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The Manuscript Assessment, aka Structural Edit or Substantive Edit

Posted by Andy McDermott / Director Publicious Pty Ltd on 13 January 2016

Happy New Year! I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas.

Well 2016 is here at last and it already feels as if we're racing towards 2017. At this time of the year I like to look ahead and set my writing goals for the coming months. For me 2016 has begun with the initial manuscript assessment of my latest novel.

A manuscript assessment, aka structural edit or substantive edit, is a very important and sometimes overlooked part of the editing process. There comes a time, after countless self-edits, when you'll finally need to let your manuscript go by allowing someone else to cast a critical eye over it and give you feedback prior to the editing process.

Copy editing and proofreading tend to look in detail at the accuracy of spelling, grammar and punctuation etc, while a manuscript assessment will give you professional advice on the big picture. Your editor will compile a written report by detailing aspects of structure, style and prose such as plot, character, point-of-view, pace, writing style, narrative, dialogue, presentation, length, and use of research etc. A manuscript assessment is designed to ready your manuscript for copy editing and/or proofreading and is not meant as an alternative to these vital services.

If you truly want to grow as a writer and make your book the best it can be I would highly recommend a manuscript assessment. A word of warning, however, you'll need to be strong, criticism can hurt. A good editor won't pull any punches and that's exactly how it should be

Good luck!

Until next time...write on


      My desk this morning. And so the work begins.


Andy McDermott / Director Publicious Pty LtdAuthor:Andy McDermott / Director Publicious Pty LtdConnect via:TwitterLinkedIn
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