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Developmental Editing

Developmental editing aims to improve the content and structure of a manuscript. It involves developing the  plot, characterization, and setting of a narrative. Developmental editors ensure a manuscript reaches its fullest potential by establishing a point of view and improve the flow of text by restructuring content as needed. Inappropriate jargon is eliminated, and possible legal trouble spots (e.g., libel, plagiarism, missing permissions) or departures from social acceptability (e.g., gender, ethnicity, age bias) are identified during this process.

The Path of Best-seller Paved by Developmental Editing

Developmental editing overarches all other forms of editing. A developmental editor looks at all plot points as a whole for coherence, and makes sure all aspects are in line with the intended goals for the book the number of chapters, the order of the chapters and paragraphs, the flow of events, the pacing of text and arrests inconsistencies, and fixes plot holes that may have been overlooked.

If there’s a better way to present the entire story, the editor will certainly let the author know! When it comes to developmental editing, everything comes under scrutiny, as the editor examines each line from the perspective of the reader. 

Amnet’s Approach to Developmental Editing

Amnet’s editors are among the most experienced. Many of them are incredibly avid readers who read more books in a couple years than most people would in a lifetime.

Why are we so particular about the quality of the developmental editors we hire ? Because only the most skilled and well-learned editors will have the ability to even begin the process of developmental editing. Here’s what developmental editing entails:

Step 1

Start reading the entire book

Step 2

Correct any grammatical errors.

Step 3

Correct any punctuation errors.

Step 4

Clarify all syntax issues.

Step 5

Check for any unwanted or vague abbreviations or acronyms.

Step 6

Check for any inconsistencies.

Step 7

 Is there a way any paragraph or sentence can be conveyed better? Could the style be better?

Step 8

Does it seem like a point that’s being made in a paragraph is already redundant?

Step 9

Confirm that whether the font is consistent and that no words are unnecessarily capitalized.

Step 10

Is every chapter consistent? How will each chapter be received? 

Step 11

Are plot reveals in a chapter properly placed? Can this be improved? If yes, then suggestions via comments are left for the author to consider.

Step 12

Are there any plot holes? How can they be fixed? Appropriate suggestions will be made

Step 13

How is the book as a whole? Is there any way the narrative can be more gripping? 

Step 14

Could certain events be reordered or placed in different chapters so they will have greater impact?

Step 15

 Is a reveal done right? Does any character seem misrepresented and contrary to the way the author wishes them be seen?

Step 16

Is the language acceptable and readable? Could there be a better way to represent certain conversations or concepts? Could reorienting certain chapters make the book easier to understand?

Step 17

Review all changes and check for accuracy

Step 18

 Reread the manuscript again to ensure sure everything is covered.

Step 19

Send the manuscript back to you (the author) with comments on the changes.

Step 20

Open up a discussion, if necessary, as the scope of changes in developmental editing may be too much to rely solely on comments. 

Step 21

Further steps will be determined once you address the changes in the first round (There may be up to three rounds depending on the communication between you and the editor)

Developmental editing is where the author and editor may sit together and properly discuss how the story progresses and how it may be improved. The goal is to create something gripping while remaining faithful to the author’s own voice. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Whom does developmental editing serve?

This form of editing is for authors who have a spectacular story in their heads and would like a little assistance to bring it to print. It is the perfect choice for a brand-new writer who needs some help organizing their plot and their chapters. For a new author, developmental editing is a perfect place to start. 

What are the limitations of developmental editing?

Developmental editing goes through the entire story and touches upon everything from individual plot points to the story as a whole. The only thing developmental editing can’t do is improve upon a perfect story. If your book is perfectly written, then there’s a good chance the editor will let you know that they did not have to make any changes apart from a few surface-level corrections. 

Of course, this rarely happens in the real world. The truth is that, every author deserves the best, and that’s something Amnet’s editors deliver without fail!

Does developmental editing cause changes to the story?

Yes, developmental editing tends to touch upon the entire story, and suggestions are made across the board on how the book can be changed to be far more engaging. However, they are still only suggestions that the author may consider; the implementation of any suggestion will only be complete after the author signs off on all changes. It’s important to remember that the story itself won’t necessarily change, but its presentation probably will. However, if there are plot holes or contradictions, a joint effort between the author and the editor takes place to properly rectify discrepancies. 

Why Amnet recommends developmental editing?

Amnet’s developmental editing service allows the author to pick the brains of our editors, so they can polish their manuscript to perfection. Developmental editing is a creative process, and thus, it requires some of the most creative minds. We have full confidence in our carefully vetted editing team!

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