MANUSCRIPT ASSESSMENTS

As a writer, it can be very difficult to be objective about your own writing, and to see the strengths and flaws in your work. It can be even harder, once you have spotted the faults, to know how to correct them. 

We’ve all been there, lost in a forest of words, knowing there is something awry but unable to put our fingers on the actual problem. 

External eyes can provide that objective perspective: they can spot an overwritten scene or a plot hole or where the story has gone off on a tangent. In other words, they can see the wood on the trees, as well as the overall view of the forest and possible pathways through it. 


WHAT I CAN OFFER

I can be another set of eyes.

When it comes to storytelling, I am particularly skilled at developing character and story. I also love the music of language and am a grammar pedant. 

Due to the personal nature of writing, I understand how hard it can be to hear negative feedback, and I treat every author and their manuscript with respect, sensitivity and, of course, confidentiality. 

I am happy to appraise fiction (commercial or literary), non-fiction and memoir, but not speculative fiction, childrens’ books or poetry.

 

WHAT IS INCLUDED

1. A close reading of your manuscript, particularly looking at:

Order and cohesion of story
Plot gaps and bumps
Character development and consistency
Pacing, tension and maintaining reader interest
Setting
Language

2. A page-by-page annotation of your manuscript in Track Changes

3. A one- or two-page summary report with suggestions and tips

You may choose to add a meeting via Skype to discuss. (See below for cost.)

 

WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED

1. Proofreading – I am not a qualified editor and while I can comment on language and grammar, this will not be a line-by-line edit.

2. Fact-checking.

 

WHAT I WILL NEED

1. Completion of a short questionnaire to ascertain what you want from the appraisal and ensure I am able to provide it. 

2. The agreed number of words/chapters. (See below for rates and formatting.)

3. A one- or two-page synopsis of your work-in-progress. 

 

TURNAROUND TIME

Two weeks from receipt of manuscript for appraisals up to 10,000 words and four weeks for longer.

 

FORMATTING

Please send your manuscript as a Word Document with double-spacing and standard margins, in a twelve-point standard font (e.g., Times New Roman, Droid Serif). Number the pages and include a header with your name and the title of your work. 

RATES (Excluding GST)

< 3,000 words                            $150
3,000 – 10,000 words               $250
10,000 – 25,000 words             $350
25,000 – 50,000 words             $500
50,000 – 80,000 words             $750
>80,000 words                            To be negotiated

60-minute meeting via Skype/Messenger/FaceTime          $100

If you choose a shorter initial appraisal of your manuscript and request a longer one within six months, the cost of the first appraisal will be deducted from the cost of the second.

Full payment will be needed prior to commencement of the appraisal.

If you are interested, please contact me for more information.