Do I need a manuscript critique?
All authors can benefit from having their novel critiqued. Generally, the newer the author or the trickier the manuscript, the more guidance the author will need. However, it’s up to you whether you want to seek professional guidance on your work.
Where does a manuscript critique fit in the publishing process?
A manuscript critique is a type of developmental editing, which is often the first kind of professional editorial feedback an author will receive. It must come before any sentence-level editing. After all, you don’t want to waste time hunting down typos if there are changes to the story that need to be made first.
Who commissions a manuscript critique?
Most of the time, it’s the author who decides to hire an editorial professional to critique their manuscript once they’ve taken their novel as far as they can on their own and if they don’t want the expense or detail a full developmental edit provides. Sometimes an agent will commission (or ask the author to commission) a critique if they see potential in the work.
What’s the difference between a developmental edit and a manuscript critique?
Depth and amount of guidance. A full developmental edit provides you with a longer, more detailed editorial report as well as a structural overview analysis of your novel, and a second round of revision-checking and line-level editing. A manuscript critique provides you with a slightly broader analysis of your novel in the form of an editorial report; you’re then left to revise the novel on your own. Usually you will only need one of these services. Choose based on your own preference or budget!