​Developmental Review / Substantive Editing

What does a developmental review and substantive editing cover?

Developmental reviews look at the basic structure that supports your story behind the scenes. We address big-picture elements of your writing: character and plot development, organization, structure, flow, style, pacing, clarity, consistency, and genre expectations.

With a developmental review, you typically won’t get specific line edits, although we may make a few to demonstrate a particular point. Our editorial report provides direct, actionable feedback on the structure of your manuscript.

If you’re struggling with something in your story but can’t quite pinpoint what it is, you likely have a developmental issue. We can help you find and fix it.

Do your characters learn and grow throughout the story? Do their eyes change color between chapters? Are their motivations and behaviors believable? Will readers keep turning the pages, or does the action drag in spots? Are critical scenes where they should be in the plot? The editorial report details such issues and includes clear suggestions for revisions.

Substantive editing is a package deal that includes all the elements of a developmental review plus detailed line and organizational edits. Substantive edits address not only the underlying structure of your story but also the language you use to tell it, focusing on clarity and precision. We collaborate with you to polish and enhance your voice, to help make your writing the best it can be.

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To request a free sample edit (see the Rates page for more details), ask us questions, or just say hello, please email us using the form below.

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