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Options & Fees

This section sets out three distinct methods for developing your work. Which one suits you will depend on whether you’re starting on a new idea, finishing a draft, or somewhere in the middle. Each option is a different combination of dialogue, practical work and feedback, tailored to suit your aims and pace. You’ll also find information about fees and terms.

One Shot Draft

Are you dreading the blank page, or wondering why your attempts at a book keep fizzling out? Do you have a fantastic idea, but no clue how to shape it?

One Shot Draft is an intensive pre-writing process, which lets you engineer your story from the inside out, discover its real potential, test out key technical and artistic decisions, and pre-solve tricky problems. It bypasses the ‘zero draft’ or ‘blurt' stage completely, taking you straight to a fast, confident, complete first version.

The process consists of a structured series of development tasks and guided experiments, tailored to the needs of your project and presented at a pace to suit you. At each stage I’ll give you resources, examples and detailed feedback, with regular Skype or email conversations. After 10-12 individual sessions, you’ll be ready to gallop through that first draft!

Elements include:

  • Clarifying your purpose and developing your concept
  • Research and worldbuilding
  • Thematic structures and outline plotting
  • Sense-checking your narrative approach
  • Creating characters and character languages
  • Responding to genre and market requirements
  • Detailed plotting

The process is based on methods I designed for the Edinburgh Napier MA in Creative Writing, adapted for one-to-one work. It’s been successfully used by experienced writers embarking on a new creative direction, by complete novices who have never tried a novel before, and by novelists starting their first narrative non-fiction project.

Comments from the class of 2016/7

Incredibly supportive, encouraging ambition. Challenging in the most exciting of ways. Sam’s dedication to students and feedback was amazing
Challenging in the best way. Sam gives incredible feedback that pinpoints and addresses weaknesses, while motivating us to keep producing our best work. The activities are always fruitful, driven by students’ individual needs, interests and ambition
It is demanding, but due to Sam’s organisation and enthusiasm, it was also do-able. The process challenged me to try new ways of learning and research; it is greatly appreciated
*from anonymous feedback forms on the module devoted to using this process for developing narrative non-fiction; collected by Edinburgh Napier University, April 2017

How it works

First, get in touch! No need to send anything in advance — we’ll just schedule time for a conversation. If we agree that the process suits your aims, I’ll email you a letter of agreement setting out the schedule we envisage.

In our final session I’ll give you some goal-setting tools to help you plan for completion of your draft, and you’ll set yourself a deadline. We’ll agree a couple of points in the following months for me to check in, see how you’re doing, and help you with any urgent troubleshooting.

And when you finish your first draft, I’ll be excited to see it! You'll have the option to come back for a manuscript assessment at 30% discount, and to arrange editorial support for the second draft if you wish.


A total fee of £1,500 payable in however many instalments you choose.


If you’ve never written a book before, this is an empowering kickstart. If you’re trying something new, it’s a way of stepping out of your usual writing habits and recharging your process. Either way, it works! But unless you’re a very experienced author on a lucky streak, it won’t result in an immediately saleable manuscript.

You’ll still need to get feedback on your draft, do plenty of rewriting, and deal with a few of the usual setbacks before you find success. The crucial difference is you’ll get to that stage much faster, with greater confidence in your decisions.


Hit a block? Run out of steam? Lost confidence?

Mentoring gives you the space and support to take a step back, work out what’s holding you up, and experiment with some alternatives to give you a fresh perspective. It enables you to set new goals for your work in progress, and to set about achieving them with rejuvenated energy and purpose.

This is a completely flexible process, using an empathetic combination of mentoring, coaching and editorial techniques. If you’re uncertain about the way forward, I may well be able to help. And it will probably turn out to be fun!

How it works

The first stage is to get in touch. No need to provide masses of detail: we’ll schedule a time for an initial chat, and then you can send me some of your manuscript to read.

After that, if we both feel I can help, I’ll email you a letter of agreement. This will summarise the aims of the mentoring process for you, and set out the schedule we envisage. The agreement represents a commitment on both sides to the work ahead, but the process itself can be altered at any time if your needs or circumstances change.

Skype is best for mentoring — although if you happen to live anywhere near Edinburgh, I’ll be delighted to meet up in person.

In our final session I’ll give you some tools to help you plan your next steps. If you achieve your goal of a full-length draft, then I’ll be excited to see it! You’ll have the option to come back any time for a manuscript assessment at 30% discount, and to arrange further editorial input if you wish.


£175 in advance of each mentoring session, including preparation and follow-up notes. The initial consultation is free.


Manuscript Assessment

Finished your manuscript? Congratulations! That’s a huge achievement. Now you have to decide what to do with it. For novels and narrative non-fiction, the assessment is your first port of call: it’s a brisk, objective and professional second opinion on the complete manuscript.

To start the process, just whizz me an email with ‘Manuscript Assessment’ in the subject line, and I’ll be in touch as soon as possible. If I can help, I’ll confirm in writing with an invitation to send your manuscript, followed by an invoice for the first payment. You’ll receive your report within 4 weeks. This is a succinct overview of the strengths, weaknesses and potential of your manuscript, with suggestions for further development.

If you’re thinking of booking a manuscript assessment, there’s some extra advice on making the most of professional feedback in my guest blog for Scottish Book Trust.


£400, half on receipt of the initial invoice and half within 30 days of receiving the report.

Development Editing

This is a process dedicated to helping your manuscript fulfil its potential, and helping you to solve the technical problems outlined in your assessment report.

Development editing is driven by dialogue, so each stage will involve a detailed conversation as well as written feedback on redrafted sections.

We’ll begin by agreeing on the areas to tackle, and a logical order in which to address them. I’ll then send you a letter of agreement confirming the scope of work we envisage.


£175 per feedback session, including preparation and follow-up notes. The initial consultation is free.

Final polish

Line editing and copyediting are both available by arrangement.

Code of Editorial Practice

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Quick guide to methods and fees

One Shot DraftYou have a great idea for a book but haven’t started writing it yet£1,500 ($1,975*)In instalments
MentoringYou’ve hit problems with a work in progress £175 ($230*) per mentoring sessionIn advance of each session
Manuscript AssessmentYou have a complete draft and would like a professional opinion£400 ($527*)Initial payment to commence work; balance on completion
 (Returning One Shot Draft / Mentoring Clients)£280 ($369*)(On completion)
Development EditingYou want to tackle issues highlighted in your manuscript assessment£175 ($230*) per feedback sessionIn advance of each session
*Payment is in GBP. US dollar conversions shown are approximate, please check with your bank for exact figures.

Terms & Conditions

My mission is to provide inspiring, insightful and professional support, in accordance with the descriptions of methods set out in this website. If at any point you feel your experience falls short of this aim, please tell me immediately. Your comments will always be welcomed and, where possible, any shortfalls made good.

  • I undertake to treat your work in the strictest confidence, and to treat you with respect and without discrimination on any grounds.
  • If you have a disability or condition which requires adjustments to be made in the way work is carried out, please let me know as soon as possible.
  • My engagement as a consultant begins when a letter of agreement is issued and payment is received. An initial conversation does not represent a commitment to work with you.
  • Unless an alternative is arranged, payments should be made in Sterling by electronic transfer.
  • If you embark on a One Shot Draft, Mentoring or Development Editing process and find yourself unable to continue, you may cancel the agreement at any time by email, and any payment received in advance of work commencing will be refunded. Agreements may also be suspended for a period of time, by arrangement.
  • If you are unable to submit work by the agreed date in advance of a scheduled feedback session, your session will be arranged for the next available opportunity, but please be aware this may result in delays.
  • All manuscripts, including work in progress for discussion, should be submitted by email as a Word attachment, double spaced, in 12-point type, with page numbers.
  • You retain copyright in your work at all times.
  • Copyright in all materials supplied by Sam Boyce Consultancy, including feedback and reports, remains with me, although you’re welcome to use quotations for your own purposes. If you’d like to use any of the written resources I provide as the basis for workshops or writers’ group sessions, please let me know.