A manuscript evaluation is a great place to start when you are wanting to evaluate what shape your story is in. While this editing process covers many of the things that a developmental edit does, it does not go into detailed edits. Your manuscript will receive one pass, evaluating such things as plotline, pacing, writing style, places where the narrative loses steam, and places where it moves nicely. The editor will look at world building, genre conventions, characterization and language. This process can be used in a couple of stages in the development of your story. It can be used with a relatively new novel to get a clear third-person analysis of what it working and what isn’t, or it can be used after you have done a few rounds of revision and would like to get a feel for what stage it is in. While there is no line editing or in-text notations, you will have a clear outline to think about as you revise the manuscript.
A Big Picture Look
Some of the things that will be evaluated include:
Plot – Does it follow a logical plot arc?
Timeline – Do things happen in a logical order?
Perspective – Is the narrative voice and point of view you are using the strongest for this story?
World Building – Is the environment well described, accurate and realistic?
Conflict and Tension – Is it present and sustained?
Character Development – Are your characters dimensional and believable?
Dialogue – Are the voices consistent and used effectively?
Scenes – Are the scenes in the best order? Are there any that need to be added or deleted?
Overall Analysis – A big picture evaluation on the entire manuscript
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