During a developmental edit, we will be looking at your manuscript as a whole. This is the stage that may include broad changes to your story. You’ll receive feedback including, but not limited to, the following:
- Characterization. This is arguably the most important component of any story. We want to make sure that your characters feel real. This includes defining their motives and fears, as well as making sure they are relevant to the plot.
- Plot. This is where we examine the overall storyline as well as individual arcs. We’ll manage the pace of the action and track the revelation of truth. This may involve cutting, adding, splitting, combining, or reordering chapters.
- Narration. Several questions are reviewed through this process. Would this story work better in first person or third person limited/omniscient? What is the narrator’s relationship to the characters? Is shifting perspective appropriate, and how can we accomplish that effectively?
- Major Themes. We’ll look at recurring imagery and allegories to ensure the message of your story comes through clearly.
What to Expect:
- An overall plan. After we’ve finished reading your story, we’ll type up recommendations including the detailed sections based on the four categories above. This will amount to roughly 2-4000 words.
- Examinations of individual chapters. At the end of each chapter, 1-500 written words will show how to make specific scenes feel cohesive and appropriate to the overall story. This may be adjusted based on the length of your chapters or sections.
It’s important to remember that we won’t be rewriting your story for you, and we won’t be looking at individual sentences or paragraphs. As the writer, you are ultimately in control. After the developmental edit, it is up to you how you would like to proceed.
At this stage, the components of your story will be mostly set. Now it’s time to start polishing. We’ll look at your manuscript on a micro level, focusing on individual paragraphs and sentences, even words. More specifically, we’ll work on:
- Sentence and Paragraph Structure. We’ll make sure your sentences carry the rhythm and tone of the story. Each sentence will be evaluated on the appropriate length and style of the overall piece. This may include combining or expanding certain sentences, as well as removing redundancy.
- Dialogue. Here we’ll make sure that characters speak in a way that is appropriate to the era, setting, circumstances, and themselves.
- Word Choice. This is the meat of your writing. Rather than change words, we’ll provide alternatives to consider (example: ran > fled, sprinted, charged).
What to Expect:
For a sample copy of edits, send us a piece of writing up to 1000 words. We will be happy to send you a free line edit for your review.
Our Two Main Editors:
David Sorensen works as a writer and freelance editor for all types of manuscripts. Some of his stories have appeared in Bastion Science Fiction and The Squawk Back. His plays have been featured in ARTS New Works Festival 2016 and Live Arts’ NWOF 2017. David has a background in science fiction, romance, fiction, plays, and humor.
Rebecca Lee works as a writer for Psych Central and Assistant Reviews Editor for Newfound magazine. She has published in a variety of mediums including newspapers, university journals, and magazines around the world.
.02 per word