Allan Sparkes, CV, author of The Cost of Bravery. I helped Allan in a writing-coach role with a bit of line-by-line editing thrown in as he worked his manuscript up to a standard to show to publishers. Allan has leveraged the success of his book into a career as an in-demand public speaker
"I met Mark Whittaker when he was writing for the Weekend Australian Magazine. He immediately captured my trust and confidence. Some years later, I considered writing a book about various episodes of my life. Exploring the deep recesses of my memory, the thoughts turned to words and those words seemed to multiply before my eyes. Page upon page of ramblings. It was complicated and difficult to read. Mark changed the negative aspects of my writing . He taught me the art of painting pictures with words. This project, whilst a professional engagement, was enhanced by the care and respect Mark showed me. It is a path I urge you to consider. The difference in what I had written originally to the end product was worlds apart. My book, The Cost of Bravery, was published by Penguin Books Australia in May 2013. It is an experience I never thought possible. The emotion I felt reading the final manuscript will live with me forever. The pride I felt when my book was published has never left me. Mark Whittaker helped change my life. He let light fill what was a dark recess. He allowed me to remember the past for the right reasons. He helped me tell my story."
Anthony Bennett, co-author Village Vets and Calving Straps and Zombie Cats
"Writing our books with Mark was a thoroughly enjoyable process, coffee and laughs at each meeting and a fantastic product to boot. As an aside I met a great friend at the same time."
Patrick Whiteley: author 101 Silly Stories from Cheerful China. Patrick has been a writer all his life but needed feedback on his non-fiction work plus the novel he's writing based on true events.
"I started my working life as a journalist more than 30 years ago and have earned my bread and butter as a professional writer. But writing a book about something that matters to me was different. Like many writers, I can get caught up in too much telling, and bog the reader down with unnecessary details and undeveloped characters. That’s where Mark offers great value. He explains to me exactly what is and isn’t working and helps me transform my story into something more intriguing and engaging. His detailed, constructive and well thought out feedback helps me parachute the reader deeper into the story. As my story gets better, it inspires me to write more and get the job done. I strongly recommend him to any writer seeking to complete and publish a book."
Martin Collins, author, Missionbeat: Life on the Streets, unpublished
"In the mid nineties I started writing a few short stories about the job I was doing and some of the characters I had met. I thought one of the stories worked well. I intended to submit it to The Sydney Morning Herald.
Mark liked the story and instructed me on how I could make it read more smoothly. But I had an ending that I couldn’t make work. He advised me to put the story away for a week, not to think about it, get it out later and see what came to mind. I followed his instructions, and after a week the final two lines came to me. It was the perfect way to end my tale, bringing it all together. Three weeks later, my story was printed in The Herald. I was very proud of it.
Years later I started writing more about the job I had done, with the thought that maybe it could become a book. I gave Mark the first 30 000 words. He read it and strongly encouraged me to write as much as I could. I wrote 60 000 words and gave it back to him. After reading the “finished” product he encouraged me to keep refining it. This I did with his help. He showed me how to edit out unneeded words and phrases and where I needed to supply more description and action that helped portray what I had seen. He also showed me how to move sections around so the stories read more smoothly. It has taken on a better structure and is easier to read.
We're still working on it. Mark is always available with the advice and help I need to complete the task. I could not have got this far without him.
You will do well to engage his expertise. He knows his stuff and will make your writing a more satisfying read. I can not thank him enough."
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