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- Professional Critique
- Line Editing
- Developmental Editing

Professional Critique

$40.00 - up to 5000 words.

Every writer needs a good critique partner but not every writer can find one. I've been working with critique partners since 2014, and have found that helping another writer with their work is one of life's greatest pleasures. It takes time, patience, and a passion for storytelling to provide a great critique, and I happen to possess all three.

What is a critique? Quite simply, it is an evaluation of your work. The key to a good critique is to let the author know what is working with the piece, but also what isn't.

These processes are put into place to help us improve our stories and find what may not be working with it in the early stages so these things can be corrected before it is sent to an editor or, goodness forbid, an agent!

It is always my goal to deliver a critique that highlights the great passages of a work while bringing to the author's attention those elements that don't quite work in a positive and encouraging manner. 


Line Editing Services


Going line-by-line through your story/chapter/novel, I will look at language use, syntax, sentence structure, clunky transitions, word repetition, actions (or lack thereof), and confusing sentences, words, etc. and provide suggestions for how to correct those issues to make your story stronger and more engaging for readers. This is a lengthier process than a simple critique and dives into issues that a simple critique won't cover. This is where we take what you have and make it a strong story that will be sure to keep readers reading! 

What I'll look for:

- Language/word use, does it work for the story?

- Overused word and phrases.

- Use of action in scenes. 

- Balance of Show and Tell

- Syntax

What to expect:

- Track changes in either Microsoft Word or Google Docs.

- 30 minute video call to discuss feedback and address any questions you may have.

**Please note: Though I will perform a soft grammar & punctuation check, you will need a proofreader for more complex punctuation errors. I do not offer that service**


"Sayword provided critique of my second novel Stick Figures from Rockport. As a general fiction writer dipping my toes into women’s fiction for the first time, I appreciated her honest and tough but fair and kind approach. She has an expert grasp on the craft of writing and a clear dedication to the art. Where many critiques verge from the path and stray into opinions on style, Sayword’s analysis stayed rooted in the work. She greatly contributed to the success of the novel and I would not hesitate to recommend her." - Jennifer M. Lane, author of Stick Figures from Rockport

"I've had the pleasure of working with Sayword B. Eller on my past projects and can vouch for her keen eye for detail and ability to see the bigger picture." -Lynn Chandler Willis, award-winning author of Wink of an Eye and the Ava Logan series. 

"Sayword is a gem to work with. She is very professional and knowledgeable. Her top-eye view for developmental editing as well as her ground-level line editing have saved me on numerous occasions. Being a talented writer herself she has the innate ability to help writers pull their stories together, flesh out details, and provide solutions while encouraging the writer to stay true to their own voice. I would highly recommend working with Sayword on any part of your project." - Dana Armstrong, Romance Writer

Developmental Editing


We'll look at your story/chapter/novel on a macro level, looking at big-picture things like structure, issues with characterization, point of view, voice, setting, stakes, conflict, etc.

Questions I address:

- What are the stakes? Are they high enough?

- How is pacing? Does it move the story along?

- How is the plot? Realistic or too far-fetched? How can that be fixed?

- Inciting incident, does it work?

- Is the story compelling? Are the characters?

*I will also address specific questions you would like answered as long as they fall under the realm of the developmental edit*

What to expect:

- In-depth review of story as a whole. This feedback will be given as a report, of sorts, and will often be two to five pages in length. 

- Track changes either via Microsoft Word or Google Docs. If you have a preference, we can discuss prior to work beginning.

- 30 minute video call to discuss the feedback and answer any questions you may have.

**Please note: This service can be coupled with the line editing services.**


"I’ve been working with Sayword on various projects for the better part of six months and she has helped improve my writing exponentially. Her knowledge of troupes, genre expectations and cliches are spot on. She has an eye for building tension and  drawing out story inconsistencies. Her patience and encouragement has helped me to let go of my inner critic and simply write my story without ego. Highly recommend working with her if you’re given the opportunity" - Krista Harper, Romance Writer

Please note: 

Balance is due in full before work will be returned. If you would like to make payment arrangements please include that in your initial email.

Rates listed are current as of March 31, 2022

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