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 also have numerous experienced editors on hand to assist with some of the other editing and developmental services I offer, all of whom are published authors of acclaim, writing in various genres. 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 thirteen novels, most of which are fantasy and contemporary fiction (relational dramas and psychological mysteries), but I edit and critique any manuscript, fiction or nonfiction, and have editors that can even work with you on technical nonfiction manuscripts. I have contracted sales for nine of my novels with publishers in the last three years, and currently have five out as ebooks.
20+ Years Experience
I bring over 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 am a member of numerous editing and writing groups, I guest blog on editing and writing sites, and teach the writing craft at writers’ conferences around the country. I am a member of AWSA (Advanced Writer and Speaker Association) as well as CEN (Christian Editors Network), and am on “staff” with numerous small publishers as a critiquer and copyeditor. I am also on staff as an editor consultant at the prestigious San Francisco Writers’ Conference and am the critique team leader for the Central Coast Writers’ Conference in San Luis Obispo, CA.
You can read more about me at my author website and 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.