• Between the Lines

    Laurin Wittig is an award-winning author of historical romance novels originally published by Berkley/Jove and now available as ebooks. She has 20+ years of experience in the writing business as an author, a critiquer, and teacher of creative writing.

    In October, 2011, she closed her critique business in order to focus on her own writing. She maintains this blog as a resource to writers.

    To learn more about Laurin's books please visit LaurinWittig.com
  • What Between the Lines clients are saying…

    “Laurin Wittig has a phenomenal gift for identifying the problems in a story and, more importantly, suggesting ways to fix them. I can’t imagine trying to write a book without her!”
    Pamela Palmer
    New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Feral Warriors series from Avon.

    “Laurin Wittig’s talent for finding the essence of a scene and pointing it in a logical and more focused direction is unmatched. Laurin’s guidance is kind and to the point. More importantly she MOTIVATES!”
    Elizabeth Holcombe
    Author of Heaven and the Heather from Berkley/Jove

    “Laurin Wittig is the sharpest story surgeon you could ever desire. She peels away the unnecessary layers to find the strong bones of your plot and character. Laurin has discerned things about my characters that I was still waiting to discover, and I find her insights stunning.”
    Anne Shaw Moran
    The Marlene Award Finalist

    “Laurin Wittig is a genius. Her insightful comments and suggestions helped me change a good manuscript into a great manuscript. I plan to use her critique service for all my future novels. She's the writing/critique partner that we all secretly hope to find -- someone who will help your book become the best it can be, without any power struggles, jealousy or secret agendas.”
    Beverly Giroux
    Golden Heart Contest Finalist

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Professional Critique Service

PLEASE NOTE: Due to a wonderful crush of both critiques and writing deadlines, I will not be taking any new critique clients until sometime in the fall of 2011. Please check back in late August for more specific scheduling information.

What Can A Professional Critique Do For You?

Critiquing is an art that draws on experience, knowledge, craft, and instinct. A professional critique begins with a careful reading of a manuscript with a critical eye toward plot, voice, tone, pacing, emotion, characterization, conflict, motivation, and a myriad of other aspects that weave together, layer upon layer, to create a compelling story.

It’s about reading between the lines as much as it is about reading the words on the page. It’s about discerning what an author intended, then providing useful suggestions to help her reach that goal.

A professional critique can be both powerfully beneficial and remarkably enlightening. It not only illuminates those areas you need to work on, but provides you with a positive and reassuring sense of your skills. The right professional critique not only makes a stronger story, it makes a stronger writer.

Why Laurin Wittig?

Laurin is an award-winning author of historical romances for Berkley/Jove.  She has been intensely involved in critique groups and critique partnerships for more than twenty years. Many of the unpublished authors she has critiqued with are now published.

In addition, Laurin has written articles and taught workshops on-line and in person on the topic of critiquing, as well as other writing related topics.  She continues to study the craft and business of writing, always striving to build on her own knowledge and expertise so that she can provide a stronger and stronger service to you.

What A Critique By Laurin Wittig Is:

▪ It is her best insight into your story, your style, your voice, your characters, your strengths and your weaknesses.

▪ It is her experience and knowledge of the craft of writing applied to your story.

▪ It is her opinion as to what will make your story stronger and more compelling.

▪ It is her promise to you to do the best job she can for you and your story.

What A Critique Is Not:

▪ It is not a guarantee of a sale – Laurin is not an acquiring editor!

▪ It is not a line edit. If a problem is found — typos, suspect spelling, punctuation that confuses, or facts that raise an eyebrow – she will mark it for you but she makes no claim to be a line editor.  Laurin critiques for story.

▪ It is not a promise to fix your manuscript. You will be given ideas on how to make your manuscript stronger, but you have to roll up your sleeves and make it work.

Your Role In This Process:

▪ Write the manuscript (seems obvious, but any critique will be useless to you without this step!).

▪ Keep in mind that a critique is of the work, not the writer. Work hard to separate you-the-writer from the words on the page.  Laurin always aims to be kind but honest in her critiques but it can still be hard to hear your baby isn’t as beautiful as you hoped.

▪ Consider what she has to say. Think about all the comments and suggestions. Let them sit for a couple of days, or longer if necessary, then…

▪ Apply those things that resonate with you. It’s your story. You have to use what works for you and the story you envision. If Laurin’s suggested solutions don’t work for you, use them as a jumping off place for brainstorming an alternative solution.

▪ Ask questions if you don’t understand something.

▪ Be willing to stretch yourself as a writer. 


FREE Sample Critique

First five (5) pages of one manuscript (FIRST TIME CLIENTS ONLY)

▪ Comments in the text, including suggestions for solutions to any problems
▪ ½ to 1 page overview of strengths and weaknesses of story and craft
▪ Suggested ways to make your writing stronger, more compelling


If you and Laurin agree that she can be of help to you after this initial sample critique, the following services are available:

Standard Critique ~ Full or Partial Manuscript

▪ Comments in the text, including suggestions for solutions to any problems
▪ Overview of strengths and weaknesses of story and craft
▪ Suggestions to make your writing stronger, more compelling
▪ Brainstorming when applicable
▪ Recommendations for revision process
▪ Up to two email follow-up replies (substantive about the manuscript)

COST: $1.50 per standard ms page*.
Number of pages is open but must start at beginning of manuscript unless otherwise agreed upon.
Full fee due with receipt of partial manuscript. 
Full manuscripts – 1/2 fee due at start of the critique.  1/2 due upon return of manuscript.

Short Manuscripts ~ Short Stories, Personal Essays, Travelogues, etc.

▪ Comments in the text, including suggestions for solutions to any problems
▪ Overview of strengths and weaknesses of story and craft
▪ Suggestions to make your writing stronger, more compelling
▪ Brainstorming when applicable
▪ Recommendations for revision process
▪ One follow-up email reply (substantive about the manuscript)

COST: Minimum fee of $30 for 1-20 pages.
Longer manuscripts are charged $1.50 per standard manuscript page.*
Fee due with receipt of manuscript.

Synopsis Critique

▪ Comments in the text, including suggested solutions to any problems
▪ Particular emphasis on the balance of plot and character, and synopsis as a selling tool
▪ Overview of strengths and weaknesses of synopsis
▪ One follow-up email reply (substantive about the synopsis)

COST: Minimum fee of $30 for 1-20 pages.
Longer synopses are charged $1.50 per standard manuscript page.*
Fee due with receipt of manuscript.

Follow-up services:

Additional follow up by email or phone available at the rate of $30 per hour, charged by the quarter hour.


An invoice will be provided to you. Payment may be made via PayPal or check. 

Please contact Laurin at Laurin@Wittig.com prior to sending your work to schedule your critique.  Manuscripts may be sent electronically (Word or Word compatible format) or by US mail. If you use the USPS you must include a SASE with sufficient return postage.  You will be given an approximate return delivery date once the manuscript has been received. 

NOTE:  If you send something to the P.O. box address below, please send Laurin an email.  She only checks the box once a week or less often.

* IMPORTANT: Standard Manuscript Page = 
23-25 double spaced lines per page
minimum of 1” margins all around
12 point font, Times New Roman or Courier preferred

Between the Lines Critiques
P.O. Box 5344
Williamsburg, VA 23188

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