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professional editing and critiques of novels and stories
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Novels

Writing for children

 

Submit your work

Please email us to submit manuscripts for critique or editing, telling us:
1) Whether your work is a novel, novella, novel extract or short story
2) The precise word count
3) If you’d like critiques; how many
4) Or if you’d like editing; what kind
5) What kind of work it is; e.g. crime, romance, sci-fi, adventure, contemporary, memoir
6) If it’s for children, what age group it’s aimed at

Payment

We’ll request payment usually within 24 hours of receiving your submission.
Our preferred payment option is by bank transfer, or you can pay via PayPal using your credit card or PayPal account (small admin fee applies over £150). If you’d rather post a UK cheque, that’s fine. Payment by instalment for larger amounts can be arranged.

Discount

5% discount on critiques
and 5% discount on editing
for all customers returning
within 6 months

Timescale

Critiques and edits of work under 15,000 words are usually returned within 3 weeks. Critiques and edits of longer work usually take 4-6 weeks. We’ll advise you.

Or by post

If you’d rather submit your work by post, please contact us.

‘Fiction Feedback gave me invaluable and insightful structural analysis of my MS, and then copy-edited it to within an inch of its life! Wonderful, painstaking service, which I shall certainly use again.’
Simon Michael, traditionally published author of Corrupted and the Charles Holbrooke series.

Which service to choose

Critiques – a good place to start, or leap into structural editing if you’re confident the novel’s ready
Critiques are like a structural editing report in summary: they highlight main strengths and weaknesses and suggest ways to make improvements.

If you’ve never had professional input on your writing before, we recommend you start with a critique. For more experienced writers, they’re also useful for getting an overview on a novel’s strengths before spending more time on it or submitting to agents.

Many writers choose to have two critiques or more at the same time – each Fiction Feedback critique is independently written by one of our reviewers. This is our standard service and the value for money it confers is outstanding. Getting two or three professional opinions of your work is invaluable. Or, you can choose to pay for two critiques and use these sequentially; the second for your revised draft after the first critique, all from the same reviewer.

Developmental (structural) editing
This is likely to be the next step after a critique, if you didn’t choose this instead. It’s a detailed look at the novel and usually consists of both a long report and comments to the manuscript (MS) itself.

It examines how the novel works. Does the plot hang together? Are characters credible, well-defined and interesting? Do they develop over the course of the novel? Is there sufficient conflict? A strong narrative arc? Is the style working well with the story? Do events occur in the right order or could changes improve the pace or the drama? Is the weighting given to different parts of the novel the best possible? Are some sections told that should be shown, and are there areas of obvious exposition that need a more subtle treatment?

Developmental editing is just as important for narrative non-fiction such as memoirs. The aspects we examine are much the same as the above.

You might find you return for more editing with a revised draft (as of course is the way in traditional publishing); so try and budget for a second edit if you can.

Copy-editing
This is almost the final phase and should only be undertaken when you are sure that your novel is as good as it can be. You’re unlikely to benefit from a copy-edit as the first professional input on your novel, story or memoir.

This is the stage where we look at the nuts and bolts of the writing, such as grammar, word choice and punctuation, and much more. We suggest where different words can be used to better effect, where a phrase, sentence, or paragraph is clumsy, out of place, ambiguous, anachronistic or repetitive, and where smaller questions of plot, fact, sequence, timeline or logic need to be addressed. It ensures consistency in how elements such as times, numbers and dates are formatted. It flags up and suggests changes where tense or viewpoint is used inconsistently.

If you go back and make significant changes to your novel after a copy-edit, all this work will be wasted and it’s why we remind you that it shouldn’t be contemplated unless you’re confident your novel is ready.

Poor grammar, spelling and punctuation and blips in plot and logic are a major turn-off for agents and publishers (and readers too.) Many inexperienced, aspiring authors think that if their story is strong enough these things won’t matter as they’ll be ironed out later. Sadly, to gain acceptance by an agent or publisher in the first place has become extremely difficult, and most spend only a few minutes reading a manuscript before rejecting it. The quality of the prose is the main thing they can appreciate in that time. That’s why it’s best to impress with professionally copy-edited work and give your novel the best chance you can. If you’re self-publishing, readers expect certain standards from the prose. If you fall significantly short, they are unlikely to buy from you again or recommend you. They might leave a negative review. A good copy-edit is as essential as a professional cover.

Your copy-edited manuscript will be returned in Microsoft Word with all amendments shown and with the editor’s comments visible. This gives you the chance to go through the manuscript and consider the editing comments. It also means you can see what changes have been made, and the individual style sheet we also send listing the decisions made regarding your manuscript enables you to apply what you learn to future writing.

Proofreading: the final stage before publication
Proofreading is only undertaken where the novel has been copy-edited and is ready for publication: so we only provide this service if you’re self-publishing. Sometimes people say ‘proofing’ when really they mean copy-editing. At Fiction Feedback, we only take on proofreading for manuscripts where we’ve provided a professional copy-edit.