Denise M Taylor

Writing Consultant I Editor I Proofreader I Teacher

Whether you’ve written fiction or non-fiction, an assessment of your unpublished manuscript provides an objective critique involving a comprehensive written report suggesting ways to possibly improve the overall structure, plot, characterisation, voice, point of view and the balance of dialogue and prose in fiction; and in non-fiction writing I focus on structure, content development, formatting, use of research and facts, overall plausibility and suitability for the intended readership. Obvious grammar issues are commented on, and ideas are proposed as to how to best improve submissions to target publishers. In every manuscript there are strengths, which I am always eager to point out to the writer. I have written a separate article about taking the plunge and paying for a professional, objective appraisal of your manuscript.

If required, I also comment on that all-important synopsis and/or pitch letter.

A manuscript appraisal looks at the big picture and does not correct mistakes or make comments directly on the manuscript unless I take a copy of a sample of the writing and insert it into the report to provide an example of how improvements could be made.

On many occasions a redraft is returned to me for editing and/or proofreading. It’s even more pleasing when I start out as a writing mentor and move through the writing process with the author, acting as a motivator and objective ‘third eye’. A manuscript assessment is a good way to find out how useful an edit may be in further fine-tuning your manuscript. It’s often happened that I end up mentoring a client following a manuscript assessment!

So, if you’re frustrated with not being able to nail your ideas or research onto the ‘page’ with clarity, or you have doubts about an aspect of your writing, then I can help. Even though I’m based in Melbourne, the Internet allows me to work with writers around Australia and those living in English-speaking countries.

Here are a few comments from my clients:

First, you are very sharp, very perceptive, and I am delighted to see that you like some of my favourite bits.  Ego fully appeased here.

Next, you have pounced on the weaknesses with forensic skill, and this is, of course, what I most needed.  It is wonderful to have such a clear diagnosis. Wonderful too that I am sufficiently detached from it now to be able to deal with it sans blood loss. 

You are someone I see I would be able to trust with a second reading, leading to final polishing and copy editing.  Thank you again for an excellent and quick job.  I hope that now it will be possible to save the poor limping book.

(Viki W)

Thank you so much for taking the time and also the effort to assess my manuscript. I have read through your comments, and am very grateful for your criticism. I believe that you are right in targeting the novel as a YA fiction.

(Cherie D)

I can’t thank you enough for your thorough and helpful assessment of my manuscript. I am now very motivated to redraft my narrative with your suggestions in mind. I will definitely recommend your manuscript appraisal service to others in my writing group! I’ll be back to have you edit my ‘final’ work.

(Mandy W)

Thanks you so much Denise. Your assessment of my manuscript has been insightful and incredibly helpful. I am now well on the way, but I will return to you for a copy edit. 

(David W)


Manuscript Assessment Fees

My written report, which is usually between 2,000 and 2,500 words, is emailed to you within two weeks of receiving your manuscript. You can submit your manuscript via email or mail me a hard copy (with a reply-paid envelope for its safe return, if required).

The one-off fee must be paid via direct deposit to my bank account (or by cheque if you prefer) before my work begins. This fee is based on the word count of the manuscript as per the schedule below:

Manuscript Word Count Fee
Up to 10,000 words $350
Up to 25,000 words $400
Up to 50,000 words $500
Up to 80,000 words $600
Up to 120,000 words $700
Up to 150,000 words $800

Longer assessments can be quoted on an individual basis when you contact me.

So if you are looking for a

Manuscript Assessor 

please contact me by way of introduction and I will reply within 24 hours.

I am happy to discuss a mentoring/manuscript assessment/editing & proofreading package that can be negotiated at the outset or agreed to along the way.

As all writers know, writing is a journey of discovery with many twists and turns.

Hope to hear from you soon!