Published Author, Professional Storyteller & Writer, and Educator
Published Author, Professional Storyteller & Writer, and Educator
Published Author, Professional Storyteller & Writer, and Educator

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Critique Service Available

I belong to a critique group, and without their insights, I probably never would have been published. The more I write and critique the work of others, the more I know what to look for.

Now I've established my own critique service, working via email (it's so easy these days!). As a result of my assistance, five books and several magazine articles have been published. It's rewarding to see changes take place in the editing and re-writing of manuscripts, and then seeing those manuscripts accepted!

If you're interested in having me look at your work, send no more than the first 5 pages to me via email - judy.wolfman1@gmail.com. I'll read them and send you my thoughts and basic suggestions at no charge. If you decide to accept my suggestions and do a rewrite that you want me to read and, do a line critique, we'll then talk about a future fee. I charge by the page read (anywhere from $2.00 - $3.50 per page), and NOT by the hours worked. After I've read your work, I'll send you a detailed report with suggestions for improvement, and will also note all the good things.

You can, of course, critique yourself, for which here are some pointers:

  • The Plot (the roadmap of where the story is going) - does it move the story forward? Could it be speeded up? Can the tension be tighter? Does it move too quickly?
  • Scenes - (the who, what, when, where, why, and how) - Are there too many minor characters? Is the dialogue and narrative balanced (dialogue should be about 60%)? Is the narrative too long? Is dialogue in character? Does the POV work for the "scene"? Does the scene move the story forward? Do the scenes link to one another? How?
  • Characters - (the cast) - Do they stay in character? Are they full or stereotypical? Are they believable/real?
  • Using the Senses - (the heart of the - Is the reader using all 5 senses in the story? Is there good imagery?
  • Dialogue - (moves the story forward; reveals the characters) - Is the dialogue adequate for the scene? Does it move the story forward? Does it stand on its own without tags? Are there too many adverbs (ly endings) used after tags?
  • Narrative (slows the story, involves 5 senses, delves deeply) - Is there extraneous, boring material there? Can it be tightened? Are images, similes or parallels used? Is there too much detail - does it bog the story down? Is the viewpoint clear or confusing?

Basically, if there is anything in the writing that pulls you out of the story, something needs to be done to correct that. You certainly don't want your reader to lose the thread of your story, or not understand what you're trying to get across.

Often, writers fall in love with their work and don't see some of the "red flags". That's where another pair of eyes comes in handy - they may see things the writer doesn't. Just because another person makes comments on your work, doesn't mean you must change it. If you feel strongly about what you've written, keep it! After all, you are the author!

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