Fiction Critiques for Writers

<strong>S.L. Leong is a published author writing a ménage à trois of fantasy, historical, and contemporary fiction. Click on photo for biography.</strong>
S.L. Leong is a published author writing a ménage à trois of historical, contemporary, and cozy fantasy. Click on photo for biography.

Take your writing to the next level with a professional fiction critique …

Writing is wonderfully fulfilling … and lonely and directionless. I know. I’ve been there—mired in the horrible knowledge that my manuscript wasn’t near ready, and my writing needed improvement. Yet I had no idea how to fix either.

I longed for someone to take me by the hand and in dulcet tones say, “Hey, right there, don’t do that. Try it this way.”

Instead, I spent years slogging away with writing groups and with critique partners who, although friendly, wonderful people with knowledge of the basics, could only guess what my writing needed to get to the next level.

Going in circles. The blind leading the blind. Super frustrating.

Sound familiar? Allow me to interrupt that tedious, disheartening cycle. My critique will improve your current work-in-progress and give you the tools to create better manuscripts in the future. Think of it as an affordable investment into your writing career.

Your writing voice is the deepest possible reflection of who you are. The job of your voice is not to seduce or flatter or make well-shaped sentences. In your voice, your readers should be able to hear the contents of your mind, your heart, your soul. – Meg Rosoff


Just because your pages come back all marked up, doesn’t mean the critique is helpful. Warning: incorporating poor advice can ruin your manuscript. I know. I’ve been there.

A good critique is always respectful. Difficulties with prose and grammar need to be highlighted, but without treading on your hard-earned voice and style. Glitches in your plot should be pointed out, but with cool recommendations, fun ideas, and a nudge in the right direction.

Writing fiction is an art, not a black and white collection of right and wrong, rules and unruliness. It’s a kaleidoscope of grey. Or rather, a rainbow of colour. Or a beautiful mess turned into something meaningful. Case in point: a critique isn’t blind adherence to the rules of writing.

I’m not offering a mere beta-read; I’m not offering a professional edit. This is something in between, both general and detailed. Think of it as a sea-deep assessment with varying degrees of the three types of edits.

Writing without direction can lead down a path to nowhere.
Writing without direction can lead down a path to nowhere.


Sylvia’s feedback was invaluable in getting my synopsis and query ready to submit, and her notes on my first chapters opened my eyes to exactly what was holding my MS back.

Sylvia isn’t just one of the best writers I know, she’s also one of the most dedicated and insightful critique/editors I know. She truly has a gift with words.

CG Volars, author of STATIC OVER SPACE published by Outland Entertainment

Sylvia’s eagle-eyed critique of my novel, To Those Who Killed Me, provided invaluable insight into character motivations, and helped shine constructive light on manuscript flaws that I simply couldn’t find on my own. Long story short, after implementing some of her suggestions, I recently landed a publishing deal and my book will be on shelves next year! Thanks for telling it like it is, Sylvia!

J.T. Siemens, author of To Those Who Killed Me, published by NeWest Press

Sylvia Leong has provided critique on a variety of my work spanning various genres. Her feedback is never anything short of constructive and insightful. Whether it’s line editing for minor mistakes or large-scale developmental edits, she has a keen eye for polishing a story. I highly recommend her.

Kristyn J. Miller, author of Seven Rules for Breaking Hearts published by St. Martin’s Griffin

I’ve gotten Sylvia’s critique on several pieces now, and worked with her as part of a year-long writing critique group covering multiple genres. I would absolutely recommend her critique services! She does an excellent job of catching character and thematic issues I’ve missed, and gives advice that’s as helpful as it is caring and supportive. She gave me excellent insight on my current novel that let me improve my work while staying true to my voice and my vision for the story. Her advice about my characters’ relationship development was spot-on, and echoed later by professional agents when I queried my WIP. She was also invaluable in helping me polish my query letter and pitches. Jo Conklin, represented by Annalise Errico at Ladderbird Literary Agency

Sylvia has given me the most in-depth analysis of plot and research I have received in a critique. Whether it’s a deeper understanding of a character’s motivation, or notes on real-world phenomena complete with links to scientific information, her insights and detail are consistently useful and detailed. She is always responsive and communicates well what she can deliver and always meets her commitments. I wholeheartedly recommend her. Miguel Montevista

Sylvia provided a thorough and professional review of my short story. Her insightful comments helped me reevaluate the structure and pacing of the work. With her clear suggestions and prompts, I am revising the story to improve it in many respects. She provided constructive criticism yet was supportive at the same time. She further provided detailed pointers on how to address weaknesses in the manuscript, yet encouraged me to be true to my creative vision. Lastly, Sylvia was prompt and responsive. Her dedication to her work and depth of experience is evident in the quality of her work. I feel confident that the final version of my story will be stronger as a result of her input and look forward to working with her again. Wendy Savage

A nudge in the right direction can lift your art to the next level.
A nudge in the right direction can lift your art to the next level.


Your first chapter is arguably the most important, and the most difficult part of your manuscript to master. It must hook your agent/publisher/reader long enough to become invested in both the character and the story. I’ll help you nail that essential, attention grabbing first sentence and opening paragraph, and make sure you have all the elements needed in your Chapter One.

FEE: $35 for the first 500 words, and 0.015 per word thereafter.


I’ll analyze your story structure and character development, point out issues, and follow up with fantastic recommendations. I love to give tips and ideas.

FEE: $35 for the first 500 words, and 0.015 per word thereafter.


Send me an email at, and let’s have a discussion about you and your writing.

Good luck and I hope to hear from you soon.

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