Structural Editing

A beat-by-beat assessment of your story.

The structural edit assesses the story-to-scene level organization of the big-picture ideas. It is concerned with how form, genre, narrative structure, timeline, and pacing work together to draw the reader into the story and keep them there.

Do you need a structural edit?

This service is ideal if your story or a scene in your story feels too predictable. It is a perfect starting point when you aren’t sure what to reveal when, your readers are unsatisfied by the end, your story drags, or publishers say it doesn’t fit the genre.

What does a structural editor look for?

I assess form conventions, genre expectations, story structure, timeline, and pacing. Then, I evaluate how well they work together to engage the reader, maintain their interest, and satisfy their expectations.

  • Form Conventions. Short stories aren’t just stories that are short. I look at how you employ literary and narrative devices and evaluate their effectiveness in delivering your message within your word count.
  • Genre Expectations. I outline genre expectations and assess how the story meets them. For missing elements and scenes, I suggest options for writing them in, implying, or subverting them.
  • Story & Scene Structure. Surprises are important, but familiarity is essential for engagement. I help you find ways to meet reader expectations of story and scene structure without falling into formulaic patterns.
  • Timeline. I check that the events of the story arrive at the time the reader is hungry for them and help you balance the physical timeline with pacing.
  • Pacing. I gauge the speed the story moves for the reader and identify sections that lag or lose them.

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 structural 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 line 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).

Ready to get started?

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