My name is Susanne Lakin (author name C. S. Lakin), and I’m the owner and facilitator of Critique My Manuscript. I do all the critiques that come through this website. However, I have trained a few terrific editors, who are also novelists, in my critique method, and if I am backed up for months, I’ll give you the option of having another editor do your critique. All my editors receive high praise for their attention to detail and expert help.
I also have numerous experienced editors on hand to assist with some of the other editing and developmental services I offer, all of whom are excellent authors and who write in various genres.
When I do your critique, I personally go through every line of your manuscript and make sure all the necessary elements on both a micro and macro level are addressed (for fiction, see Elements Examined in a Fiction Critique). I often give hundreds of comments, with plenty of suggestions on ways to restructure, tighten, or generally improve your story.
I have written seventeen novels—fantasy, contemporary fiction (relational dramas and psychological mysteries), and historical romance, but I will edit and critique any manuscript, fiction or nonfiction (except erotica), and have editors that can even work with you on technical nonfiction manuscripts (if the subject befuddles me).
I placed nine of my novels with traditional publishers in the last few years, and currently have eight out as ebooks. I also have a series of writing craft books in my Writer’s Toolbox Series. Everything a writer needs to know and understand about novel writing can be found in these comprehensive books, available in print and as ebooks in all formats.
20+ Years Experience
I bring more than twenty years of expertise to my critique service, having had numerous agents for my various projects and been involved in various aspects of the publishing industry. I have also successfully connected many authors with agents and publishers due to my many connections within the publishing industry. And the most important element I bring to my service is my love for helping writers polish their stories. I put not just my time but my heart into every manuscript I dig into.
All about Book Publishing
My editing and critiquing skills are specific to the book publishing industry. I have critiqued and edited for many “new” authors who have gone on to acquire a literary agent and book contracts. I love to help beginning writers hone their craft, and I share my wealth of knowledge freely.
I believe writing well is something that can mostly be learned. My aim is to save writers years of frustration and failure due to poor training in the writing craft. Too many writers spend years fumbling through the process of trying to craft a novel or put together a nonfiction book, but I hone in on the basics and time-tested methods of structuring both novels and nonfiction books.
My ultimate goal is to help the author create the best book possible while respecting their individual style and voice. As an author, I’m very aware of the importance of not interfering with or changing an author’s style or voice. I also believe that the best person to critique or edit another writer’s book is an experience published author.
Any copyeditor can find mistakes, but only a seasoned author who has had to rewrite, revise, and tear apart her own books can truly understand the need and value of a thoughtful and explicit critique. Very few copyeditors are published novelists, and although it’s not crucial your editor is a writer, it can help immensely—especially when looking at the big picture of your story and seeing what really needs to be done to hone it into shape.
My Websites and Social Networking
I write under the name C. S. Lakin, and my books can be purchased online and in bookstores everywhere. I guest blog on editing and writing sites, and teach writing craft at writers’ conferences around the country. I am a member of numerous editing organizations and support groups, and sometimes edit and critique for publishers. I also work at conferences in the capacity as an editor and manuscript critiquer.
You can read more about me at my author website. Check out my award-winning blog for writers Live Write Thrive, which has lots of great writing instruction and tips on industry trends. You can follow me on Twitter two ways: @cslakin and @livewritethrive, and follow all my writing news and the promotions I do for other authors and my clients at my Facebook Author Page.