In a fresh phase of my long career as both publisher and published novelist, I turned to writing full-time. And I found that I missed reading and assessing brand-new fiction. So I’ve set up Free Literary Mentor as a completely free manuscript appraisal service to début novelists and their readers. During my professional life in books I’ve assessed, edited, published and reviewed prize-winning fiction and non-fiction, I’ve tutored in literature and novel writing, and was fiction publisher for an international company for twelve years—yet I’ve never lost the excitement of seeing new work. If you’re a novelist looking for constructive critiques, have a look below and see how Free Literary Mentor might work for you. If you’re a reader, check out the latest extract from a new novel—you may be peeking at a forthcoming bestseller. To share an opinion, click on the new extract below, or go to the Free Literary Mentor archive, select another and add your comment. 

The latest new work I'd like you to see is Waking Anastasia, a romantic ghost story by Canadian writer Timothy Reynolds.


Today (20 July) Tim's let me know that his revised novel is being read by a major publisher (see his comment below). Best of luck, Tim!


Latest Extract
Waking Anastasia ~ Timothy Reynolds ~ Canada

Jerry’s eyes snapped open. He clumsily blinked off the sleep and found a young woman perched on the foot of his bed. He struggled to sit upright, the sheets and blanket confounding him.

“What the hell?”

She smiled politely, almost regally. “And a pleasant good morning to you, fine sir.”

He blinked, shook his head free of a headache that wasn’t there, and then the memory found him. She was the ghost. “But last night, you couldn’t talk … you were … but …” 

“Now I can. Quite stránno, strange.”

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The Mentor’s Critique
Waking Anastasia ~ Timothy Reynolds

There are several basics in a romance that readers, editors and publishers all look for:
1. characters we really want to spend time with, and come to care for;
2. a story that keeps us turning the pages;
3. a world that we can lose ourselves in;
4. a resolution that convinces us we have been reading a story of true love.
Waking Anastasia introduces an engaging character in Anastasia. Tim, you use dialogue well in this intimate but awkward scene where Jerry wakes to find an attractive teenage ghost sitting on the end of his bed. You subtly convey that the younger and more vulnerable speaker in fact has more poise and flexibility than the older one.

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Send me the first 20 pages of your unpublished, completed novel
Include the title, your author name and a brief synopsis
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