What You Can Expect From a Developmental Editor

There is a good chance that you may have heard about different types of editors, such as copy editors, line editors, and developmental editors. Many writers prefer to work with an editor in New York during the writing process. Whether you are a self-publisher or traditional publisher, it makes sense to work with a developmental editor. By now you may be wondering what a developmental can do for you. Well, this article discusses what you can expect from a developmental editor.

A developmental editor


Remember that you can benefit a lot when you choose to hire a developmental editor. Every writer tends to be different, so some can decide to work with a developmental editor earlier in the writing process so that they may consult with or brainstorm. However, if you have just completed your first draft and want someone else to check your writing, then a developmental editor may not be a good option at this stage.

At this stage, you should be sharing your writing with critique partners or beta readers. Alternatively, you can have a helpful resource by joining a free writing community where you can meet some writers who are at a similar stage as you.

It doesn’t matter the targeted readers you choose, but it can help to collaborate with some other creative minds. After you put the manuscript via several revisions, you can decide to work with a developmental editor.

You should note that finding a developmental writer is usually one of the last stages of the writing process.

The right editor can offer you in-depth feedback on the story before you self-publish or prepare to query. A developmental editor can have specific experience in the publishing world and your specific genre.

One of the jobs of developmental editors is to assist you produce a high-quality book by looking at the pacing, structure, character development, and plot of your book. In other words, a developmental editor can help you attract your target readers and remain consistent throughout the book. You can also have a good learning experience by working with a developmental editor. This means that you can change your writing style.

What a good developmental editor can do for you

If you decide to work with a developmental editor, there are a few things they can do for you. These include:

Prepare for an editorial letter


The editorial letter usually has a large-picture overview with several elements of your manuscript. Your developmental editor can offer this type of letter designed to address main issues with your character arcs or plot. It can also address the structure, style, and timelines to make sure that they are consistent throughout.

This letter can range five to fifteen pages, but this depends on the level of edit that needs to be done. Aside from the editorial letter, a developmental editor can also provide substantive editing. This is a more targeted editing than the editorial letter. An editor can mark your draft with some comments in the margins to explain specific scenes and sentences. Quite often, a developmental editor can only offer an edit and explain the reasons for making that edit so that you use it in other areas of the manuscript.

Provide feedback


It can be a hard thing for many writers to accept and be open to feedback about their manuscripts. A developmental editor can ask you to shift, modify, or delete some of the work that you have been working on for months or even years. The truth is that you are the final decision-maker on your story, and a developmental editor is just there to guide you.

A developmental editor wants to improve your writing so that it has the best chance for success when it’s ready for publishing. Therefore, you need to be positive to feedback regardless of whether or not it’s hard to accept it. It can be challenging to see your valuable pages filled with red underlines and highlights, but you should always think of the good it can make on your manuscript.

You should prepare to spend a lot of time doing reworks


People usually go to work so that they get paid. On the other hand, you pay a developmental editor so that they can provide you with even more work to do. With developmental editing, any change in the manuscript can have an impact on the entire book.

A developmental editor may ask you to take away, add, or even change a few chapters. And, you may have to revisit the book to ensure that these changes match with your old work. Remember that this is not just about sentence-restructuring or grammatical issues, so you need to prepare and devote a lot of time to rewrite.

Also, depending on how fast you work, developmental editors can take a couple of months to finalize because this is something they cannot rush through. But don’t be overwhelmed with this period of time since you need to tell a story the way you want it.

Prepare for support and encouragement

A development editor can be useful in many other ways. This expert is there to see that your book succeeds.

Besides your eyes, developmental editors can spend a lot of time working on your writing.

A developmental editor knows your structure, plot, and characters just like you do. Therefore, they can help you to bring the best out of the story. You also don’t want to market an average manuscript. You need to demonstrate that you invested a lot of time and effort writing the book.

Regardless of the process, revising a manuscript is not an easy thing to do. But a developmental editor is not there to discourage or criticize you. Instead, they are there to help you with the tools for success so that your book stands out. Therefore, if you want to hire a developmental editor, this should motivate you to get one for your book. You can find a developmental editor who can edit the content of your manuscript before it goes for publishing.

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