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My manuscript assessment will include an in-depth written report in which I identify the strengths of a manuscript and any issues that need further revising. My detailed written report will:

  • Provide an informed, objective and professional opinion of an author’s work.
  • Identify the strengths and weaknesses of the manuscript, and provide suggestions about how to improve and rework it towards a publishable standard.

Fiction writers will receive feedback and advice in an assessment about:

  • The effectiveness of the opening and ending of a manuscript – the hook and the wrap-up.
  • Character enrichment – how to add more depth to character depiction.
  • Plot development – how to increase the dramatic tension and keep your story on track.
  • Structure and pace issues – ways to maximise the possibilities of the setting or plot.
  • Voice and tone – creating a distinctive and compelling voice.
  • Dialogue – ensuring that dialogue is crisp, natural and reveals character.
  • Setting.
  • Point-of-view.
  • Sentence structure.
  • ‘Beats’ and interior monologue.
  • Flabby writing.
  • Inconsistences in style or characterisation.
  • The context for your book and how it fits with other similar books.
  • Whether the style and the language has been pitched appropriately for your target readership.
  • The overall length of the work.

It is a rare manuscript by a new writer that doesn’t require further revising and shaping after being subjected to a robust assessment process.

See sample feedback

Note: There are no guarantees of publication or of representation by a literary agent following revisions carried out by the author after an assessment. However, you will have learned a great deal about which areas you need to strengthen in your writing and how to produce a higher-quality manuscript.

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  • Manuscript notes
    New Zealand authors: for a modest additional fee you can also receive hand-written notes on the hard-copy manuscript that illustrate some of the points raised in the report.
    Non-New Zealand authors: you can receive tracked side comments in the digital file.
  • Overview of first three chapters.
  • Structural editing (for one chapter, a specified selection or all).
  • Follow-up consulting and coaching.
  • Advice about self-publishing.
  • Appraisal and edits of your cover letter and synopsis.

Email me

"Your report was terrific and very encouraging. I'm incorporating your proofreading at the moment and will have a good look at the structure. Great stuff, and thanks for doing it so promptly and comprehensively."

Jonothan Cullinane (crime novel) 

“It was helpful to hear what was successful about my story. I received a lot of encouragement from your assessment. I felt I got a decent idea of how far I have to go to get to a publishable draft. Your general opinions about how my novel fits in the context of the market and other local historical writers were really useful, as were the suggested publishing options. The fact that you had clearly researched the historical event, considered my research sources and how this novel would be received in New Zealand, indicated that you did a really thorough job and you really wanted to understand what I was trying to accomplish.”

Brendan Elks (historical novel)

"Your report is very helpful to me. You have given me some very positive feedback which I found reaffirming and genuine, but also important and valid points about the characters and pace to think about and to improve." 

Annie Rehmann
(general adult fiction)