Manuscript appraisal: Once More, Novel 1 in the Sayen Falls Series

by Rebecca J. Berry, independent author

Project dates: November/December 2017 and August 2018

Project tasks: Manuscript appraisal, manuscript formatting, copyediting

This project was mainly a manuscript appraisal but included some copyediting, manuscript formatting and proofreading. Once More is the debut novel for US-based independent author Rebecca J. Berry.

The initial draft was overly long at 167,500 words, so my feedback to Rebecca included the advice to cut the word count and some suggestions on how to achieve this. Overall, my editorial report addressed the following:

  • story elements, including plot, theme, story arc, characters, dialogue and setting
  • technical writing elements, including structure, timeline, length, flow, style, point of view and grammar
  • formatting elements, such as not using the tab key for first-line indents and applying a Heading 1 style to chapter headings for easy navigation.

The report also included a chapter-by-chapter overview to make it easier for Rebecca to identify structural issues. She took my suggestions on board and made major revisions to the novel, resulting in a tighter and more compelling narrative, while retaining her unique author voice and style.

Rebecca plans to write more novels in this series, and I look forward to spending more time with her delightful characters in Sayen Falls. If you’d like to read this book, it’s available on Amazon in both Kindle and paperback formats.

Front cover of Once More
by Rebecca J. Berry

Hear from the author of Once More

I cannot thank you enough for your thorough feedback and advice. Your notes were invaluable to me in shaping the story into its best self. With your insights, I felt like a sculptor removing excess to reveal the statue inside the stone, as the saying goes.

Once More, Novel 1 in the Sayen Falls series

Rebecca J. Berry

Independent author