ABOUT MY EVALUATION PROCEDURE
I tend to demand more than the average reader from a work of fiction. Many readers accept stories that are less than satisfying by arguing that it's the author's first book or maybe the next will be better. I don't agree with these kinds of excuses. Certain errors are made over and over again, and if not caught in time, might never be corrected. Consequently, repetition in its varied forms, giving away too early information driving the tension in your story, unjustifiable coincidences and obvious contrivances are aspects to which I pay close attention. These details are in addition to the areas I discuss below.
Read Kevis Hendrickson's comments on my extensive betareading and manuscript evaluation of Rogue Hunter 3: Life Force.
"I’m always looking to up my game as a writer and have I’ve worked with many professional editors, script consultants, and top-notch beta readers to make my books as good as they can be. Kathy stands out from the pack as a unique breed of editor who can dissect a story to see where it has gone wrong or can be improved. Her feedback was instrumental in giving me the painstakingly detailed insight I needed to write what has become my highest rated book. Without her help, my book would have been the poorer for it. I would recommend her services in a heartbeat to any writer who is looking for an editor who can help them turn a good story into a great one."
My evaluation will focus on specific areas.
BAD CHAPTER BREAKS AND ENDINGS. This is a major problem for may books. It's extremely important to know how to end a chapter without emotionally disengaging readers. Emotional disconnection is more common in books now than ever before.
I will evaluate your main characters with regard to their depth and development and audience appeal. I will also examine secondary characters to see if their presence works for or against your story. I also check for consistency in the behavior of your characters.
I specialize in dialogue and will focus on getting rid of it and added it as needed as well as the use of too many speaker tags, the wrong tags, and overall dialogue mechanics.
I look for those actions that drain away tension and that cause your story to veer off track. I also check for implausibility, contrivances, and too much “telling” vs. “showing.” In addition, I check pacing, making note of when your story moves too slow or too fast and at what points readers might lose interest.
TOO MUCH TELLING
It's easy to slip into too much narration as opposed to showing. However, it's important to know what to show and when telling is better than showing. There are also small overlooked instances of telling that fatigue readers' interest because these kinds are another form of repetition.
TOO MUCH WAS-ING
Getting rid of "was" statements and replacing passive verbs with the right actions verbs is more than a little important. Whatever the genre of your story, too much was-ing can slow it down. At the same time, there are instances in which this construction makes sense and not using it pulls readers out of the story because the sentence doesn't make sense or doesn't describe what is actually happening.
ANYTHING ELSE THAT ISN'T WORKING
Despite the creative freedom writing a story offers, there are attempts made to include things in a story that just don't work. Things like too much backstory; too much history; too much platforming and preaching; dwelling overlong on a point or theme or subject being shared with the readers and other issues spotted in the course of evaluating your story.
While this M.E. service doesn’t include correcting grammar and punctuation, if your story needs this, I’ll let you know. In addition, as I am going through your manuscript, I'll point many common grammatical errors if they are present in your book (e.g.: missing words, typos, missing hyphens, wrong-word usage; wrong homonym usage). It is amazing how many errors are eliminated this way.
I’ll make recommendations to you concerning books you need to read to help improve your manuscript, especially if you don’t have monies for the various levels of editing.
Romance writer, Lizabeth Scott and I worked together on Sweet Temptation and her latest release, Sweet Destiny.
"I found Kathy's editing services to be top notch. She guided me through drilling down my plot and characters to get the very best results. Kathy is extremely knowledgeable and supplied valuable insight into "keeping it real." She never tried to take "my" voice from the story. I am very satisfied with the services and product I developed. Yes, I will use Kathy again. She already has my next story!"
METHOD OF FEEDBACK
Instead of tracking, I write my comments right in your document. At the end of the document, you will receive a write-up of any additional information that I can provide.
An evaluation will probably take from 4 to 9 weeks, depending on the length of the book and the extent to which I need to offer feedback. Feedback is sent to you on a weekly basis so you don't have to wait until the job is completed before you can start revising.
I like to over-deliver, so if I see other areas of your story that need to be addressed, I’ll let you know. If you have some specific concerns, let me know in advance what they are.
As I evaluate your manuscript, I will be in contact with you so we can discuss the book. This communication is important so that I can offer assistance that will help you to achieve the goal you want to achieve with your book. I know how important it is to maintain the heart-and-soul of your story while making it the kind of book that readers won't be able to resist sharing.
In the Acknowledgments for Pregnant Future, author, Joy Lo-Bamijoko wrote:
"Kathy Golden was the first to evaluate my manuscript after Harmony. By her going through my manuscript, I came to understand why I was not so happy with it. A lot of issues I was too lazy to address came to light. She suggested I send the manuscript to more readers, and so I did. In the end, again, I sent my manuscript back to Kathy for a final proof. Thank you, Kathy. Your suggestions have greatly improved my manuscript."
Joy also thanked me for my thorough evaluation of her short story collection: VAGARIES OF LIFE AND : GIRLS’ TALK
ONE OF MY MAIN OBJECTIVES is to help authors reach a place where they will recognize the corrections needed in their manuscripts so that an evaluation won't be necessary for every book. It is an objective I believe to be achievable, and I'll help you to become consciously aware of and thus eliminate the issues that keep your books from being the best representations of your writing skills.
Payment is due in full for your evaluation when you order it.
PRICING IS $150 PER 30,000 WORDS or a price per word fee of .005. There is a minimum charge of $25.
If you want to pay for your evaluation in installments, then contact me for details.
If you have any questions, let me know. I look forward to working with you.
Use the form below to reach me, and we'll get started on working together to make your book the best that it can be.