Developmental Editing

Posted by Kristen House on June 21, 2015 at 1:40 PM

Developmental editing looks at the book as a whole and focuses on improving character development, overall story structure (including fixing loose ends), pacing, perspective, narrative style, and your story’s organization.

During the developmental editing process, I add material (enough, but not so much as to compromise your writing) to fill in the holes as necessary, and delete material (this varies from sentences to paragraphs to large chunks of text, depending on the content and whether that material is relevant to the overall story).

This service also comes with a free Editor's Report, a 1-page letter highlighting the most common issues I found during editing, geared toward showing you how to avoid your most common writing mistakes to become a better writer.


Developmental editing focuses on:

    • Momentum and pacing
    • Plot consistency
    • Overall structure/structural choices
    • Story organization
    • Tying up loose ends
    • Tone and voice
    • Tense issues
    • Point of view and narrative perspective
    • “Showing” versus “telling”
    • Deleting superfluous material
    • Adding material where necessary (setting description, character development, dialogue)


While other editing services (line editing and proofreading) will get you a beautifully written book, only developmental editing will get you a properly developed storyline—which will appeal to your readers.

Once your overall story, pacing, tone and voice, etc. are taken care of in the developmental editing process, I always recommend line editing (focus on improving sentence structure, logic, consistency, and clarity) and proofreading (final check for surface errors including spelling, punctuation, grammar, and word choice) prior to getting your manuscript published. Developmental editing is one of the services included in The Ultimate editing package.


Please read my guide for information on sample edits, editing packages, rush project options, and the scheduling process.


Questions? Ready to get on the schedule? Contact me!

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