Developmental Editing

A big-picture look at your story’s content.

The developmental edit focuses on identifying and both fleshing out main ideas at the story level and cutting ideas that diverge from the plot and distract the reader.

Do you need a developmental edit?

The dev edit is ideal if you want a thorough assessment of how your plot, character, POV, and setting work together. It is a perfect starting point when your story feels incomplete, isn’t making sense to your readers, or you’re being told it is more of a vignette or scene than a complete story.

What does a developmental editor look for?

I assess plotline, character arc, point of view, setting, and world-building for how they coordinate to develop a cohesive narrative that meets word count limitations.

  • Plotline. I evaluate the story’s events and conflict to make sure each element is getting the space it needs on the page.
  • Character Arc. I assess your character’s relatability, plausibility, and development relative to the events in the story.
  • Point of View. I make sure the narrator’s position creates the optimal narrative distance between the reader and the main character to support compelling communication of information.
  • Setting & World-Building. I check that the events and characters are grounded in concrete elements of the story’s reality.
  • Story-Level Word Count. I consider the number of plot points, characters, the complexity of world-building, and your writing style to make suggestions for meeting word count limitations.

What do you get?

  1. Editorial report. An evaluation of the criteria above with detailed, constructive feedback for each.
  2. Markup. Comments in the margins of the manuscript detailing specific examples of each criterion and suggestion outlined in the editorial report.
  3. Resources and Next Steps. Guidance on how to approach integrating feedback, including helpful how-tos.

Once the developmental edit is complete, you can integrate changes yourself or book a coaching call to work through the revisions together. After you’ve made your changes, you are ready for the structural edit.

What does it cost?

The cost of the developmental edit varies depending on the strength of your story and ranges between $0.04 and $0.06 per word (minimum $100).

Developmental Editing FAQ

Ready to get started?

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