Developmental Edit

Is a Developmental Edit Right
For You?

Developmental editing is a comprehensive review of the big-picture aspects of your story. The approach a developmental edit takes is to identify deficits in the plot and storytelling style, highlight the issues using inline comments, and provide feedback on how to approach and solve the problems.

Developmental editing is sometimes called structural editing or content editing because its focus is on the plot structure and the content itself. This kind of editing is distinct from copy editing and proofreading because it does not focus on granular aspects like punctuation and grammar, and except for providing examples to identify and show you how to fix a particular issue, the editor does not directly make changes to your manuscript.

If you’re concerned something about the plot is not working and will stop your words from resonating with your reader, a developmental edit is right for you.

Focus of a developmental edit

World Building

Is the setting of your story immersive and consistent? Are your magic and/or technology systems applied in a believable way?

Character Development

Do both your primary and secondary characters grow, act logically, and behave believably in their extraordinary circumstances?


How smooth is your story's flow? Are there instances where events are rushed? Are there any places bogged down with exposition?

Story Structure

Do you start at the right place, and do the plot developments flow naturally? Are there any derailments or logic flaws in the story?

Narrative Voice

Are your POV and narrative distance consistent? Does the narrator hop heads too much or leave out key details the reader needs?

Thematic Resolve

Does your story have underlying meaning and depth that will stick with your reader long after they read The End?

Elements of a Developmental Edit

Feedback Letter

A comprehensive editorial letter of approximately 10-15 pages in length that includes big-picture issues and problems in the text, an explanation and definition of each issue found for educational purposes, and guidance on macro and micro solutions for each.

Inline Comments

A Microsoft Word file with inline comments and teaching examples to show how you can make improvements to your writing. Track Changes will be utilized so as to be minimally invasive in these teaching examples.

Consult Time

One hour of complimentary consultation for every full length novel. After you've had a chance to review the feedback, we can go over any concepts that require further explanation, discuss ideas for updates, and problem solve.

Cost of a Developmental Edit

We Want To Do An Amazing Job For You

It can be hard to give a specific answer for cost. Many factors influence the amount of time and effort it will take to do outstanding work. A relatively polished manuscript with few overarching issues will be comparitively low cost, and a relatively early draft with many big picture issues will be comparitively expensive. 

But I know that doesn’t help you budget. The cost of a developmental edit runs roughly from $0.018-$0.04/word. Each estimate is determined invidividually, so please use the contact form below to set up a project evaluation.

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