It is my firm belief that a good critique should be something to learn from – a tool to help you grow as a writer.

Something’s not quite right and you just can’t put your finger on it.

Truth: it’s almost impossible for us, as writers, to clearly see our own work. The stories playing so vibrantly in our heads are in our blind spot. We can’t see what’s not there because our own knowledge of the story blocks the view. There’s actually a term for that: it’s called the burden of knowledge.

I know! It sounds crazy, but there you go.

As writers, we all need fresh eyes on our work. Specifically, we need fresh eyes that know what they’re looking for on our work. How do I know? Because I’m a writer, too.

Like you, I’ve been writing long enough to know that while my best friend and my mom are both awesomely wonderful readers, generous with praise and fresh-baked oatmeal cookies, they don’t have the knowledge or skill to zero in on the specifics I need to make my pages shine.

As your editor, I provide thoughtful, professional input. You take it from there.

This is a comprehensive critique service.

As I read your work, I’ll be watching out for big picture problems, including pacing, info dumps, and the balance between showing & telling, etc. At the line-edit level, I pay attention to things such as dialogue, consistency in character and voice, awkward phrasing, and areas that can be tightened up.

Keep in mind that manuscripts are like children – no two are alike. This means my comments may lean heavier toward one end of the spectrum than then other. I’m going to meet you where you’re at.

I believe in tough love. Tough because you need to know where the problems are so you can fix them…and love because I’ll tell you with kindness. I also believe in pointing out the good things I see. Because positive feedback is like vitamin C…you can’t thrive without it!

A comprehensive edit includes:

  • A detailed intake questionnaire about your writing goals and the particular work I’ll be critiquing.
  • Authentic, specific, feedback on your pages, using the comments and track-changes features under the Review tab in Microsoft Word.
  • Feedback include suggestions for fixes, examples, and a lot of questions to get you thinking.
  • An robust overview/summary letter.
  • Links to articles and resources particular to the needs that show up in your writing as needed.
  • Suggestions and actionable steps for moving forward with revision.
  • A follow-up phone call to discuss my feedback (optional.)
  • This service is for you if you have a full manuscript or you’re part-way in and want to know how it’s hanging together so you can continue to write forward with confidence.
  • Note: If this is a first draft, the Step One: Blueprint for a Book coaching package may be better suited.

Cost: $0.03 per word. Note: 12,500 word minimum (approx 50 pages)

Nita was an absolute joy to work with. She was communicative, available, and willing to work around my schedule. Her feedback was thorough, insightful, clear, and delivered with just the right balance of kindness and brutal honesty. I can’t recommend her highly enough!

Natalie Dale, author

Nita’s insights into my manuscript helped me to discover the way to break into the next round of revisions. Her examples illustrated how subtle the difference between telling and showing can be, and her breakdown of the weaknesses in my manuscript into red, yellow, and green light issues will be my guide as I work to take my draft to the next level. Offered with kindness, humour, and tough love, Nita’s comments and editor’s letter have allowed me to see the possibilities of what my novel can become–published!

Melanie Marttila, author