Developmental Editing

Good storytelling is as integral to the success of your book as good writing.

Are you concerned that your story might drag? Do you know how your ideal audience will respond to your book? Are your characters well-developed and likable? Is your narrator consistent?

If so, consider the developmental editing package.

Who it’s for:

Any author looking to make their story shine through an in-text editorial review of their story elements.

What it is: 

The developmental edit is essentially focused on a single element: the story.

My feedback about your story, including your plot, characters, and narration, is delivered to you through a series of in-text edits and comments. The package also includes one hour of consultation to be used in whatever manner you desire.

The developmental edit does not include a large-scale review of the book–most authors who choose a developmental edit combine this package with a critique.

How it helps:

Assembling a large and involved story is a complex and difficult task. In order for your story to be effective, you have to make sure the narrative functions on a variety of different levels–plot, conflict, appeal, pacing, narrative perspective–and you have to make sure every aspect of the story is consistent and makes sense.

A single inconsistency or character flaw can ruin an entire story.

When we work together during a developmental edit, I will help you make sure that your story works. I will help you focus your conflict, develop your characters, and create believable scenarios for your characters. After we’re done, you’ll know your book has a story worth reading.

I’ve written more about how developmental editing is crucial for your book over at Duolit. Check it out.

What I look for:

While I edit, I’ll be looking to give you feedback about what aspects of your story are effective and what could use improvement. If you’re interested to know what specific questions I’ll be looking for, you can check out my editorial considerations.

As you may notice, there is some overlap in focus between the developmental edit and the critique. The primary difference between the two editorial passes is the scale of focus and the method of delivery.

How it works:
  1. Once we’ve agreed on pricing and a payment plan for your project, you’ll send me your full manuscript, along with a questionnaire that will help me get an understanding of your book. 
  2. I’ll read through the manuscript, making comments and suggestions as I go.
  3. Once I’m finished, I’ll return the marked up manuscript to you, and we’ll schedule your consultation.
  4. We’ll talk about your book, and you’ll have all the information you need to make your book stronger.

Most of my developmental edits on an average book (75,000 -100,000 words) take about three weeks. However, if you have a hard deadline, get in touch–I am happy to accommodate schedule requests and rush orders if my schedule permits.

What they’ve said:

From B.E. Jewell, author of The Hunter’s Son:

Brenda opened windows in my novel that I didn’t even know existed. Her ability to look at a story globally and see the bigger picture still amazes me… Brenda made me a more aware writer and helped me through the pitfalls every new novelist encounters.  I do not think I would have finished my first novel if not for her guidance.

What you’ll get:
  • Respectful, well-intentioned delivery of my thoughts and constructive criticism. Writing is hard work, and I’m not going to make it harder by being mean. (See my no-tears philosophy here.)
  • My in-text comments about the effectiveness of your story
  • My in-text suggestions about how to improve any shortcomings I perceive.
  • One hour of consulting (a $50 value) via video, phone, or chat to discuss my responses, my feedback, or, really, anything you want.

The developmental editing package starts at $1000 for the average book (70,000 – 110,000 words).

Contact me for an estimate on your book!

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