In being able to focus on detail and perspective, Herta gives her clients the best of both worlds. She is as talented with copy editing as she is with discussing broader structural issues. Her work clarified significant issues, enabling me to complete an immensely satisfying rewrite of my manuscript. Herta is perceptive and genuinely interested in the writer’s process. Her critique is generous, muscular, and thorough. I highly recommend her services.
-Sandra Hunter
(novel, Losing Touch, Oneworld)

Manuscript Critique

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

Herta’s enthusiasm for my work was certainly very welcome, given that writers generally receive a lot of rejections. Her ideas for improvement were thoughtful and on the mark. Herta is a great editor and advocate for writers.
-Jyotsna Sreenivasan 
(novel, And Laughter Fell From the Sky, William Morrow)

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)