Professional Critique

Line Editing

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. 


When I first began speaking with freelance editors they would ask what type of editing I was interested in. As someone new to the world of editing my answer was always, "I don't know. What type do you think I need?" This answer, as I'm sure you can imagine, is very frustrating to an editor just looking to do their job. Over time I learned that line editing is less about finding grammatical errors and more about helping you communicate with your reader. In a line edit I may point out if your dialogue seems stilted, if your character is acting...well, out of character, and if your pace is being affected by the voice you're using in your narrative. Here's a great article about the difference between line editing and copy editing.


Professional critique:

Short stories: $40.00

First chapter: $50

First 5 chapters: $100

**Rates for Line Editing services will be discussed at the time of consult**


"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

"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

"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

"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. 


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