What writers need to know about developmental editing (basics)

Confused about editing?

Editing has many more forms than just “editing.” There is “developmental editing,” “copyediting,” “proofreading,” and more. At the ACES conference, I learned more about developmental editing.

Developmental editing is about the bigger picture. It helps the writer with their plot, scenes, voice, structure, and more. This kind of editing cares about looking at your work from a distance. It does not work with grammar and syntax as much.

At first, your editor might ask questions. What is your word count? What is the deadline? What is your strengths or weaknesses as a writer? What is your publishing goals? What do you expect from me as an editor? These questions are essential. Editors cannot read your mind, and you want to be on the same page.

The editor may do two complete edits. They’ll keep track of story parts like your scenes, plot developments, characters, etc.

The edits can take from a couple of weeks to about a month. Make sure you know when to expect them back from your editor. You don’t want to freak out and email a million times.

If you have any questions, leave a comment below! Hopefully, this post cleared some things up. Let me know if I should do this for other kinds of editing as well.

13 thoughts on “What writers need to know about developmental editing (basics)

      1. First, get some beta readers to read your manuscript. Most of the time they’re just lovers of books and will read your work for free. They can be found on Facebook, Critique Circle, etc. It helps to get some outside opinion to polish your work. They have been the most beneficial editing source for my novels yet. (I have a blog about them on here. I can get you the link if you want.)

        For traditional, you’ll need a literary agent. But to get one, you gotta have the best query letter ever. I use a site called agentqueryconnect. There’s a lot of writers who just wanna help other writers on there. QueryShark has a lot of advice for writing queries too.

        I also read a helpful book recently called “The Essential Guide to Getting Your Book Published” and it honestly had a lot of great tips in there. I recommend at least checking that one out.

        Does that help?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thanks so much for your advice. This is definitely helpful. Quick question, if I got for beta readers, do I face the risk of plagiarism?
        I have written and rewritten my query letter, but I am unable to make any breakthrough. Are there people who reads query letter and provide advice?

        Also I have made few of my friends and family members read my book. They did help me with their inputs.

        Sorry, for asking too many questions

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Not really. You have the original files and emails if anything goes wrong. But I have not heard of plagiarism problems with betas before.

        On Critique Circle and agentqueryconnect, they read queries and give advice! Agentquery is better for it though.

        That’s great! I’m always too scared to show friends and family.

        Don’t be sorry! It’s all good. I’m glad to help!

        Liked by 1 person

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