A developmental edit is different from line editing and copyediting. While line editing and copyediting look at sentence structure, typos, and grammar and usage issues, developmental editing is concerned with how your story is told. A developmental edit is intended to provide the author with suggestions on how to improve a manuscript's major elements, including plot, characters, themes, and pacing.
What does your developmental service entail?
I will read your manuscript in its entirety and provide you with a detailed report outlining the major issues in the submitted manuscript. I break down my report in a way best suited to the manuscript. For example, if the manuscript already has strong character development, my report might be broken up into the major events of the novel to evaluate how each one might be improved or clarified to improve the plot. On the other hand, if character development needs attention, I'll point out the areas where characters seems off from how they're initially presented, including pieces of dialogue that don't jive with their personality or motives. Together, our goal will to be to find your manuscript's strengths and weaknesses, identifying and resolving the underlying issues, and tightening up already successful aspects.
What is the difference between a line edit and a copyedit?
A line edit focuses on the content of your story. A copyedit focuses on true errors in your manuscript. A copyeditor doesn't read to understand the story being told. A copyeditor corrects grammar/usage/spelling errors and internal inconsistencies; for example, making sure a character's eye/hair color doesn't change, making sure a character's name is spelled the same way each time, always hyphenating/capitalizing certain words. A line editor pays attention to how well you tell your story, suggesting changes to word choice/language/structure to improve clarity, coherence, and voice, even where no errors exist.
What if I don't agree with your edits?
I firmly believe in an author's choice to accept or respectfully reject an editor's suggestions. The suggestions I make are based on what I see as underlying issues or areas for improvement in the manuscript. I will point out an issue and an example—or multiple examples—of how to resolve it. After having the problem explained and considering a few possible fixes, you might come up with a different solution of your own. The goal isn't for you to take my resolutions and incorporate every single one as presented. Rather, the goal is for you to learn how to problem solve with this and future manuscripts. I'll do my best to suggest changes that mesh with your story. But you're the author. You get to decide what story you tell. It's my job to make sure it's told well.
In some cases, what I see as an issue might not seem like an issue to you. Editing is not a black/white, right/wrong service, and we will not always agree. I cannot provide a refund simply because we see the manuscript differently. I will use my knowledge of the market and my experience editing published authors' manuscripts to provide the fairest and most comprehensive constructive feedback I'm able to provide. If you're at all dissatisfied with the clarity or depth of my feedback, please let me know in a response email and I will provide any answers to questions about the content of my report.
Will you look at my revision?
I'm happy to discuss discounted fees for reviewing a revision based on my developmental edit of your work.
Can you suggest agents to query?
I will suggest similar titles, or publishers that have published similar work, which will enable you to find suitable agents for your project.