Our critiques, though sensitive, are not for the faint of heart. When you hire Chrysalis Editorial to evaluate your fiction or non-fiction manuscript you will receive an honest, in-depth and constructive response. Knowing the strengths and weaknesses of your manuscript will help jump-start your revision process.

For all manuscript (ms) critiques, both fiction and non-fiction, you will receive:

  • A 5-20 page evaluation of what’s working and what isn’t (depending on length of ms)
  • Notations and edits on the ms pages themselves to help focus your revision
  • A follow-up telephone conversation to address questions and concerns you may have

For a novel or short story, the comments include:

  • An overarching summary of the story’s strengths and weaknesses
  • What works well and what might be improved, referencing the various elements of fiction: structure, character, voice, plot, tension, setting, point-of-view, dialogue, etc.
  • Suggestions and examples of how you might revise problem areas

For short and full-length memoir, the comments include:

  • Many of the same comments you would receive for a work of fiction
  • Because memoir is more closely aligned with writing a novel than writing non-fiction, we address the elements of fiction (see above) that are working and those that need to be enhanced.

Note: memoir is not the same as an autobiography. A memoir is a slice of one’s life, not a cradle-to-present-moment story. It is thematic, not a comprehensive account of your life.

For non-fiction, the comments discuss:

  • The work’s structure
  • Cohesiveness of the material
  • Faithfulness to the stated focus/purpose of the book
  • Accuracy of the subject matter
  • Suggestions and examples to help you revise your manuscript


Working with Herta was like getting a whirlwind course in creative writing. In editing my work, she helped me…clarify story, plot, and character. The end result was a tighter, more concise, and infinitely more readable manuscript.  Cynthia Tocci (YA novel, Stone Voice Rising, Harcourt)

Herta and Emily proved to do everything they promised they would do, and more: honing, revising, and refining my manuscript. Their not so subtle critiques were invaluable in my tedious rewrite stage and in transforming my work into better and publishable shape.  – Dr. Asome Bide, MD (author, As Waters Gone By)