In a manuscript critique, I look at many of the same elements as I would in a substantive edit and respond with a detailed editorial letter. That letter will:

• Point out strengths and weaknesses, and evaluate big-picture elements like structure, pacing, point of view, and overall prose style.

• Offer concrete suggestions for improving problem areas.

• Address questions or concerns you may have about specific parts of the project, if you have sent those to me along with the manuscript.

A critique does not include a hands-on edit of your project. But it’s a terrific choice if you’re looking for a fresh set of eyes and straightforward feedback on where the manuscript stands—especially if you’re preparing to embark on revisions.

A writer is someone for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.
— Thomas Mann