A developmental edit is the second, deeper assessment of the major aspects of a story.

The Focus:

This is a specific content edit that addresses character, plot, and thematic development at the page and paragraph level. A developmental edit focuses on consistency, believability, pacing, transitions, cliché moments, the balance of storytelling devices, dialogue issues, and other aspects which may help or hinder the functionality of the manuscript.

A developmental edit is the most extensive, detail-oriented content edit available.

The Return:

At the end of the collaboration, you’ll receive an annotated manuscript with comments or highlights every 3-5 pages and an editorial review of at least 6 pages in length.

An annotated manuscript is a markup of the literature you provide. It usually includes comments in the margins and highlighted lines and sections, which can be evaluated using the key provided.

An editorial review is a written review that expresses primary and secondary strengths, primary and secondary concerns, questions, next steps, a key for the symbolism used to mark the manuscript, and a note to the author.

In a developmental edit, the bulk of the attention and commentary is found in the actual manuscript.

The Timeline:

A developmental edit usually takes about 4 weeks to complete, depending on the length and maturity of the manuscript.

A developmental edit usually follows an editorial assessment. We’ll want to address the major issues before focusing on the content at the page and paragraph levels. Once a developmental edit is complete, most authors move forward with a line edit.

See Sample Developmental Edit
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“I love working on a developmental edit once the concept is polished. There’s something so satisfying about diving deep into the specifics and really crafting details.”

-Alison