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, I discovered that I LOVE helping others unlock their stories. In fact, brainstorming those possibilities earned me the nickname “The Plot Whisperer” and I would love to pass along what I’ve learned and help you create a stronger story.
Novel Critique 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. However, you are under no obligation to do anything more.
2) Story and Craft Analysis: $75.00 prepaid via PayPal
Based upon a 1-2 page single-spaced synopsis and the first 3 chapters. I will evaluate the story structure elements including the plot arc, characterization, dialogue, setting, goals, motivation, conflict, 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. This includes up to 2 follow-up emails to clarify and discuss my analysis.
3) Detailed Content Critique: $85 per 5000 words (after 10,000 words, $75 for each additional 5000 words) prepaid via PayPal
Based on agreed-upon portions of a manuscript. I will provide 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 consistency, flow, pacing, point of view, show vs. tell, logic, dialogue, conflict, tension, hooks, scene necessity, characterization, genre elements, tags/beats, adverbs, backstory, sensory descriptions, setting, and cliches.
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 revisions.
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 do NOT offer comprehensive grammatical copy editing services. (That’s why I have my own editor for my novels!)
After the initial review is complete, I will send a follow-up email describing the next steps and options. In essence, if you wish to continue working with me, I’ll send a written agreement (including deadlines) and a PayPal invoice. After the signed agreement is returned and payment received, you send the manuscript and I get to work.
I am a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and a graduate of Christian Writers Guild courses. I’m also an active 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.