What is developmental editing

Most writers can’t afford their hiring so many rounds of editors or don’t have the proper budget to pay for each. Thus, how do you know which kind of editing to get for your novel? And what on earth is developmental editing? A developmental edit also referred to as a structural edit, conceptual editing, and manuscript appraisal is a careful and in-depth edit of your entire manuscript. Developmental editing analyzes all aspects of your writing, ranging from separate words to the overall configuration and style of your sentences. A developmental editor will most likely be very perceptive and very experienced to be able to find those structural errors of a novel.

How do you know you should hire a developmental editor?


You should probably look into a developmental editing budget if you notice you have a lot of structural errors. Structural errors are any kinds of sentence fragments, comma splices, run-on sentences, or any missing areas or gaps in your work. These errors can make your writing hard to read, and your point has the tenancy to get lost. Other signals of structural errors include incomplete plots, plot holes, timing errors, or areas where there is too much or not enough description. When hiring a developmental editor, they have to check all of that in-depth, along with examining the tone of your novel and general writing style. Developmental editing is so thorough because it dives deep into line editing and most editors will offer rewrite suggestions. Some like to consider hiring a developmental editor is the first step before sending your manuscript to a proofreader, copyeditor, or beta reader and if you’re on a budget, it could be your only step. Hiring a developmental editor is most beneficial in fiction because this edit will highlight any issues to plot or characterization. A thorough developmental editing session will keep your target audience in mind and evaluate your work in correlation to industry criteria and anticipations. Authors should go into this process prepared to rewrite as it is common for a developmental editor to come and change a lot about the groundwork of your manuscript.

How to decide on an editor, and when do you begin searching for one?

When choosing an editor to get this hefty job done, do your research. Try looking up the editor to some of your favorite books or choosing a few editors and reading the books they have on their portfolio. Commonly, some authors aren’t willing to make the changes that come along with a thorough developmental edit, and this is a good way to avoid thinking your editor doesn’t get your vision. Knowing the work of the person you want to hire, and then crafting the budget and things you want them to focus on could make this bumpy ride a bit smoother for both parties. This step of hiring a developmental editor should be done when the author feels like the manuscript is the best it can be. If you hand your editor a swept manuscript, it can leave them to focus more on big ideas. Developmental editing is less affordable because it is very time-consuming and may be one of the most worthwhile edits you’ll pay for.