Creative Writing Critiques
To revise is to converse. Revising a work means conversing with the work. No longer is the relationship between writer and word a one-way passage: from heart to hand to keyboard or pen. On the contrary, this movement has become a two-way journey. The word, which now has an identity of its own and dwells in a different country, returns to the writer, to where the process started, only to find that this initial place is no longer the same. A mutual transformation occurs in both the work and the writer. When we revise, we embark on a back-and-forth, back-and-forth adventure.
Writing and editing are equally creative processes. And they will remain so for as long as we—writers, editors—remain engaged in some form of relationship, not only with our words but also with our natural and built environments, with other human beings, with our past and our story, with our own discovered sense of purpose: with… always with.
Every personal experience is a spoke in a wheel of experiences. One departure becomes a sibling of other partings; one apple turns into the promise of a fall harvest or the frustration of an empty cart. No element in our writing is to be seen alone; it cannot be plucked or tasted alone. So, too, we do not revise or edit alone.
Editing is not possible without thinking, sensing, or imagining beyond ourselves. When editing a manuscript, I often look for the way the work opens up, the way it might relate to characters outside the book. When editing, one must always ask oneself if the work has a life beyond its narrative thread, and—if not—how it can be given that life.
When we read a book, we want its author to be a credible witness, a trustworthy narrator, a conscious human being with more than one individual narrative in heart and mind. Good writing feeds our hunger for life, for greater life, and it never satiates. Paradoxically, if the work is good, this hunger is both met and then invariably enlarged.
Creative Writing Critiques is a professional editing service, active since 1995, for writers of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry.
This service offers the following: stylistic suggestions to address any linguistic weakness in a particular work; overall considerations regarding flow, cohesion, climax, denouement, etc.; specific comments on word use, taking into account the range of tropes available to each genre; comments on characterization (where applicable); suggestions regarding book organization, chapters, sections, etc.; line-by-line corrections of punctuation, spelling, phrasing, etc.; comments on specific concerns the writer may have regarding the work.
When I have edited the work, I provide the author with detailed editing notes on the manuscript itself and a critique letter which summarizes salient points—points to celebrate, ponder, or improve on—and gives an overall assessment of the work, with follow-up correspondence and/or conversations, as needed.
For further information, including editing fees, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.