If you’ve completed your document, and feel like you’ve done as much as you can do, it’s time for a developmental editor to step in and provide you with feedback. Developmental editors look at the big picture of a story, answering questions like:
- Is your opening interesting and impactful?
- Are your characters relatable and are their motivations clear?
- Is there a strong emotional arc in every chapter?
- Is the plot or premise interesting?
- Does the order of events/scenes convey the story well?
- Is your setting immersive?
- Is your dialogue believable and does it flow naturally?
- Is your narrative point of view consistent and/or effective?
- Does the tense in which the story is told effectively tell the story?
- Are you using strong, active words?
- How can the story be given more depth and meaning?
- Is the ending interesting and impactful?
- And more!
A developmental editor should not directly change your story in any way. Developmental editors simply make suggestions for content edits. They are not proofreading or line editing your work, so they should never make actual changes to the text in your manuscript (unless it is to show you what they mean with a particular suggestion).
Developmental edits are about adding, removing, and moving around content within your manuscript. Again, it is about the big picture. That said, a lot of developmental editors may notice technical mistakes you are making consistently and choose to point them out as a learning opportunity.
Sometimes, a manuscript may require multiple rounds of developmental edits before you and your editor agree that the content is ready for line editing or proofreading.
Please note that I do provide free editing services on a limited basis. Click here for more information about my free editing services.