You have sweated blood and tears and poured every emotion into writing thousands of words and have finally finished and yet requesting a manuscript critique may be the last thing on your mind..why?
Whilst there is no hard and fast rule that writers have to have their manuscript appraised, it does make sense to have someone check your manuscript over in a professional capacity prior to sending it to an agent or publisher. I see hundreds of manuscripts each year and there are very few that don’t need a fair bit of editing or rewriting and this is not detrimental to those writers, it’s simply the way it is. Even those writers who have gone to considerable lengths to edit as they progress throughout the novel will still have a fair bit of work to do at the end.
I have the utmost admiration for those writers who complete their novels. Writing a novel is a tremendous commitment and as so many people these days are overly stretched in terms of time and personal commitments, it is astounding that so many novels are actually completed at all. I have run several novel writing courses at college in the UK and one term, some students were completing upwards of 70,000 words within a ten week period, that’s a lot of words pouring out on to paper and with this much time and dedication, it makes sense to give your novel a fighting chance.
Requesting a manuscript critique shows a determination to address any issues that might be apparentand therefore reduces the chances of receiving unwanted rejection slips. I personally think that many writers are concerned about hearing ‘bad news’ when the critique comes through but I’m a writer myself and I know how difficult it can be to hear any type of criticism. Just remember that a professional manuscript critique is not there to slate your manuscript, it’s a positive tool that supports your goals and ultimately raises your potential to be published.