I see errors, or areas that could use improvement, I structure my comments positively, explaining what is needed, rather than saying something hasn’t been done well. For example, if there’s too much description, I might say, “For maximum reader interest, stick to one or two lines of description, and perhaps focus on something unusual.” I will also point out what you’ve done well in the work. Constructive criticism is essential, but so too is knowing what works well so you can keep doing it.

Are there any genres you won’t critique or proofread?

I don’t critique poetry or scripts. I prefer not to read stories that are particularly gory, or where the violence is there for shock value. If I find a piece too difficult to work with, I will ask to be relieved of our agreement and process a full refund of the fees you’ve paid.

What formats do you accept?

I accept work in Microsoft Word, PDF, and Apple Pages.

How long will it take?

I aim to have work 5000 words or fewer back within 7 days.

What are your rates?

I accept payment via PayPal or direct deposit. I charge a fee of £15 regardless of length, plus £5 per 1000 words over 500:

  • up to 500 words: £15
  • 501-1500 words: £20
  • 1501-2500 words: £25
  • 2501-3500 words: £30
  • 3501-4500 words: £35
  • 4501-5500 words: £40
  • 5501-6500 words: £45
  • 6501-7500 words: £50
  • 7501-8500 words: £55
  • 8501-10,000 words: £60
  • etc.

Why is critiquing more expensive than proofreading?

Critiquing requires considerably more time and effort.

How do we get started?

If you’d like to work with me:

  1. Please send me an email at michelle@perfectlywrite.co.uk with your name, the title and genre of your work, the maximum word count, and any relevant information such as specific areas in which you’d like feedback. It is preferable that you also include the work itself as an attachment (Word, PDF, or Pages) so that I can take an initial look to make sure I’m able to help you.
  2. After I receive your email and take a peek at your work, I will reply with a price quote and an estimate of how long it will take.
  3. If you’re happy with this, please let me know how you’d prefer to pay.
  4. I will then send you either a PayPal invoice or details on how to make a direct deposit into my bank account. If you haven’t already done so, please send your work at this point. Once payment has cleared, I will begin working on the project.

Please note: by agreeing to the quote and paying the first invoice, you are agreeing to the terms & conditions.