Developmental Editing

The first step in the professional editing process, developmental editing covers aspects of big-picture storytelling. Your editor will analyze elements of your manuscript including plot, structure, characterization, setting, pacing, and voice. An attentive read culminates in a written analysis of your manuscript’s strengths and weaknesses, along with potential solutions. Your manuscript will be marked with heavy comments, providing both editorial and reader-response insights.

Developmental editing should be completed before any type of prose-level editing, including line editing and proofreading. A budget-friendly alternative to developmental editing is the manuscript critique, which covers the same elements in a less comprehensive format.

Developmental Editing Includes:

  • In-text comments on your manuscript
  • An in-depth edit letter with an analysis and action plan
  • A one-hour call to discuss your notes and revision plan

Is Developmental Editing Right For Me?

Developmental editing is an ideal first step, whether you are publishing traditionally or independently. If you have improved your manuscript as much as you can by yourself and are ready to receive deep, thoughtful feedback on your work, developmental editing is the right choice.

Example Developmental Edit Letter

This example developmental edit letter was created for a real author during a developmental editing service with Blue Pen. We share it here with the author’s permission. While each edit letter is very unique to the manuscript, this example developmental edit letter illustrates the aspects you can expect your developmental editor to cover.

Rate: $0.038 per word


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