A Case for the Manuscript Evaluation Report

After my vacation induced hiatus from this blog I'm back with an update on the process, the grand adventure that is the creation of my novel "Billie Lupescu: Wormhole".

After I finished this latest rewrite I submitted my book to an editor for a Manuscript Evaluation Report. The lady I found on the Editorial Freelancers Association website was very accommodating in squeezing me in to give me my report as soon as possible. Her name, by the way, is Lynnette Labelle, and you can find out more about her services HERE

What is a Manuscript Evaluation Report, you might ask. Here's what Ms. Labelle's website says on the subject:

When you order an evaluation report, I’ll peruse your manuscript, taking notes along the way.  I’ll look at your character development, the GMCs, plot structure, pacing, dialogue, narrative, voice, mechanics, and more.

The evaluation report states the strengths and weaknesses of a manuscript.  It doesn’t offer solutions to the problems, but that service is available under manuscript developmental copyediting or fiction writing coaching.

This service is perfect for the writer who has a hard time identifying flaws in his work but is capable of fixing the problem areas once they’ve been identified.

After I'd sent off my book, I went on vacation and tried to forget all about the manuscript, and the report, and the rewrites that would surely be a consequence of the report. 2 weeks of Mexican sun and an interesting intestinal virus later the report came via e-mail. I have to say, it was all that I needed it to be. Which doesn't mean that I liked what it said. But after I let Ms. Labelle's feedback gestate a bit in the back of my mind and got over myself and my aversion of yet another lengthy edit I cracked the manuscript open again and started looking at all the things she pointed out. Boy oh boy, did I need that report!

So now I'm back in there, changing things, adding things, deleting things, going through the check list from that report and generally improving my writing skills. I hope.

Bottom line is: I can only recommend this process, or using an editor even earlier in the game, if you can swing it financially. I got my book to the best place I could with the tools I had in hand. But Lynnette's feedback took the blinders off, so I could get a much better idea of what works and what doesn't.

Thank you, Ms. Labelle!

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