WHAT IS A SANITY CHECK?
HĪC SUNT DRACŌNĒS.
Here be dragons.
Have you ever written a story and then wondered if it should even see the light of day? Are you looking less for feedback on how to continue something, and more for whether it’s worth continuing at all? Do you want honest feedback on how viable your writing, characters, or story really are? In short, are you looking for a “sanity check” on your project?
Family and friends won’t give you the brutal feedback you require. Editors often offer compliment sandwiches about your work. Even beta readers or early reviewers might soften their words in an attempt to be nice or encouraging. I won’t do any of that. This service is meant to tell you my exact opinion on what I’ve read. It might be glowing. It might be average or mediocre. I might think it's the worst trash fire I’ve read all year. I’ll let you know without holding back.
You’ll receive one page of feedback on your project. Maybe two pages, if it’s exceptionally long. The feedback won’t be detailed. It won’t be nuanced. It won’t provide solutions to issues or point out specific examples. It will simply be my genuine feelings on the work as I see it, perhaps with a quick note or two on how you might fix it—if that’s possible. Remember, this is a sanity check, not a dev edit or a critique or even a beta read. The idea is to give you a broad idea of where to head, whether that’s by turning on the green light or waving a bunch of red flags.
I repeat: this service is not for the faint of heart. I might say nice things about your work. But I also very much might not. Please do not choose this service if you can’t handle criticism. Think of me as that Goodreads reviewer who mostly gives two-star ratings, but who is sometimes wowed enough to give a four star. Occasionally. Maybe.
SANITY CHECK REPORT AND PRICING
I want to be clear about what you’re getting with this service:
If your manuscript is under 10,000 words, I’ll read at least 50% of it. If your manuscript is over 10,000 words, I’ll read at least 20% of it. I can’t promise I’ll read it all. I can’t promise I won’t skim the boring parts. I can’t promise I won’t jump around after a while to get to the good stuff—if there is any.
I will write a one-page report about it. This report might bleed onto two pages if your novel is really long or I have a lot to say. This report will contain my opinions as a reader—good or bad. I’m not really going to soften my words or pull my punches here. If I think the story is awful, I’ll tell you. If I think it’s great, I’ll tell you. If I think it needs work, I’ll tell you. If I think you should use it as fuel for your next barbecue, I’ll tell you.
The report will not be super detailed. This isn’t a critique or edit. I might call out specific characters, arcs, or scenes if I love them or hate them, but I’m not going to get into the nitty gritty. You’re getting a high-level overview only. Note that this does not mean I won’t take your work seriously—I will. You’ll still be getting my reader-and-editor eye on it, and the feedback I give you is, in fact, meant to help (whether or not it seems like it).
By engaging in this service, you agree that you want and are willing to receive my opinions. You may not like them. You might think I'm incorrect, or that I misunderstood something, or that I'm not seeing things the way you intended. But I'm not here to argue about it. I'm not here to discuss the feedback, or go deeper, or clarify. This is a one-time piece of feedback that you agree to take as it came. This service comes with no expectations that I will provide any sort of follow-up.
This service is offered at a flat rate. If your manuscript is under 10,000 words, the cost is $20 USD. If your manuscript is over 10,000 words, the cost is $45 USD. If you have scheduling or payment questions, please check the FAQ. They may be answered there!
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Please note that this will provide a rough estimate only. Contact me with your word count for a more exact quote.