Writing and editing

Amber Hatch Manuscript Assessment

Do you have a story you need to tell? Or a manuscript you are hoping to get published? A lot of people feel they “have a book inside them”. Yet how many of those get started, finished, or even published?

I’ve published five books with major international publishers. I’ve sold over 50 000 copies and my work has been recorded for audio and translated into 15 languages.

Whether its fiction or non-fiction, I know what makes writing work and I can help you get your story off the ground or bring it to completion. Writing a book is hard work. As well as creative flair, it takes determination and perseverance. Almost all writers encounter problems and blockages at times during their writing. Support and thoughtful feedback can help you work through them. Rather than preventing you from continuing, obstacles become opportunities to make your writing stronger.

Writing your novel

Once you’ve completed your first draft, going back and re-writing can be even harder. Now your novel has a start, middle and end, it is possible see where issues might be causing problems to the novel as a whole. Is the point of view consistent? Is the pacing right? The dialogue natural? The plot gripping enough? Or too complex? Are your characters well-rounded? Does your novel evoke a realistic sense of place?

It can be hard to stand far enough back from your own novel so you can see it freshly – as a reader will. That’s why writers need readers. But although most readers will react to problems in your novel, they won’t necessarily be able to pin-point what it is you need to do to put it right. Well-meaning friends can send you down the wrong route. That’s why you need critical feedback from an experienced editor.

I offer mentoring packages for writers who want ongoing support and critical advice. This can suit both the beginning writer, and those who are working on their second or subsequent re-write.

I also offer manuscript assessments for those who need a one-off critical appraisal. I will tell you what’s working and what needs fixing.

I can offer advice on fiction or non-fiction – but I won’t take on a manuscript if it is outside my area of knowledge or expertise.

About me

Aside from my track record in publishing, I have a background in literature, teaching and editing.

I have an MA in Creative Writing from Bath Spa (I won an £11K AHRC award for it and passed with distinction).

I have an English BA from Southampton University (First class).

I have several years experience teaching English and writing, including tutoring writing skills at Oxford University, and I have been editing and assessing novels for ten years. I have also worked as a freelance editor for Watkins Publishing.

I know what makes writing work and I can help you with yours. I can give you a frank and insightful assessment of your manuscript, whether you are preparing it for an agent or an editor, or you are intending to self-publish.

“Amber doesn’t pull any punches and lets you know what is working and what is not. If you want somebody who will tell you your work is ‘nice’, Amber is not for you. On the other hand, if you want someone who will make your work publishable, Amber will help you get there. She’s brilliant and knows what works.” Shelley, 2017