quick query critique with marla miller

WritersMama Editorial Services 

Updated 7/1/2020: WritersMama Coaching Services:

Recently, I updated my list of published authors who I’ve worked with through the publication of their books. After ten years a freelance editing, I’m pleased with the work I’ve done so far.
Writing a recent newsletter to subscribers got me thinking about themes. I’ve read enough first chapters to know that many writers approach editors prematurely.Though I encourage writers to use critique groups before hiring an editor, I know many do not feel comfortable in them or don’t have the time. With this in mind, I’m offering a WritersMama Coaching Services for writers in need of feedback and platform building ideas as they edit their manuscripts.
Since 2003, I have offered workshops at California writing conferences. In that time, I’ve noticed patterns that this coaching service addresses. Your work should be vetted by eyes better than yours before you write checks for developmental or copy editing. At the price point I’m offering this coaching service, it’s a good investment in shaping your manuscript before you hire a developmental editor. For some writers, working with me via coaching may be all you need before you’re ready to pitch.

Consider investing in your work-in-progress. Answering in the ‘affirmative’ may indicate you are ready to be coached.

 WriterMama Coaching Services:

  1. Do you think -with significant work- you have a sellable project that is in a ‘near’ pitching stage?
  2. Do you accept the fact that it may not organized or written in the way it should be except you don’t know where else to go with your manuscript or book proposal idea?
  3. Provided you feel confident that you found the right editor, are you open to new ideas? If you answered “yes” to all three, coaching may be the answer for you.

WritersMama Coaching Services Overview:
Read & Critique of the manuscript with assessment of the draft’s current developmental stage. With fiction, I pay close attention to all characters, narrative through lines, subplots, voice and dialogue;  in nonfiction, the writer’s expertise to not only write the book but hook readers with content, storyline and voice is where I zoom in. In addition, writers will receive sixty minutes/one hour of coaching sessions by phone/ZOOM/Facetime after I have sent your written critique and within a reasonable period of time after our initial work. During our discussions, platform building ideas tend to flow as a natural consequence of the story moving forward.

Need Query Letter help?  I no longer offer this service free but writers can find about 200 Quick Query Critiques  here organized into several playlists on my youtube page.  My rate: $75.00 which includes a video of me reading and critiquing your query letter. It also includes a follow up phone/ZOOM/FaceTime conversation about your letter and my feedback, 15 minute maximum.

Need content (developmental) editing? My skill set includes ‘finding story’ whether buried in a query letter or a 125,000 word manuscript, See my BOOK page for more details and email marketingthemuse@gmail.com for more information.

Need to talk story? Have too many questions and not enough answers? ZOOM/ telephone consultations include review of synopsis and/or first 5 pages of story. Rates: 30 minutes/$60.00


Extracted from a memoir’s Acknowledgment page

Testimonial #2

 Gretchen P. M.D.:

I had been working on my memoir for almost three years when I stumbled upon Marla’s Quick Query Critique service with a Google search for “how to write a query letter.”  I learned so much about what a query letter was from watching her videos but then when I tried to write one for my memoir, I still found it incredibly difficult. I submitted it for her critique and after she read it, she said “What is this memoir about?” I could not answer. I knew I was telling what happened to me and I knew there was a story in there, but I couldn’t see the forest for the trees. Marla worked with me on Skype and by email, helping me to find the central theme in my memoir and then encouraging me to take the lump of clay I had written and sculpt it into a story with universal appeal. I am still sculpting it as I write this, but have found her insight, advice and encouragement simply priceless. She will not waste your time or money and working with her has been a delight.”

Charles D. Martin:

  • “I have known Marla for over a decade. She is a brilliant professional writer. Recently I hired her as a consultant during the writing phase of my new novel, a sequel to Provocateur, the one I published last year. Her critical review and input were extremely valuable in my efforts to complete the book.” Charles D. Martin Author of ProvocateurThe Little Black BookSea Stories www.provocateurbook.com

 Cat Tyson:

  • I met Marla about four years ago at the Southern California Writers Conference. I took one of her classes and I liked her right away. She was straight forward and very comfortable in her own skin, which I really admire. I had a gut feeling that she would one day play an important role in my life. I didn’t know how, why or when, but I was very sure of it. I kept up with Marla through her website and signed up for a Quick Query Critique of my almost completed memoir. She gave me some wonderful advice and I felt that she really understood where I wanted to go with my memoir. When she told me that she would take on the project of editing my labor of love I was thrilled. I sent Marla more than 120,000 words of a jumbled story. She sent me back a 72,000 word narrative with lots of promise. Despite the massive trimming, she asked me to shave off another 7,000 words. I’ll admit I found myself asking if I’d picked the right woman for the job at first. After putting my ego in the drawer, I stood back and took a serious look at her edits and her suggestions and with her help I now have a cohesive story with a beginning, a middle, and ending with a nice arc, if I do say so myself. I will be forever grateful for her editor’s eye and her no-nonsense approach. If you are afraid of killing your darlings or you are one of those people that others are always calling sensitive, you’d  better put your big girl panties on before handing over your manuscript. As the saying goes, no pain, no gain. www.catyson.com


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