Manuscript Assessment


manuscript assessmentIn the years I’ve been editing, I’ve seen hundreds of authors struggle with the same problem: writing alone in the dark. After spending months (or even years) writing away, they become lost and unable to see the wood for the trees. Inevitably, they can’t see their work as a fresh reader would. It might be that they know where their problem areas lie, they just can’t find a fix that works, or maybe they have become so familiar with their own manuscript that they can’t even see the problems any more – they have just become part of the wallpaper. This is not an enjoyable place for authors to be; they may feel frustrated and demotivated by their lack of improvement or progress. What they really need is professional editorial guidance that can reignite their enthusiasm and help them write a better book.

Getting a manuscript assessment is like switching the light on and having someone show you the way. It’s as simple as that. Once an expert editor has pointed out what you need to work on, why and how, you’ll have a clear action plan so that next time you sit down to write, you will feel confident that you’re back on the right track, giving your readers your best work. It will enable you to spend your writing time more efficiently as you will have a actionable to-do list to attack.

The opening chapters of the book need to be the strongest because anyone browsing a few pages in a bookshop or who has downloaded a free Kindle sample needs to be impressed and motivated to buy the book/eBook. If you haven’t engaged with the reader and made them connect with your main character in the first couple of chapters, in all honesty, you have probably lost their attention and they will put the book away, never reading your best chapter – which is probably much later in the book. Authors tend to find their flow and get comfortable with their writing as they go and consequently, it’s often the opening of the manuscript that is the weakest. This is exactly why we’ve just launched our brand new Start Strong Manuscript Assessment service, for the introductory price of £250 What this report will give you is the ability to look at your own work more critically and then use our actionable guidance to polish your writing to a higher level. Of course all authors are different and there are no golden rules, but we can offer decades of experience at what really engages readers and pass this knowledge on to you.

Start Strong Manuscript Assessment £250

Our expert editors will carefully read through the first 50 pages of your manuscript along with your synopsis. They will then create a 6-10 page manuscript assessment report which will cover both broad strokes issues and give specific examples of smaller problems along with solutions of how they can be fixed. This will include but is not limited to:

  • general overview on the merits of the manuscript and who it would appeal to
  • storytelling technique
  • character development (& world building if applicable)
  • showing vs. telling
  • choreography of action
  • pace and dramatic tension
  • physical and setting descriptions
  • tone, language
  • grammar, spelling, sentence structure, tense and formatting
  • textual analysis to highlight any overused words or phrases
  • conclusion and advice including actionable steps you can take to make your manuscript better straight away

Of course all manuscripts are different and some will need more help in more areas. Our editors will therefore focus their time and energy on whichever elements your manuscript needs the most help with, which may include elements outside of those listed above.

How does the manuscript assessment process work?

1, You send in 50 pages of your manuscript along with a synopsis (if you have one).
2, Our expert editors will carefully read through your work and within 3 weeks, they will create a 6-10 page report, which will give you feedback on what is and isn’t working and give you actionable instructions on what you need to do to improve it. All this plus they will highlight specific examples in your manuscript so that you will know precisely where and why the editor has picked up on what they have.
3, Then you will be able to improve the manuscript by targeting your problem areas with the tactics and strategies your editor has suggested. Using the manuscript assessment report, you will be able to get your work up to a level where it is either ready to be sent out to Beta readers or even given to a copyeditor.

Ready to get started? Contact us to ensure your manuscript is the best it can be. If you would like a longer section or even your full manuscript assessed, please get in touch for a bespoke service.