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Once I started writing fiction, I quickly discovered the importance of objective analysis. Was my plot believable? Were my characters realistic? Did I hook the reader? Was the dialogue interesting?

After studying the craft, polishing my own novels, serving as a judge for the ACFW Genesis contest, and even teaching young writers about plot during The Great Write at Glen Eyre castle, I discovered that I LOVE helping others unlock their stories. In fact, brainstorming those possibilities earned me the nickname “The Plot Whisperer” and eventually led to a Senior Romance Editor position at Anaiah Press where I also acquire and edit Christian romance novels.

I would love to pass along what I’ve learned and help you create a stronger story.

Novel Critique and Editing Services Offered:

1) Initial Review: FREE (yet a required first step)

Available for book length fiction works only, this is an opportunity for you to see what I offer and for me to see how I can help. Send the first 5 pages as a Word .doc, .docx, or .RTF attachment via email to Candee [at] Candee Fick [dot] com with the words “Initial Review” in the subject line. In the body of the email, please include the estimated word count of the book, genre, how long you’ve been writing, and what your goals are. If you haven’t heard back from me within a week, please re-send since we can assume cyberspace found your writing tasty.

I will evaluate your pages in the same way I would do a detailed content critique (described below) using the Track Changes feature in Word. When I complete and return this initial review, I will also include details on the next steps to take if you are interested in further analysis of the remainder of the book. However, you are under no obligation to do anything more.

2) Story and Craft Analysis: $1.00 per page, 1/2 prepaid via PayPal, balance due upon delivery

Ideal for authors who have just finished a manuscript and/or need fresh eyes on their story to evaluate the big picture.

Includes a full read-through of the entire manuscript from beginning to end with a lengthy editorial letter evaluating the story structure elements including the plot arc, characterization (for each main character), dialogue, setting, goals, motivation, conflict, pacing, hooks, and marketability. I will also examine your writing craft strengths and weaknesses including voice, point of view, showing vs. telling, pacing, passive voice, and the use of weak verbs. For any identified weaknesses, I will offer suggestions for improvement and recommend resources.

While I may highlight portions of the manuscript as examples, my main analysis will be contained in a separate written document. The price includes up to 2 follow-up emails to clarify and discuss my analysis.

3) Detailed Content Editing: $.01 per word, 1/2 prepaid via PayPal, balance due upon delivery

Ideal for authors who need more specific guidance to smooth and polish their stories. (i.e. Don’t just tell me what’s wrong, show me how to fix it.)

Includes a full-read through of the entire manuscript from beginning to end and a lengthy editorial letter analyzing the story and craft. Also includes a line-by-line evaluation using Track Changes within the manuscript itself to improve craft and catch problems with the story development. I will look for elements such as plot and character consistency, flow, pacing, point of view, show vs. tell, logic, dialogue, conflict, tension, hooks, scene necessity, genre elements, tags/beats, adverbs, backstory, sensory descriptions, setting, clichés, and this reader’s gut reaction to scenes to gauge scene effectiveness and overall emotional impact.

While I will point out obvious typos, grammatical, and punctuation errors, that is not my focus. This critique includes unlimited follow-up email questions and clarifications. It does not include a second read-through after you complete the suggested revisions.

4) Coaching Calls – $25/hour, prepaid via PayPal

Ideal for authors who have already had their manuscript evaluated with one of the above services and just need to talk it through or brainstorm solutions outside of the included email exchanges.

Other Information:

I promise to honor your work and respect your voice. It takes a lot of courage to let someone else comment on your writing and I applaud your bravery! I will be honest in my evaluation, but I promise to be kind. I will offer suggestions for improvement but leave the actual changes up to you since it is your story.

I do NOT offer comprehensive grammatical copy editing services. (That’s why I have my own editor for my novels!)

For the purpose of pricing, all manuscripts must be formatted in 12 pt Times New Roman font, double spaced, one inch margins, page breaks for new chapters, no headers/footers, and no orphan/widow control.

After the initial review is complete, I will send a follow-up email describing the next steps and options. If you wish to continue working with me, we reach an agreement (including deadlines), you forward the manuscript so I can confirm the length, and then I send a PayPal invoice for the deposit. After payment is received, I get to work.

Payments are accepted via PayPal only. A deposit of 1/2  of the total cost is due upon acceptance of terms. This deposit in non-refundable. No exceptions. The remaining 1/2 of the cost is due within two (2) days of the manuscript being returned to the author. 

I am a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and a graduate of Christian Writers Guild courses. I’m also a past member of Novel.Academy and personally rely heavily on Susan May Warren’s Story Equation and her other plotting books to craft the spine of my stories.