Manuscript Reviews

Once-upon-then-happily

Find the story you want to tell

You think it’s good but have concerns.

My aim is not to make your work mine. It is to help you find the story you want to tell.

Great writing — the well-crafted, edited and packaged piece — makes all the work of writing seem effortless. Like the prima ballerina on the stage, or the figure skating champions on ice, the finished piece makes perfection seem so easy, so natural. It’s only when the dancer or skater make a mistake that everyone sees the breach in craft, the shattering of the illusion.

As writers, when someone points out our weak points, it’s like wearing a bad outfit to a party. Suddenly we see ourselves in the mirror, realize what we’ve done and go running for the door, mortified.

As a plot tamer (substantive editor), I see my job as finding ways to help writers recognize the technical aspects of what they’re attempting and give them a process to make decisions about what they want to do. I tell them what I’m seeing, outline the different directions it could go, arguments for why it should go in a number of directions, and a process to get them there.

That is part of how I lessen the pain of mortification. To give the writer a way forward.

The ideal in a manuscript review or workshop is to offer a safe place to take risks. A place to throw mud on the wall and see how nifty it is when it actually sticks.

That’s what I try to do.

We start with what is on the page, whether it is a novel, a play, a screenplay, memoir or creative non-fiction of some other kind.

Then we focus on process: How to get from where you are to where you could be.

In my written assessment and through our conversations, you’ll learn where your script needs work and where it takes off.

The First 50 Pages

In the first 50 pages a story is put in motion, the stage is set and the characters step into view. An assessment of just those first pages can uncover the challenges in your manuscript and the solutions to get you past them.

Request a review

Send an email to writersassembly@gmail.com containing:

  • The name of the manuscript
  • Total word count of the entire work (so far)
  • A 2-3 sentence description
  • How much of the ms you want reviewed

We will verify that we have the resources available to review your work in a timely manner. We will also make arrangements for payment.

Submission Format

  • Submissions must be submitted in electronic document format (.doc, rtf, pdf).
  • Use double-spacing, twelve-point size, easy-to-read font (Palatino, Arial, Helvetica, preferred).
  • Include up to 5 questions for the reviewer in the delivery email.

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