When you’re looking for help with developing a book it’s like looking for help raising your child. These books are our babies. Would you go to Wal-Mart to find someone to raise your child? Then why should you “shop” at these editorial sites to develop your book? If you haven’t explored editing services, I encourage you to do so. You’ll find sites filled with mass market “services” presented like junk food on a cooperate shelf. It’s ridiculous.
What you need is a real person. No, what you need is a real person who is also a writer with genuine aspirations to be successful in the literary world–someone serious about craft.
Why did I decide to offer critiquing services? Because I’m in the same position as yourself. I’m writing a book. I’ve completed the first draft and almost finished with the second draft, and I keep thinking to myself, “I wish I had someone who could give me feedback.” Like you, I want to take my writing to the next level, to be as perfect as I can get it. And we’ve both come to the same conclusion: a writer can only gain a certain amount of progress in isolation. At some point, we have to come out of our reclusive hideaway and seek some guidance.
So we have a couple of options. We can go to the “Wal-Mart” editorial sites or we can sign up for a writer’s conference. I’ve already given you my thoughts on these corporate-shelves-of-supposed-editors, who are likely automatons with a robotic “Thank you for shopping at Wal-Mart” at the self-checkout. If you want me to sound like a robot for you I’ll turn on the text-to-speech. But your writing deserves better.
And yeah, you can go to a writer’s conference. I’ve had some great experiences in those environments. But not until I threw $1,000 into a weeklong course, $800 for a hotel room, $500 for a sitting fee so an “agent” could give me benign feedback about my book, and that doesn’t include meals (if you’re a light eater you can save a few dollars) or transportation. Yeah, you can spend thousands of dollars. Go for it.
I just need someone to give me insight into my work so I’ll know if I’m on the right track. I need a mirror to reflect back to me so I can discover if I’m capturing what I think I’m capturing. But I need someone who knows books, who knows well written literature, and someone who knows writing techniques forward and backward. Moreover, I need someone who gives a shit about being successful in this field.
Because I’m in the same position as yourself, I decided to give other writers what I wish I had: an affordable way to push myself deeper into my own writing.
I offer what I call a “Workshop Critique.” This would be a blend between a Manuscript Critique and Developmental Editing. More or less, it’s what you receive from an instructor of a workshop class at a writer’s conference or university. But without the high dollar price tag. You’ll receive written feedback on strengths and weakness in areas like plot, character development, story arch, setting, point of view, or any specific areas you’d like me to consider. I can work with short stories or novel length manuscripts.
Having received a BFA in Creative Writing, I know all about the workshop course. You get workshopped-to-death at these writing programs, and IAIA was no exception. More importantly, I received an MA in English from the University of Oklahoma. I know literature. You can access my master’s thesis with a quick online search or click here: Náu Jépjègàu (Our Family): Relationality in Kiowa Literature. If you want to taste a sample of my writing you can check the front page of my blog for three options, or you can click here: Our Dance by Oscar Hokeah.
If you haven’t gotten a sense of who I am through my blog, you can jump over to my Twitter or my Instagram. I’m a real flesh and blood writer. My Twitter will give you a sense of my politics, which is likely close to your own, and my Instagram will show you a little of my private life. Ultimately, my blog is the best place to get a sense of who I am as a writer. Peruse, meander, and loiter. I hide no cookies. I’m as open a book as any on your desk.
If you’re interested in learning more about my critiquing services feel free to contact me via a message through my Facebook Page, in the comments section below, or shoot me an email: o s c a r h o k e a h @alumni.ou.edu.