I am a developmental editor, which means I analyze books for the strengths and weaknesses in an author's writing craft, character development, and story structure. It's a combination of big-picture analysis of your whole book plus detailed analysis of your writing craft. A developmental edit gives you a roadmap for creating a much stronger final draft of your manuscript.
I study narrative as both an art and a science. I've become pretty good at it. I won't take credit for my clients' successes, but I do encourage you to contact any of those authors for their opinion of my work.
How it Works
The short version: You send me a manuscript. I send you back an in-depth analysis of your manuscript that enables you to fix whatever needs fixing.
The long version:
- You contact me to get on my schedule. I send you a formal project proposal which includes the price and dates in which I will be working on your book. Please include your manuscript's length (in words, not pages) when you contact me.
- You send a deposit to lock your slot on my calendar. I ask for half-down, half on completion.
- A week or so before your slot comes up on my calendar, you email me the manuscript. I prefer MS-Word .doc or .docx format, though I can accept other formats as well. E-mail me if you have questions about any specific format.
- I do my thing. This involves reading your novel very slowly and carefully, taking copious notes, making innumerable comments in the manuscript, and writing a project report that details everything I find:
- Systematic weaknesses in your writing craft plus how to identify and fix them,
- Weaknesses in the portrayal of your story's characters, with suggestions for creating stronger character arcs,
- Any issues I find with the overall story structure such as plot holes, problems with the premise, pacing issues, et cetera.
- I send you the project report, a copy of your manuscript with commentary and sample edits to illustrate the writing craft issues, and an invoice for the remainder of the fee. Typical reports are on the order of 25 pages; most manuscripts end up with three to four hundred point-by-point comments.
- You read the report and set about revising your manuscript to address the issues I've identified. While you revise, please e-mail me if you have questions about anything in the report, if you want feedback about plot changes you're considering, et cetera. These "novel after-care" questions are part of the job, and anyway I enjoy answering them and hearing about how your novel is progressing.
My standard fee for developmentally editing a novel is $1200 for books in the usual 50,000 to 75,000 word range. Below 50,000 words, I'll cut you a break on the price because I know the job won't take as long. Above 75,000, I add $65 per 10,000 words or substantial fraction thereof. This will be reflected in the project proposal I send you.