Developmental Editing

Let's tackle the whole manuscript

Development/Substantive Editing

A Deep Manuscript Edit

This kind of editing is an in-depth evaluation of the manuscript as a whole. The editor will make two passes through the manuscript, one to read and absorb it as a piece of work, and a second one to evaluate what might need strengthening or clarifying. (Additional passes may be purchased.) While the initial process is very similar to a manuscript evaluation, this editing process goes much deeper. This kind of edit is for authors that want every aspect of their piece examined. Components that are examined will include worldbuilding, characterization, plotline, descriptions, point of view, and the writing itself. Details of the edit can include restructuring chapters or scenes, fleshing out characters so they are three-dimensional, filling in and smoothing out plotholes, ensuring consistency of language and ensuring that the world either fits in with the real world, or with the word the author has created.

Things that will be examined include:
  • Expectations – does the novel convey what the author is trying to achieve? Does it meet the conventions of the target genre?
  • Plot and story line development - story arc, structure, pacing, backstory and plot holes
  • World-building - believability and correct amount of details/information
  • Character assessment – looking for development, characterization, and consistency
  • Dialogue usage – consistency of language, natural flow, and fit for each character
  • Timeline - pacing of events and flow of storyline
  • Point-of-view – ensuring that the POV is the best for the story being told and that it (they) are consistent
  • Conflict and tension – ensuring that there is there is enough, and that it is believable in how it happens
  • Scenes & transitions – the transitions from scene to scene and chapter to chapter
  • Readability - Flow, clarity, redundancy, and word usage
  • Strengths and weaknesses – overall evaluation

Note: This is not a line edit, and grammar, sentence structure, and line corrections will not be included. Rather, comments will be specific instances where there are weaknesses, places that can be strengthened, places where things can be cut or added, and other developmental comments. The reason for this is that we are focusing on how to make the manuscript as strong as it can be without worrying about small details which might change anyway when the developmental edits are made.

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