"Mr Edit's manuscript critique is second to none.
If you want to get your book or article published, you need
top-line editing help and advice—and this is where to get it."
Literary criticism. Three top tips.
1. Be prepared to take criticism from your editor
Writing is tough, and only the hardiest will make it to a publishing deal, let alone the bestseller list. But to get tough, you need to recognise and accept your errors. When a professional book editor or manuscript editor tells you about your weaknesses, accept them in good faith. The editor might be wrong, of course. Or, more accurately, his or her opinion may be out of step with your own opinion, or with the opinion of others. Regardless, take the criticism on board and examine it carefully. I frequently need to tell my clients a few very hard and painful truths. Invariably, however, my clients accept them and improve their writing enormously. You need to do the same. Listen. Learn. Assimilate. We all make serious errors. Be grateful when someone points your errors out and shows you how to correct them.
2. Be ruthless with your own work
Stop patting yourself on the back—at least, until you crack that publishing deal. Instead, focus your energies on constantly improving your own work. Test every sentence. Question every word. Learn to throw away otherwise good material that's simply wrong for your current project. If you ask friends or family to criticise, ask them to be ruthless too. Wherever possible, you need to see your work through the eyes of others. Accept your weaknesses and build upon them.
3. Learn to criticise the work of other writers
Look at other novels and see where you
could make improvements. Imagine that you're the editor. What would you change?
How would you advise the author? It took me years to become a good book editor.
When I look back on material written when I was young and green, I see all the
problems, all the mistakes, all the clumsiness. Constructively criticising the
work of other writers is excellent training. When you're ready with your own
book, I'll be glad to help make your own novel so much better.
Visit my writers workshop for professional literary criticism,