I had an email from someone I didn’t know the other day, saying he was up to chater (sic) 8 in his novel and, if I wanted to help him with any aspects of it, to plase (sic) let him know.
Short answer: No.
Basically, because I prefer to help my friends than strangers and there’s only so much time in the day that I can spare away from writing to comment on MSS free of charge.
And because there are other ways novice writers can get help. Like these:
Read. Read books of the kind you are writing, and books about how to write that kind of book.
Join a crit group dealing with your kind of book, either online or in the real world, where you crit their writing and they crit yours.
Possible Step Three:
Pay a professional.
Which brings me to one of my (unpaid) beta readers. I did a very small favour for him, and in return he beta read “Rogue Rainlord“. I can’t recommend this guy enough – he was spot on so many times with everything from plot holes, to how characterisation could be improved, to typos. His forte is continuity problems.
Rogue Rainlord will be a better book because he took the trouble to comment. I can’t thank him enough.
If you want your sff book (or part of it) professionally read by someone who is very good at this sort of thing and who will give you real value for money, try this guy (and no, I’m not getting a cut!)
His name is Phill Berrie, and you can find him here: http://web.mac.com/phillberrie/Phill/PB_Index.html