A big “Thank You” bouquet to Karen Alison.

Karen is a gifted emerging writer who sent me the manuscript of her debut novel for my evaluation. After mulling my comments and suggestions, she did a rewrite, then sent me a testimonial of how happy she was with the result.

Her fulsome statement truly made my day. Here it is.

Why I Chose Barbara Kyle for a Professional Manuscript Evaluation

by Karen Alison


When I finished my 400-page novel, I sent it to Barbara Kyle for a written manuscript evaluation.


It’s true I could have read the manuscript over by myself and tried to fix it – for the five-hundredth time. Or I could have taken it to my writers’ group – of largely unpublished or self-published writers – and read them one chapter a month for the next two and a half years for some gems of feedback like, “It was good!” or “Did you think of making your protagonist into a fembot?”


Just kidding. They’re not really that bad… but neither do they have Barbara’s acute eye for manuscript problems.


So yes, sure, you can do your own manuscript evaluation. You can also perform your own brain surgery, with instructions from the internet. But sometimes it helps to go to a professional who actually knows what she’s doing.


I’m thrilled that I did because what I got was very specific and useful information about what worked and what didn’t in my manuscript. And it took about two weeks, not two years.


For example, I knew my ending wasn’t working all that well, but not why. Barbara pointed out that, in the last 100 pages, I had dropped the main plot and focused on a secondary plot line, lost the tension, and failed to develop the story climax. Oops! No wonder the ending didn’t work. Then she made crucial suggestions for improving it.


Result? I wrote a completely new and much more focused ending that was half as long and a million times better.


Barbara also provides an Overview of the manuscript as well as details about your Characters, Story Structure and Style with recommendations for changes. I implemented all of them and I know they made my book so much better. The suggestions were about things I wouldn’t have picked up on myself – when you’re close to your story, you don’t know what’s missing.


Now I’m totally confident that I’m sending out the best possible manuscript I can offer.


There are other manuscript evaluation services, but I notice that many of them are run by editors. Barbara, on the other hand, is a published author whose novels sell internationally, so she has a highly-specialized level of personal and professional knowledge about fiction writing that can only be developed through experience.


So, what about you? Why should you go for a manuscript evaluation from Barbara Kyle? Because finishing a novel is like getting married – it’s just the beginning. If you want to be taken seriously by an agent – or even if you’re planning to self-publish – and you actually want your novel to sell, then of course you should have her evaluate your manuscript! What are you waiting for? – Karen Alison

Ready for a manuscript evaluation? I’ll be happy to help you. For all the information, click here.