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The Editor’s Report - a fictionalised story of how Catherine got an editor's guidance on reworking her novel

Catherine had started writing after her divorce. Now 48 and with one grown-up daughter, she had finally been able to immerse herself in her writing. She originally took up creative writing to ‘give it a go’ and found herself increasingly drawn to writing, attending regular classes and doing her writing assignments diligently but with real enjoyment. She had even signed up for a couple of creative writing weekends, although she found the other writers a bit intimidating.

Although Catherine had been encouraged by her course tutor and received praise for her stories, she found her first attempt at writing at book-length much harder going. 

Her novel was about the stormy relationship between a mother and her daughter, who had left home at 16, eventually going off to Australia with an older married man two years later. Perhaps the trouble was that it was too autobiographical, for Catherine had had a difficult relationship with her own mother and had also left home at a young age. 

Her friend Liz thought the novel very powerful and was sure she could get it published or publish it herself. 

Catherine felt parts of it were good, but something was wrong with the structure, or perhaps it was the characters? Although she had followed her tutor’s advice, she still felt the novel wasn’t right, but didn’t know how to approach her third rewrite. 

How could she get the expert advice she needed?

An Editor’s Report is what Catherine needs. 

She is willing and able to tackle the work herself, but uncertain about how to approach the job. 

The report would offer her the direction she needs, commenting on the writing, characters and storyline of her novel and on its chances of publication. Catherine decided she needed a longer, more substantial report, so opted for an Editor’s Report, which would spell out what she should do to get her novel right.  When the report arrived it provided a fair assessment, tough reading for the author but just what she needed to help her with the next draft. 

Editor's Report

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