Looking for feedback on your manuscript to take it to the next level?

Writers need feedback before they submit work to publishers, and even more so before taking the road to self-publication. My manuscript development service gives a comprehensive report on your manuscript for structure, style, tone, characterisation, tension and all the other issues  important to creating a compelling read. I assess fiction and non-fiction books and stories at any stage of the process.

You will receive

  • a comprehensive written report
  • phone consultation and
  • your hard-copy manuscript marked up with suggestions on how to create a more compelling draft.

Call me to discuss whether your project can benefit from manuscript assessment and for a quote based on your word count.


Madeline’s comments are really comprehensive and so valuable, I really appreciate all the work and thought that has gone into the assessment, and the technical details she was able to convey that will teach me such a lot. Everything has to sink in and there will be much to do, but I’m so glad I took this step before taking the manuscript to any agents or publishers. It’s exactly the kind of feedback that I needed but that my lovely beta readers weren’t able to give me.

Aislinn Batstone – fiction 2018

I just wanted to touch base with you to say a big thank you for all the time you put into my MS. Your report is amazing and just what I needed. Thanks again for a great job.

Craig Semple – memoir 2018

A big thanks to Madeline. I can honestly say I didn’t know that there was such well-formed thinking around structure and style. I now see that by studying the craft I can get better. Before I was just trying to be original.

Blair Robertson 2017 – author of Kaiviti: A Fiji Tale (University of South Pacific, 2015)


Getting a manuscript assessment provided me with a sense of clarity that I was missing after several years of working on my novel. Reading the marked-up manuscript was like looking over the shoulder of my audience and listening to their reaction as they read. Madeline provided a clear analysis of what the problems are in my novel and how I might fix them, as well as an indication of what works. Her suggestions for change have given me a vision of a greatly improved second draft.

Rebecca D, 2015

Sometimes an author can get a little too close to the action, too involved with the characters, begin wandering aimlessly in the mind’s landscape, or even lose the plot completely. That’s about the time when a thorough professional edit comes in handy. I found Madeline Oliver’s 14-page report on my first-draft fiction work to be highly illuminating, covering issues including; synopsis, opening, structure and storyline, action and exposition, point of view, character development, style, resolution, chapter structure, punctuation, spelling, formatting and the next step forward. This report, together with a detailed mark-up of the manuscript, has enabled me to take a positive step forward on my road to publication. I would not hesitate recommending ‘It was a dark and stormy night…’s storytelling services to anyone wishing to take the next step forward.

Dr Robert R Coenraads, 2015

Madeline Oliver reviewed and edited my manuscript. Her edits and suggestions were insightful and spot-on, and added more than I could have hoped for. She provided a valuable and balanced outsider viewpoint and has an excellent eye for detail. Thank you again Madeline for such great work.

Ken Haywood, 2014, author of Clawdell, released on Kindle 2015.