A developmental edit is often very involved and looks at the big picture, as well as any nuances authors might miss in their own review of the manuscript. While many quick fixes to your manuscript may allow you to check for characters’ names or other basic problems, a developmental edit takes it a step further and looks at the “why” and “how” of the characters’ motives, their descriptions, and other aspects of writing.
Our process of developmental editing involves the following:
- Analyzing manuscript content to suggest and implement structure changes
- Identifying plot hole, theme, premise, symbolism, tension, pacing, character development (motivation, inconsistencies, etc.), inconsistent dialogue or tone, etc.
- Recommending solutions to identified problems
Examples: Plot improvements, structural analysis, dialogue or action or description/prose needed to further the story.
Sometimes developmental edits reveal major plot problems or instances where the plot falls flat or needs to be fleshed out. Like with any type of edit, however, the editor is merely a sounding board. It is up to the writer to apply the suggested edits, and it may involve multiple conversations to smooth out any wrinkles uncovered in the review process.