There is no doubt that a professional novel critique can help you to get your work published but it is possible to critique your own writing before investing in a professional manuscript evaluation as there is much that you can identify if you read your work and consider it analytically. Whilst a professional novel critique provides feedback on your work as a whole and also, feedback on elements that you may not have even considered, by changing your perspective, you can read the manuscript through a reader’s eyes.
If you would like to critique your own writing:
1. Read your manuscript through from start to finish and then make an honest assessment. Consider whether you really liked the plot, how well it read and any areas that might need a little bit more work.
2. Do your characters stand out? You might know that the main character looks like your Uncle Charlie but have you described him properly to your reader? The reader cannot hope to visualise your characters unless you have made them larger than life through careful description and the revelation of important facts.
3. Does your opening chapter have the wow factor? Make your opening dynamic and compelling because if you don’t, the reader will simply stop reading.
4. Have you added conflict to your story? The best storylines have the reader gripped by the characters having to fight to overcome the odds. Even the most romantic of fiction will have carefully places obstacles to hinder the unfolding love story.
5. Do you have too much dialogue? Dialogue is a fantastic way of bringing life to any story and to also break up large passages of text but it shouldn’t be overpowering, but must be relative and flow naturally.
6. As a writer, it is important that you find your own voice and style. Are you happy with yours and satisfied that your style is easy to read?
7. Have you provided a satisfying conclusion to your writing? If not your readers’ will be left feeling disappointed.
8. Finally, check and re-check for correct punctuation and that language and grammar is correct. Silly mistakes will detract from the flow of the storyline and would hinder your chances of placing your manuscript with an agent or publisher.
Critique your own writing and note the difference in the polished version of your manuscript, then once you are ready, invest in a professional novel critique before submitting for publication.