Content, Critique, and Editing. What’s the difference?

Content Creation (Writing)

  • Need blog content? I can write up your product review or parenting hack (or any idea you’ve approved) and make sure it matches the voice and tone of your blog.
  • Need your technical procedures to make sense to non-technical people? To write up your company’s history? Update your employee handbook from 1992?
  • Want to commemorate and preserve your grandparent’s amazing life or wisdom they’ve passed on? I can take your family stories and put them into a biography or a memoir for future generations.
  • Have an idea for a book (fiction or non-fiction) but no time or notion how to write it? I can write from your notes or shepherd you through the drafting process.

Critique and Manuscript Evaluation

This is a great place to start if you’ve finished a novel (or are 50+ pages into one) and you need guidance on where to start revising it, what to focus on, or even if you should keep it as a “trunk novel” and start fresh.

Maybe you’re a seasoned writer with some rejected novels behind you; you have a feeling you’re close, and you want to take this book to the next level.

A manuscript evaluation is like a beta read, but from an objective, knowledgable professional. You’re serious and want constructive criticism, or you wouldn’t have contacted me. I’ll tell you why I like what I like, and why some things didn’t work. I’ll be honest, but my goal is to encourage you, not tear you down. (Which is an advantage of hiring a pro vs finding a stranger on a message board.)

A critique is for writers who want to seriously step up their game. Maybe this is your first stab at writing a novel and your revision is going to be a learning process. I will give you specific things you can work on, noting examples in the manuscript and steer you to more information.

Maybe you’re a seasoned writer with some rejected novels behind you; you have a feeling you’re close, and you want to take this book to the next level. I’ll just say it—you need me. This is my specialty. I see so many good books that could be great books with just a little push. I’ve seen many writers through this stretch from aspiring to agented or sold and from a loyal readership to best-selling books.

Big claim, right? I didn’t say I would do it for you. (That would be an edit.) A critique digs in and shows you want to work on. Is a lot of very specific constructive criticism. I annotated your text and write a detailed editorial letter. I focus where I see a weakness, or where you have asked for help, but I cover things like voice, characterization, pacing, plot holes, deep POV, scene beats, emotional reaction beats, grammar, and style. (Whew!) Can we sit down over coffee or on Skype and go over it so you can ask me questions? Sure thing.

If these sound similar, you’re right. Think of it like an evolving Pokémon. This is why I like to do a sample critique and consultation to make sure we’re on the same page (ha ha) regarding your goals and expectations.

How much does it cost?

No surprise here. The cost evolves, too. A manuscript evaluation is meant to be an affordable entry point. A critique is more of an investment. The cost depends on if you want a full or partial manuscript, and what level you want. (I do that on purpose, to work with your budget. My critiques are fantastic at any level.) For a full manuscript critique, you can think of what you’d pay to attend a big writing conference or a college class. At the high end, throw in travel expenses or make it a private school.

And if you want some Rocky-style training, a coaching critique is basically private lessons in writing. I can coach you through your whole manuscript with critique and encouragement (and some pushing) along the way. That’s an investment, but it’s spread over time.

Or if you want to be challenged in your craft on a non-specific project, I can give you a prompt (like homework), then critique what you return to me and we’ll discuss it.