Location, Vancouver CANADA
pat@patdobie.com

Services

You have options!

Manuscript Evaluation:

A close reading and thorough analysis of your manuscript that gives you my unvarnished opinion in terrifying detail. I address structure, plot, and pacing, characterization and point of view, scene dynamics and dialogue, setting and description. In memoir I look at all of the above plus narrative voice, psychic distance and selection of incident. I identify what’s working and suggest how to fix what isn’t, in an itemized revision plan. This is not the usual 5-10 page critique; it’s a ridiculously thorough examination of every aspect of your book; 20+ pages of feedback you will refer to again and again as you revise. Identifies plot holes, pacing issues, problems with logic and credibility, etc–and offers fixes. Great both for early drafts and for writers whose work is highly polished but structurally weak.

Comprehensive Edit:

All of the above, and then some. The whole nine yards: substantive, developmental, stylistic and line edits on your manuscript. A thorough line edit addresses tangled passages, redundancies, awkwardness and other prose issues. Numerous comments throughout the text give you my readerly reaction and let you know what’s working as well as what needs improved. In a detailed editorial letter I address structural issues, suggest improvements to characterization, pacing and scene dynamics, address additional ways to tighten and clarify your prose, and lay out a step-by-step revision plan to help you take it from there.

Manuscript evaluation plus a comprehensive edit on up to three chapters.

The idea behind this option is to give you enough examples of comprehensive edits to allow you to apply the concepts to the rest of the manuscript on your own.

How to decide?

If your manuscript’s too long you might benefit from option one (there’s no point in polishing what you’re going to cut). Or if you know it’s flawed but you can’t put your finger on why: option one. You might take option two if your book’s the right length and EVERYONE thinks it’s perfect, but it’s still not getting requests-for-full-manuscript from agents. Or you might want option two if you’re planning to publish it yourself. A thorough edit will allow you to send it out into the world with confidence. Option three’s good if you know your prose can be improved but you aren’t ready for a comprehensive edit–for example, if your manuscript hasn’t yet been critiqued by other writers.

Here’s a note on scheduling and other practical concerns.