Barry Corbett

Before I started working with Wyn, I was mostly concerned about losing my own unique style of writing. As I feel that I am unexperienced, I could see myself following suggestions and changing my stories to adhere to an editor’s preferences. Instead, she has consistently worked to help me improve my own voice.

In particular, my writing has taken a giant step forward. Wyn has pointed out some glaring weaknesses in my work. I’ve had a major problem staying consistent with Point of View. Now that Wyn has explained the rules in a manner that is clear to me, I feel more confident moving forward and identifying these issues in my own work.

My writing was riddled with exposition and in the short time she has been working with me, we’ve managed to eliminate almost all of it in the stories she has critiqued.

Overall, Wyn managed to mix analysis and critique with a good dose of positive reinforcement. This kept me from getting frustrated when I struggled and gave me the confidence to persevere. She mixed in advice from other sources, supplying articles and suggestions offered by professional writers. I would not likely have found this material on my own.

Also, Wyn is a specialist in Speculative Fiction. Since I write Science Fiction, this is a huge advantage for me. She understands the genre and is very familiar with its rich and varied history. In addition, she laid out some specific guidelines that helped me to build my scenes and place the reader inside the skin of my protagonist. Moving forward, I am much more aware of my past transgressions and better able to weed them out.

I am completely satisfied and greatly impressed by Wyn’s expertise and professionalism. She has improved my writing by leaps and bounds and I would enthusiastically recommend her to anybody looking for guidance.

Wyn is extremely easy to work with, has a great sense of humor, and is intuitive to the writer’s personal vision. I was really impressed by the extensive time and energy she put into my project and the in-depth analysis that I received.

Eric M:

My greatest concern of any critique is that it may be dispiriting. After spending so many hours striving to get the story right, it is frightening—no, terrifying—to sit and listen to all the ways it was done wrong. Not to mention the “reasons” given for what was wrong. Will the critique be valid, or will it represent the opinion of a person who didn’t bother to read deeply? A critique done in haste, by a person who couldn’t be bothered to understand the story being told, is worse than useless. It can actually be damaging.

As a result of your critiques, I have gained confidence that I can tell a story and create interesting characters and worlds. I’ve also gotten insights into what I’d thought I’d put on the page but actually hadn’t—and, occasionally, insights into what kind of story I’d actually meant to tell.

I especially appreciate that your critiques are both gentle and thorough. It is always clear that you’ve read the entire thing, and that you critique the story I wrote, and not the story you wished I’d written.

Also, it’s a relief to have a grammarian check my work, because I know I am lacking in that regard. Having someone to send my work to also motivated me to keep writing and get it ready. Your talks are also very encouraging, so I looked forward to them instead of dreading them.

I very much recommend your service. It was wonderful to get a detailed, pointed, and thorough critique that was also so very encouraging. It’s a rare skill to be able to pick a work apart without leaving the writer feeling bloody.

Rachel Z:

I used to worry that my teachers and peers in “regular” writing classes simply didn’t get my fantasy and science fiction submissions. They were very focused on a particular kind of literary short fiction, which has less of a plot than genre stories need, and also tend to value darkness and death as ends in themselves.

When I joined a writers’ group with Wyn, I found that she is a fabulous editor! Her encouragement and belief in me—along with some patient tutoring—helped me to do more than I thought I was capable of. I have seen her transform several people’s writing, helping the author turn a confusing jumble of interesting ideas into a compelling novel.

As one example of how she has helped me: One of my teachers liked to have both author and peer reviewers answer a simple question—What is it about?—in as few words as possible. If the author’s answer didn’t match that of the editors, the author knew there was a problem.

Wyn’s summary at the beginning of all her critiques admirably completes this exercise. When I read it, I can tell if the main plot points were clear, and if the theme and emotional content I intended came through to my audience. Over time, her summaries have helped me to work on clarity of action and theme.

She has also helped me to learn about structure, by pointing me towards articles that have changed the way I think about scenes.

Wyn’s attention to detail is unsurpassed, and the amount of time she spends going over my writing is humbling. I couldn’t ask for a better editor.

Aline B-K:

I have known Wyn since roughly 2002, when I joined the science fiction writing group of which she was already a member. In regular group meetings I have seen Wyn critique the work of others, including my own writing. She is invariably tactful, insightful and helpful. She makes certain to say positive things about a writer’s work (even when there is little positive to find in a given piece) before delivering any criticism.

Wyn takes the critiquing process seriously and submits both detailed observations and edited manuscripts. Her critiques highlight significant issues, particularly plot and pacing, as well as style. They often include helpful suggestions on how to fix a problem or improve a scene.

I frequently look forward to Wyn’s critiques on a segment of the novel I am writing as I know that her ideas and insights will help me to make it better. Plot can be a weak point for me so I find Wyn’s input particularly helpful.

Louis W:

Wyn, I just wanted to thank you. I’ve always found your critiques to be helpful and constructive.

You seem to grasp the nature of my own author’s voice and embrace it. Your comments help me strengthen my voice without diluting the “me” in my writing. In contrast, other critiquers often seem to be fighting my style—recommending that I switch to something closer to their own.

Clearly, I have benefited enormously from the guidance of everyone in our writers’ group. Yet, from you, I get a steady stream of good writing rules that I have never before consciously codified. The latest example was your simple “response after stimulus” guideline. While I might chose to violate this “rule” in the future for specific reasons, it adds to my collection of writing tools embedded in my mind. From this I gain better self-critiquing, so to speak, when reviewing my own work.

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