|Posted by Kristen House on April 20, 2019 at 11:10 PM|
As a fiction book editor for self-publishing authors, I'm constantly interacting with authors who are brand new to the world of book editing and publishing. And while I'm always doing free sample edits to help determine what type of editing your manuscript needs, it's not always easy to diagnose a need for developmental editing.
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). 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.
Developmental editing focuses on:
Most of developmental editing focuses on these big-picture issues, which aren’t always visible in a small 1,000-word sample edit. Therefore, to diagnose a need for a developmental edit, I ask authors the following questions:
If you have the interest and funds to pursue a developmental edit (or, to save some money, a manuscript critique—as long as you’re willing to do some hands-on work to offset the cost), it absolutely wouldn’t hurt to include. And, besides, every pass over the manuscript is an improvement.
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Book editor Kristen Hamilton is the owner and sole employee of
Kristen Corrects, Inc., where she provides manuscript editing
services for traditionally and self-publishing authors. Several
authors whose books she has edited have won awards and have
Reading is Kristen's passion, so when the workday is over, she
can usually be found curled up with a good book alongside her
four cats. She loves watching cat videos and scary movies,
eating pizza, teaching herself French, and traveling, and she is
likely planning her next vacation. She lives outside of Boise, ID.