The Manuscript Review for a Bird’s Eye View

By: Mary Anna Rodabaugh in Book Writing and Editing

Into the thick of it. Into the weeds. Can you see the forest for the trees? We’re not talking horticulture here. We’re talking about the elaborate process of writing a book. The ideas and words come from your mind and your heart. Perhaps you’ve hired a book writing coach to help massage the narrative and prompt you to include details and dig deeper into your story. Be that as it may, you are both deeply embedded in your book.

When you’re too close to your work (this happens to nearly all writers), it can be hard to see the gaping plot holes, the sequence breakdowns, the accidental change of character names midway through, and more. The questions that may come to the reader are often hidden deep in blind spots for the writer. With this in mind, RTC offers a service solution: the peer editor for a manuscript review.

What is a manuscript review?

A manuscript review is a comprehensive analysis completed by a peer editor. The peer editor is a member of the RTC team who has zero knowledge of you or your book. He or she is an expert editor who comes to your project with extraordinarily fresh eyes. After conducting a blind read of your manuscript, your peer editor will share with you what they enjoyed about the manuscript, where your book is strongest, and most likely validate your hard work and effort. Then, they will draw your attention to any gaping errors they saw, using page numbers and specific samples from your manuscript to make a point.

During the manuscript review, the peer editor will not only point out some of the areas for improvement within your book but will also offer suggestions as to how to fix those errors. You and your writing coaching can take the advice or leave it. The choice is ultimately up to you.

When do I complete a manuscript review?

During the full manuscript development journey or coaching journey, you will reach a point when the first official draft of your book is complete. Once you have a full and complete manuscript, you will be assigned a peer editor for your manuscript review.

This member of your team will have about two weeks to review your manuscript and provide thoughtful and constructive feedback. Your writing team or book writing coach will also review the feedback before you all jump on a call together to discuss the findings.

After the call, you will resume working with your team or book writing coach to make the edits you see fit. You can always have your team reach out to your peer editor if you have specific questions or want a second opinion about a piece of your manuscript you have revised. However, your peer editor basically steps away from the table and allows you to work with your writing team or coach.

“A manuscript review can give you the confidence boost you need as a book writer. ”

Benefits of a manuscript review

There are many benefits to a manuscript review. The first and most obvious benefit is the ability to have a fresh perspective. It is as if you and your writing team are in the forest, and your peer editor is swirling in a helicopter above your heads.

A manuscript review can give you an emotional gut check of your manuscript. That is an honest report as to how the manuscript made your peer editor feel and what they learned (or are confused about) while reading. These insights are very important for you as a writer since you have a vision of what impact you hope your book will make on readers.

Finally, a manuscript review can give you the confidence boost you need as a book writer. RTC’s peer editors will provide open, honest, and constructive feedback. However, they will also celebrate the amazing accomplishment you have achieved: writing the first draft of your book. The praise comes from the heart, and it could be just what you need if you are having doubts as an author before going into a new round of edits and preparing for publishing.