Over the years we have received many appreciative
letters. Here are some typical recent responses:
I am delighted with the report you sent today. The reader has nailed the problems. It was hard for me to be objective and step back, but now, reading the report, I can see exactly what needs to be done. Wonderful suggestions and wonderful examples. I am absolutely thrilled with how indepth the report has gone into the plot problems. I feel like I can now see the light at the end of the tunnel. I now know what has been missing. And I love the reader's idea for the title!!! Perfect!! I cannot thank this person enough.
Thank you, Hilary, for getting back to me so quickly. This report was paid for by my husband and is my Christmas present :). What a wonderful present it is!
Once I have the story revised I would very much like to have it edited by your company. I will also mention your company to my writing friends.
Thank you so very much.
Deb Allard, USA
I really should not be staggered, Hilary, that anyone can take the book that has taken me years to write -- and re-write, and re-write -- and get straight to the heart of what's wrong with it.
I come, after all, from a profession (journalism) where every word of every story, every working day, is open to the instant opinion and fiery pen of a sub-editor. And where things change dramatically -- and, almost always, correctly -- so that the reader is compelled to enjoy, or be shocked, or learn something. Or quickly move on to the next headline.
I now know how to write a story for a Young Adult. Not completely, of course. But I know enough to go and find out the hows and whys and wherefors. And then do it.
So, thank you. And many thanks also to the reader. The money invested in Hilary Johnson's expertise was probably the best money I've spent in my life (sub-editor's note: delete the word ‘probably’).
I sent my short story, Last Dance At Johnny's, to the Hilary Johnson Advisory Service and received not only encouraging feedback and suggested amendments, but advice on selling it, too. The story was broadcast on BBC Radio 4.
I get the kind of honest and constructive feedback from the HJAAS that you can't always rely on when having close friends and family read your work.
Craig Hawes, West Glam.
'Quick update. The Rhys Davies Prize ceremony was held last night. I came equal runner-up and my story is one of three to have been chosen for BBC radio 4. It'll be broadcast on Thursday March 11th at 3.30pm and will be read by actor Steffan Rhodri, who recently appeared in the sitcom Gavin & Stacey and will also appear in the next Harry Potter movie - a great choice!
Thanks once again to the sage advice of your reader who has played an important part in the shaping of my stories.'
Craig - 3/2/2010
The report was much more impressively detailed
than I expected. Your crime reader should consider writing a book
about novel writing. I’ve read a couple of books on the subject,
but the authors always seem to make the mistake of telling –
rather than also showing.
L.E.W., Tyne & Wear
. . . received my story back yesterday. Comments
very helpful and true – funny how you already know, really,
you just want someone to say it to you. Will certainly be sending
other stuff . . .
Thank you so much for the appraisal of my science
fiction novel. It was just what I wanted – an objective view
of the novel so I could see whether (a) it was a worthwhile idea
to pursue and (b) where I needed to rework the text. I found the
summary very thorough and encouraging.
J.C., North Somerset
Thank you immensely! As I read your appraisal,
I could only agree with every word and all the wonderful suggestions
made. The advice will make all the difference to the way I tackle
my plots in future . . . Further work will be difficult but despite
this I am looking forward to making the attempt. Your service is
professional and in-depth. There is no doubt you will be hearing
from me in the future!
I was surprised (although I shouldn’t
have been) by the thoroughness of the analysis and the professional
quality of the editing and guidance. As I read your report it wasn’t
long before I felt I was in safe hands . . . Perhaps the most valuable
lesson I have learned, however, is the need to cut drastically and
to tell the story rather than go for effect.
A is a measure of how useful your work has been
on my behalf, I have now put together my action plan and will start
it this morning.
Thank you for the report on my novel. I was
astounded by the amount of work the reader had put into this project.
The job was magnificently executed and I’m delighted to have
spent the money.
I shall read your report again and again and
try to apply what you have advised. Although criticism is a subjective
art, I do not dissent from anything you have written. I find the
report interesting, enlightening, useful, constructive. It was fortunate
that I found you.
© Dr Hilary Johnson 2000
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