Short Story Critique

A comprehensive overview.

Writing groups are invaluable, but personal attention is limited, and there is never enough time to get to the root of more than one issue. The short story critique is the middle ground between a critique group and a full edit. I read your story (several times) and identify the top three issues standing in the way of publication.

Do you need a short story critique?

The critique is a great option for unsticking a stuck story. You can send me a tangle of ideas, a complete draft, or a polished story, and I’ll diagnose why progress has ground to a halt. The critique is perfect for getting a second opinion on feedback, for pieces that could use strengthening in more than one area, and for writers on a budget.

What does a short story critique tell me about your story?

Drawing from my entire arsenal of revision criteria, I identify the top three weaknesses that would make the most significant difference in helping your story find its forever home and, for balance, the three greatest strengths that make me want this story to succeed. In my assessment, I work my way from the big picture (big payoff) elements to the fine details of the story.

  • Development. How the plot, characters, POV, setting, and world-building work together to create a cohesive narrative.
  • Structure: How form, genre, story structure, timeline and pacing coordinate to draw the reader into the story and keep them there.
  • Style. How narrative mode, logic, coherence, tone, mood, theme, and uniqueness of voice contribute to your story and style.
  • Copy. How the correctness of sentence mechanics, spelling, usage, punctuation, continuity, and accuracy of facts function to enhance and maintain reader immersion.

What do you get?

  1. Editorial report. An encouraging love letter about your story followed by three concrete strengths and a detailed explanation of each. Next, an evaluation of the top three sticky issues, constructive feedback, and suggestions for each.
  2. Markup. Comments in the margins of the manuscript detailing specific examples of each strength and weakness outlined in the editorial report.
  3. Resources and Next Steps. Guidance on how to approach integrating feedback, including helpful how-tos.

Once the critique is complete, you can integrate changes yourself or book a coaching call to work through the revisions together.

What does a critique cost?

Flash fiction stories up to 1500 words cost $50. Short stories up to 5000 words cost $100 plus $0.03 per word for longer stories.

Ready to get started?

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