Assessment & Critique
Having worked in the book industry for over eight years and being an award-winning author has taught me a thing or two about what works and what doesn’t when it comes to storytelling, either for books or for movies. Apart from the courses I have in my kitty, I have an innate talent for storytelling.
In Assessment & Critique, I provide a detailed report for your projects highlighting the mistakes, how they could be improved or worked upon in order to make the prose better, issues of consistency, narrative flow, structure and breaks, conflict and characterisation related problems and give you a report on what works and what doesn’t by breaking down your work chapter-by-chapter (in manuscripts) or scene-by-scene (in screenplays.)
An assessment or critique is needed because as the writers of our work, we often fail to convey everything we have in our mind, not because we don’t know how to do it, but because we end up thinking that we’ve already explained everything perfectly. Whereas in reality, either we end up not saying enough or overdo it.
This is the main reason why you need someone, a professional and not just a friend or your sibling, to read your work thoroughly, not only from a reader’s perspective but also, and more importantly, from a writer’s and an editor’s perspective, who knows how the work should flow.
Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfils the same purpose as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things.
Being a writer, and a creative writing teacher who’s taught over a 100 students, I know well how much a story means to the writer. As the creator of our stories, we spend so much time with them that after a certain point, we become porous to mistakes and errors, and inadvertently let them seep into our prose, and regardless of numerous revisions, we can’t seem to get ahold of them. This is one of the main reasons why a manuscript, no matter how polished and revised, needs a thorough critique.
Manuscript Assessment provides professional advice on the big-picture structural design of your manuscript and how you can improve your story and writing.
- Story structure
- Writing style
- Consistency of the narrative voice
- Plot linearity
- Character arcs
- Characterisation issues
- Plot holes
- Continuity problems
- Character background
- Believability (especially in High Fantasy and Sci-Fi manuscripts)
- Point of view
- Chapter distribution and scene breaks
- Overall readability
- The Show, Don’t Tell issue
- Killing the darlings
Screenplay Assessment identifies the big-picture strengths and weaknesses of your screenplay, accordingly providing feedback for screenplay and scripts.
- Character Development and Motivation
- Story Structure
- Overarching as well as side Theme
- Story’s Logic – the Plot
- Want & Need
- Reader Interest
- Point of View
- Screenwriting style
- Genre Expectations
- Appropriate Length
- Need for Further Research
- Target Audience
- Action flow
- Screen time
- Sub-plots & side-characters
- Killing the darlings
Book-to-film Critique will help you identify the potential of your book to be turned into a script and what changes would be required for it to be done.
- Reconstruction of the plot
- Key plot ponts
- Prioritizing the characters
- Flow of the script structure Vs manuscript structure
- Adjusting Point of View
- Turning narration to conversations – Dialogues
- Scene timings
- Brevity and conciseness of narrative
- Manuscript outline Vs Screenplay outline
- The potential of being adapted
- Exposition & descriptions to dialogue
- Visual flow & translation of story on screen
Treatment critique identifies the weakness of your book-to-film treatment and how it could be worked upon and made better.
- A treatment is a thoroughly developed guide that outlines how a screenwriter would adapt your book into a fully-developed screenplay. As the framework used to transform your work into another medium, treatment is the first step to drafting a screenplay.
- Treatments is a way for a writer to test an idea before investing their energy into a new screenplay. Treatments allow writers to summarize their story idea, so they can present the story to studio executives or producers who might want to finance the film.
Novel Critique provides a detailed insight into your manuscript. It will identify the grey areas in your novel that need improvement and the ones that need rewrites or revisions. It will help you make your book submission-ready (or editing-ready if you’re considering self-publishing.)
It will be returned to you in the form of a digital* Critique Report in PDF format. In this report, I’ll be providing a chapter-by-chapter critique of all the elements listed below.
MANUSCRIPT/NOVEL CRITIQUE ELEMENTS:
- Genre assessment
- Target audience
- Book jacket feedback
- Anything and everything else that can possibly have an effect (positive or negative) on your chances of successfully publishing your book.
If you need a physical Critique Report, you’ll have to bear the costs of shipping.
Question: I’ve finished writing my manuscript, can I send it for novel critique?
Answer: Yes, but only if you’ve worked on your manuscript for at least 4-5 drafts and have thoroughly revised as well as edited it, to the best of your capability. If you send a half-baked manuscript, then it’ll only end up wasting your money and time.
Question: How can I request a quote for my manuscript’s critique?
Answer: Send me an email with the details of your manuscript (Name, Genre, Total Word Count and Synopsis) along with the first 3 chapters of your manuscript (please include the prologue if your manuscript has one.) I will revert within 48 hrs with the quote and slot availability.
Question: What are the slots?
Answer: In a month, I critique only 2 novels at most. Every month I designate 2 slots as per the availability of dates. You can pick a slot of your choice from the available ones.
READY TO BOOK AN APPOINTMENT?
JUST DROP ME AN EMAIL WITH YOUR MANUSCRIPT DETAILS AT RATHOREHEENA@GMAIL.COM AND I’LL GET BACK TO YOU WITH A QUOTE AND TIMELINE WITHIN 48 HRS.
“EXCELLENT AND EXTENSIVE REVIEW OF THE WORK. CLEARLY, VERY CAREFULLY READ (LIKELY MORE THAN ONCE) AND COMMENTS WERE CONSIDERED AND WELL THOUGHT-OUT. I AM SO SATISFIED THAT I AM GOING TO RE-ENGAGE HER ON A FOLLOW-UP GIG TO TAKE A LOOK AT THE REVISED WORK AS WELL. GREAT VALUE. HIGHLY RECOMMEND.”– KYLE ELIOT | GENRE: SUSPENSE-THRILLER
HEENA EXCEEDED MY EXPECTATIONS. HER CRITIQUE REPORT BRISTLED WITH PROFESSIONAL KNOWLEDGE AND IDEAS AND LEFT NO DOUBT ABOUT THE HARD WORK SHE’S PUT INTO IT. SHE’S FIGURED OUT THE MAIN ISSUES OF MY STORY AND PROVIDED SO MANY GOOD SUGGESTIONS THAT NOW I FEEL LIKE I OWE HER MORE THAN WHAT I PAID FOR HER SERVICE.– ROSALIE R C MASCH | GENRE: YA, SCI-FI, FANTASY
“HEENA’S CRITIQUE WAS VERY COMPREHENSIVE, CAREFUL AND TRUE. BOTH HER GENERAL AND PUNCTUAL ANALYSIS, CHAPTER BY CHAPTER, PRODUCED AN IMMEDIATE SENSE THAT MY WORK AS A WHOLE IS ON THE RIGHT TRACK, THOUGH SHE MADE ACCURATE AND VALUABLE RECOMMENDATIONS ON ASPECTS OF THE BOOK THAT REQUIRE EXTRA EFFORT. I AM VERY HAPPY WITH HER CRITIQUE AND VERY CONFIDENT.”– ANDRE COSTA | GENRE: CONTEMPORARY FICTION
I’VE WRITTEN SHORT STORIES IN THE PAST AND HAVE GOT THEM CRITIQUED BUT GETTING A DETAILED REPORT FROM HEENA MA’AM WAS A DIFFERENT EXPERIENCE. I’VE MADE CHANGES AS SUGGESTED BY HER AND NOW MY STORY MAKES A LOT MORE SENSE. I FEEL CONFIDENT ABOUT THE STORY NOW. THE BEST PART ABOUT HER CRITIQUE IS THAT SHE HAS POINTED OUT MINOR ISSUES AS WELL.– GIRISH ADVANI | GENRE: CONTEMPORARY DRAMA
DONE WITH THE SECOND ROUND OF CRITIQUE AND I HOPE SHE’LL ACCEPT MY REQUEST TO EDIT THE NOVEL AS WELL.
I KNEW THAT HEENA WOULD PROVIDE A HIGHLY PROFESSIONAL ASSESSMENT OF MY STORY. SHE DID NOT DISSAPOINT AT ALL. I WAS GREATLY ENCOURAGED BY HER REPORT AND I UNDERSTOOD THE POINTS SHE MADE PERFECTLY. I WOULD CERTAINLY LIKE TO WORK WITH HEENA IN FUTURE.– SIMON HAZELDEN | GENRE: FANTASY
“HEENA I HAVE BEEN MEANING TO TELL YOU HOW GRATEFUL I AM FOR YOUR FEEDBACK. I MADE A STUDY OF IT, RE-WROTE IT ALL IN MY OWN WAY OF LOOKING AT IT AND I HAVE BEEN INCORPORATING MOST OF IT (ABOUT 80%) INTO MY NOVEL.– XXXXXX (PSEUDONYM), AUTHOR OF ASYLUM RESIDENTT | GENRE: PSYCHOLOGICAL THRILLER, DARK FICTION
THANK YOU AGAIN, YOU WERE THE PERFECT CHOICE TO READ MY WORK.”
FANTASTIC! FINALLY, AFTER MANY ATTEMPTS TO FIND A PROFESSIONAL EDITOR TO WORK WITH… LOOK NO FURTHER, THIS GIG IS IT! THANK YOU AND I WILL GET BACK TO YOU SOON.– DONNA STARRETT | GENRE: CHILDREN’S FANTASY
“HEENA IS THE BEST. SHE’S INVOLVED IN THE INDUSTRY SO HER REVIEWS, COMMENTS AND SUGGESTIONS ARE EXTREMELY HELPFUL AND ON POINT. SHE’S ALSO REALLY PLEASANT, THOROUGH AND CONSTRUCTIVE – VERY EASY TO WORK WITH. WORTH EVERY CENT, AND MORE, AND WOULD HIGHLY RECOMMEND!!!”– KYLE ELIOT (FOR THE REVISED DRAFT OF HIS MANUSCRIPT) | GENRE: SUSPENSE-THRILLER
“SHE WAS AMAZING AND VERY ATTENTIVE, CREATING QUALITY WORK! DEFINITELY GOING TO BE A REPEAT CUSTOMER!!”– SALLY
“VERY GOOD WORK – LOTS OF SPECIFIC DETAIL ON HOW TO IMPROVE THE MANUSCRIPT.”– JIM | GENRE: COZY MYSTERY