Developmental Editing

A developmental editor (also called a “substantive” editor) reads a manuscript to assess the big picture. Their ultimate goal is to help an author tell a story that works. They do this by looking at genre expectations, characterization, plot, pacing, point of view, conflict, world-building—all the parts that make up a story. A developmental editor highlights your strengths, not just your weaknesses. Most importantly, when they do offer constructive criticism, they’ll tell you why that area isn’t working. An effective developmental edit and editor will help you improve your craft not just your story.

Things developmental editors don’t do: copy editing or proofreading (it’s too early!).

What I offer:

The peace of mind that what you’re putting out into the world is your best work.

After reading your manuscript through once to get an overall impression of the story, I’ll read it again noting your best writing, as well as pinpointing problem areas that, when addressed, will improve your writing. What you’ll receive from me is a multi-page letter outlining what I’ve found, as well as in-line edits in your manuscript to support those findings. This isn’t a quick process. Full-length novels over 50,000 words can take several weeks to complete the process thoroughly and thoughtfully, which is the kind of attention you deserve.


An estimate* for the entire project will be provided after I take a look at the manuscript to assess the scope of the job. If hired, the first thing I’ll do is send you a contract to look over and sign. Then, a non-refundable deposit equal to 1/3 of the agreed upon estimate will be required to start the job and secure your place in my schedule. After that, 1/3 will be due before the second read-through. The final 1/3 will be due right before the editorial letter and manuscript comments are sent to you.

Free sample edits of 500 words available upon request.

Contact me today to chat about how I can help you.

*Rates fall within Editorial Freelancers Association guidelines.