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Developmental Editing

Typing “The End” begins the editing process. Your developmental editor might not be your first reader, but she will likely be your first professional reader. In dev editing, we read with a critical eye for story structure as well as screening for plot holes, clarity, missed opportunities, and more. You can think of a project as being somewhat similar to building a house. You’ve drawn up the plans and major construction is complete. During developmental edits, major structural changes are often implemented based on the feedback you receive. For more about the editing process, feel free to check out my article on what to expect during the editing process.

Developmental edits will be done utilizing the Comments feature of Microsoft Word, and you will also receive an editorial letter that covers the issues noted below. Please be aware, you will not receive line edits, nor will any grammatical or style issues be addressed. But not to worry! We also offer line editing, proofreading, and Oops Detection. You can get all four passes for the deluxe treatment, or select any combination that meets your needs.

Things We Look For

Click on each tab for more information about that item.


Conflict, struggles, credibility / realism of the story, effectiveness of the opening hook


Story flow, background, are there infodumps, high points

Main Characters

Character arcs of the hero and heroine. Are they fully fleshed out? Will readers be able to sympathize with them?

Secondary Characters

Are your secondary characters fleshed out? Are they useful to the journey of your hero and heroine? Do they have their own voice / style and are they relatable without overshadowing the hero and heroine?


Are the characters’ emotions on the page? Are their responses to situations consistent with their personality?


Is dialogue realistic? Do characters have their own distinct voice?

World Building

Locations, setting, supporting characters, rules of the world–are they both established and obeyed?


Are descriptions hitting that point of being just right–not overwhelming the reader or dragging down your pace, yet still vividly portraying the world and characters?


Do any scenes need to be strengthened or adjusted? Are POV swaps smooth? Would it help to add a scene?

Additional Suggestions

This will cover dropped threads, sequel bait, if other aspects of the story are detracting from the main arc, and any other issues that we might come across.


Pricing Guidelines

Depth of developmental editing can vary from project to project and our quotes vary accordingly. Per word pricing is only a guideline. These guidelines are offered as a convenience so that you can get a ballpark figure for your project without having to contact me (unless you want to!) I’m happy to answer questions and discuss projects, but I personally dislike having to contact someone just to get an idea of pricing, so I don’t want to subject you to that. 🙂

  • Ballpark:
    $.0125 – .02 / word