As the term suggests, it is an in-depth edit that helps develop the work into what the author wants it to become. It is also called substantive editing and is sometimes replaceable with line editing.
- A developmental edit is the first round of editing, followed by copy-editing and proofreading. Think of it as laying the foundation for a house you want to build. Would you do the curtains first or ensure the ceiling won’t fall upon your head?
- An in-depth editing service, the editor will show using track changes what works (strengths) and what does not (weaknesses) in the manuscript along with suggestions to improve.
- This is costlier because the editor performs a sentence level reading that involves observations and suggestions to problem areas, including dialogue, consistency, pace, plot, characterisation, structure etc. This applies to non-fiction as well.
- Unlike manuscript assessment, there is no report involved in a developmental edit.
- If there is a consistent problem with spellings, punctuation, grammar, point of view, dialogue tags, transitions and usage, I will point these out but not mark them throughout as they are primarily part of copy-editing.
- It is possible that your manuscript requires a combination of copy-edit and developmental edit. If so, you can let me know and we can discuss.
As part of a developmental edit, you get a free 45-minute call that helps clarify pending doubts.
This should be done after the edits have been seen by the author. Questions should be specific, not general. I explain in manuscript assessment what kind of questions should be asked. It is best to email me the questions and schedule the call so I am better prepared to answer them. Please note: all questions should be specific to the manuscript. For unrelated queries, such as about book proposals, submissions, which agent or publisher to pitch, a separate fee for consultation will be quoted.