Developmental Editing Explained - Video

Developmental editing has many names and is also referred to as substantive editing or content editing. So, what is developmental editing? Developmental editing is the first phase of editing. The editor looks at big picture items, such as pacing, character development, transitions, scope, tone, voice, narrative arch, and structure. It's often a conversation in the margins between the editor and author. For nonfiction books, the editor focuses on expanding or trimming the thesis, rearranging, and restructuring information. With fiction, a developmental editor can help fix timeline issues or suggest the development of secondary characters. Developmental editing is one of the most important edits because it ensures that the foundation of your book is strong.
Share this story
Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn
No Data
  • Thank you, Ingrid, for this explanation of Developmental Editing... and I really get the value of it. I'm in the middle of putting out another edition of my book and the Developmental Editing of it is something I'm very concerned with. Problem is, this is expensive, i.e., to hire an editor to help me with this. And of course, I must retain all the rights to the work, including the editing. In the first go around, I did all the edits myself, and quickly discovered just how difficult this is, and simply did the best I could with my own skills - and trying to pull myself out of the mindset of the writer and see the work more objectively, from the POV of the reader - which of course is very difficult to do - ergo the need for a professional editing. Help! What to do? I'm on a shoe string budget. There are writer groups of course that I can join, wherein a writer gets another writer(s) feedback on their work - but this only works as quid quo pro, tit for tat, which is fine with me. But, it's so hard to find the right match. I write science fiction and slipstream, so the last type of criticism I need is, "Well, since your story takes place 500 years in the future on another planet, wouldn't the English language they use be quite different?"  Really?! Science fiction is hard enough to understand without changing up the language too much. You see what I mean? I'd have to hook up with other writer(s) who have a strong appreciation for science fiction, and are willing to give me proactive feedback, along the lines of Developmental Editing... not easy to find. Thanks, Axel