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Developmental Edit

Also moonlights as a structural, substantive, global, and content edit.



A developmental edit is a story-focused, practical analysis of what is and isn’t working in a manuscript, with suggestions for improvement and further learning. It addresses big-picture elements, such as characters, plot and worldbuilding, to make sure they work together to form a cohesive, satisfying story.


This edit digs into the meat of your story, gets under your characters’ skin and pressure tests your plot structure, making sure your foundations are solid before you tackle any sentence-level work.


Depending on the needs of your manuscript, the developmental edit will address some or all of the following story elements:

  • Plot and narrative structure

  • Cohesion and organisation

  • Point(s) of view

  • Character dynamics and arcs

  • Pacing

  • Tension

  • Conflict

  • Theme

  • Setting

  • Worldbuilding

  • Magic systems

  • Technology

  • Dialogue

  • Voice

  • Prose

  • Audience


The speculative fiction elements of your manuscript get just as much focus during this edit as your broader storytelling techniques, with a particular focus on:

  • how they affect the story, world and characters

  • the clarity of their rules and workings

  • their consistency

  • how they are presented to the reader.

Making sure all of these aspects work together is vital for creating solid suspension of disbelief.


Please note, this service does not include line, grammar or spelling edits.



  • ​An EDITORIAL REPORT is a letter containing thorough and actionable feedback about your manuscript. It includes analyses of strengths and weaknesses in the text, suggestions for revisions that support your vision for the story, and suggested reading materials for further study. 
    The report for a developmental edit is between 5,000 and 15,000 words long.

  • CHAPTER ANALYSIS outlines each chapter and discusses its specific strengths and weaknesses. This creates a map of your book that is useful for revisions.

  • MANUSCRIPT COMMENTS are made on the document itself and point to specific issues in the text, ask questions, show reader reactions or point out story craft that is particularly strong.

  • REFERENCE SHEETS are used to keep track of important details, such as characters, settings, scenes, and magic or technology systems. These documents also highlight any inconsistencies that may have snuck into the story.

  • EMAIL FOLLOW-UP consists of two rounds of email questions and answers.
    You may ask as many questions as you would like clarified.



$28 per 1,000 words

(prices in USD)



If you would like to book a developmental edit, use the button below to request a quote.

The link includes a short questionnaire and a place to upload your manuscript. This information allows me to perform a sample edit and tailor a quote to the needs of your novel. Once received, I will send the quote with your sample edit and further information within 24 – 48 hours.  

Ready to book?

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