Fiction Manuscript Evaluation

Have you finally finished self-editing your manuscript, but you’re not sure it’s quite ready for a developmental edit?

Maybe you’ve gone through a round or two of beta reading but received conflicting feedback?

Think of a manuscript evaluation (also known as a manuscript critique or editorial assessment) as a Developmental Edit Lite. I focus on the same big-picture issues as a developmental edit:

  • Structural Framework
  • Plot and Character Development
  • Conflict, Stakes, and Pacing
  • Setting/Worldbuilding
  • Genre Expectations

Unlike a full developmental edit, though, I only do one pass on your manuscript and there are no inline comments. Your editorial letter is also much shorter, but you’ll receive pointed suggestions related to storytelling principles for your specific manuscript:

  • Trained bird’s-eye view of your story’s landscape: making sure your character’s goals, motivations, and conflicts are clear.
  • Laser focus on your particular vision and goals for your story and whether the on-page story accurately reflects them.
  • Expert knowledge of how the elements of fiction are or are not working together in your story to effectively impact readers.
  • Deep familiarity with your work’s genre and its readers’ expectations.


I do not provide editorial services for the following genres or with the following content. If your manuscript falls in one of these categories, or contains any of the listed content, I truly thank you for considering Sage Editing, but I will not be able to assist you in your editorial needs. I know editors who do and will be more than happy to provide a referral.


  • High or Contemporary Fantasy
  • Contemporary Urban Fantasy
  • Magical Realism
  • Poetry


  • Excessive On-page Physical Torture or Violence
  • Excessive On-page Drug Use
  • Stereotypes Of or Against Marginalized Groups
  • Dubious/Nonconsensual Consent
  • On-page Sexual Violence/Assault
  • Hauntings or Graphic Horror
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