The Intelligent Eye Critique Service for Writers
Cleaner Pages and Better Writing
The Intelligent Eye Critique Service for Writers began as a way to
help aspiring writers to obtain feedback about their writing.
For ten years, the service was sponsored by the Florida First Coast
Writers' Festival Inc., a non-profit group that helped to put on the
annual Writers' Festival in conjunction with Florida Community College
at Jacksonville (FCCJ). Festival-goers began wailing, "Isn't there
anyone who can look at my manuscript?" So we created the Intelligent Eye
Critique Service and saw that it was good.
Now, a good friend of the Writers' Festival, the North Florida Writers,
is sponsoring the critique service.
However, the Intelligent Eye will continue to strive to help writers of
fiction and non-fiction.
For ten years, we served new writers who simply needed someone to check
out their copy. Writers who looked our way found a service that did not
exist just to coax checks of $1,000 to $2,000 from them.
We encourage you to do a comparison check of other editing and
critiquing services. You will find that the rates of the Intelligent Eye
Critique Service for Writers are among the lowest around.
WHAT WE WILL DO
The Intelligent Eyeballers can help you with your novel, your collection
of short stories, your non-fiction (history, memoirs, collection of
The Intelligent Eye will identify weak areas in story lines, locate many
grammatical problems, spot inconsistencies in point of view, detail,
voice, tone, etc. We both mark on the manuscript itself and provide a
We will also point out where your manuscript is strongest.
You will need to include a copy of a manuscript that we can mark up. .
.and return to you if you have included sufficient return postage.
WHAT WE WILL NOT ATTEMPT
The Intelligent Eye does mark many grammatical errors, but it will not
try to correct every grammatical problem in your manuscript. For
example, if we spot a misspelling such as "accomodate," we will insert
the extra "m" the first couple of times we see it, but then perhaps just
circle a later "accomodate." We assume you will then do a search and
correct the word throughout.
We cannot promise to make a manuscript publishable. You may have written
a fine "literary" novel or collection of stories, but you may find that
agents and editors are struck in a "commercial" mode and aren't
interested in something that is merely "literary." You may even have a
topic that has very limited appeal; perhaps you have a memoir that would
only interest your friends and neighbors.
We cannot promise that your manuscript will win a prize.
We are not ghost-writers, typists of handwritten manuscripts, or agents.
If you are in need of those services, we may be able to suggest someone
or some firm, but you will NOT have to worry about our receiving a
WHAT IS THE TRACK RECORD OF THE INTELLIGENT EYE?
Not only would a business have charged a lot more than we have in the
past, a business would also have tracked the publication record of its
clients more vigorously than we have done.
Nonetheless, past users of the Intelligent Eye have expressed their
thanks for our service. Some of their manuscripts have been published:
THE WAR EXPLOITS OF THE USS FLASHER, a history of the World War II
submarine by William McCants
AN AMERICAN BEACH FOR AFRICAN AMERICANS, a history of Northeast
Florida's only beach community for blacks, by Marsha Dean Phelts;
published by the University Press of Florida
THE FALDETTA, a novel by Pauline Furey
POTTER FIELD, a novel by Lewis Thomas (also winner of a Midwest novel
. . .and other works, including computer workbooks for college classes,
scripts for audi
TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE OF GRAMMAR AND STYLE
What did the writer SAY in the following sentences? And what did the
writer MEAN to say? See if you would change anything, and then check the
Intelligent Eye's assessment in the "answer" section.
1. Having soured in the refrigerator, Mrs. Jones poured out the milk.
2. Elton Smith, who is married with nine children, is interested in
3. Janna Phillips became interested in public affairs after a fatal
accident in Springfield last February.
4. The possibility of blind people being offered the same car parking
facilities as other persons is to be investigated.
5. Police who searched Jack Wilkins' residence on Beach Boulevard found
forks and knives belonging to the Jacksonville Electric Association and
twenty-three squirrel skins.
6. The main purpose of this survey was to find out what the youth of
Dunmore do do, and where they do it, how many nights they do it, and if
they find it easy to meet people in town to do it with.
7. Between you and I, I will take the job irregardless of what they
8. The Beatles or Paul Simon were her favorite singers from the Sixties.
9. The James' house is next door to our's.
10. On Tuesday, April sixth, nineteen hundred and ninety-nine, four
artists from Birmingham and a photographer from Chicago was in an
exhibit at the museum.
11. Sitting next to the fire place, he said, "Join me." Angela sat and
refused to look at him. Taking a sip from his drink, he said, "You're
still mad, aren't you?" He pretended not to notice when she did not
respond. Jiggling the ice in his drink, he said, "Well, if you won't
talk to me, then wait on me. Get me a refill."
1. DANGLING MODIFIER: Who or what soured in the refrigerator? "Mrs.
Jones poured out the milk that had soured in the refrigerator."
2. WORD CHOICE, PACKING, AND INFORMAL USAGE: The writer shouldn't
combine facts just because they would fit into a sentence. A sentence
should have a natural flow and the parts should resonate with
cause-and-effect. Moreover, never refer to SEX unintentionally since the
readers and listeners will giggle. You cannot use "accident" and "nine
children" in the same sentence without the readers saying, "Nudge,
nudge, wink wink, see what I mean?" We assume the sentence meant to say
something like this: "Angelica and Elton Smith, residents of Fairhaven,
say they spend most of their time in the emergency room. During the past
year, their nine children have had three severe cuts, two broken arms,
and numerous sprained ankles and bruises. To head off problems, they
have started a neighborhood safety campaign."
3. VAGUE REFERENCE: Is the ghost of Janna Phillips running for public
office? Probably not. The writer meant to say, "Janna Phillips became
interested in public affairs after her best friend was killed in a
traffic accident in Springfield last February."
4. EXACT WORD USAGE, WEAK VERB, AWKWARD PASSIVE: Obviously, no agency is
going to have blind motorists trying to park in its lots, but the writer
may be referring to a drop-point. Notice that we have 15 words before we
reach the main verb--which turns out to be a vapid "is" followed by a
weak passive infinitive, "to be investigated." So, the writer probably
meant to say, "The Municipal Safety Committee is investigating ways for
the parking lots to provide pick-up and drop-points for the visually
5. PUT THE PARTS TOGETHER THAT BELONG TOGETHER: What does the JEA own?
Did a thief steal forks and knives from a JEA cafeteria AND squirrel
skins from the JEA? Probably not. Maybe the squirrel skins simply
belonged to the occupant. So perhaps the writer meant to say, "Police
searched Jack Wilkins' residence on Beach Boulevard and found forks
How To Contact the Intelligent Eye
When mailing your manuscript, send it (and return postage) to
NFW Kent Campus, Box 109
3939 Roosevelt Blvd.
Jacksonville, FL 32205