Have you ever taken on a 1000-piece jigsaw puzzle only to discover a couple missing pieces at the end? It’s frustrating and feels like a great big waste of time.

Sometimes at the end of writing a novel or after receiving feedback from beta readers, it feels like the missing pieces of your story will be lost forever. A developmental edit points out what those missing pieces are and provides thorough suggestions and solutions that make it seem like those damn puzzle pieces were hiding under the box all along.

Perfect if:

  • you’re an author intending to self publish.
  • you’re an author intending to publish traditionally.
  • your manuscript is in need of improvement but you’re unsure how to fix it.

What stage should you be at?

  • You’ve completed your own extensive revisions on your manuscript.
  • You’ve already had at least a couple of pairs of eyes look over your work to give general feedback.
  • You’ve sent out your manuscript for beta reading and received feedback recommending lots of changes but you have no idea where to start.

You don’t need to tick all of the above but at the very least the first should be completed so you get the most out of the copyediting experience.

What does developmental editing involve?

  • A developmental edit looks at the manuscript as a whole and is a report of 8+ pages as well as notes and comments left throughout the manuscript.
  • Issues addressed can be in regards to character development, pacing, plot, structure, tone and point of view, and will depend on the needs of your manuscript.
  • This is probably the most complicated round of editing as it can result in lots of rewriting on the author’s part, but it does mean you’ll end up with a tighter story.