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  • P. Barrera

What is Developmental Editing?

As we've explored before, there are many types of editing. Today, I want to talk about developmental editing. What is it? And how can it help you?

Developmental editing is looking at the 'big picture' of your story. It's done as a first-step; before any copy is edited or before any type of publication. It addresses story element issues, character development, and more.

Here are three ways developmental editing can help you:

  1. Suss out character problems. Sometimes you, as the author, can't see the forest for the trees, so having someone with fresh eyes and a fresh brain can help you find character-related problems. You can't forget that so-and-so is related to that person over there and then try to make them date each other. Well, unless that's the story...

  2. Plot holes. I'll bet you forgot about that one thing you mentioned that one time, which was supposed to be important, but fell off later and was just a side note that has no relevance now. Yeah, me too. A developmental editor can help catch stuff like that and make sure your story is cohesive and tells what you mean for it to tell.

  3. Dialogue and pacing. Dialogue can be tricky sometimes. It can push the story along, or it can just be filler and need to be trimmed to get back to the meat and potatoes. Dialogue can also affect pacing, making your book to wordy or choppy. Developmental editors can help eliminate these things and make your character's convos and your pacing smooth.

Obviously, DEs can do a lot more than this, but these are a few that I've seen that give authors trouble. DEs can play a helpful role in non-fiction as well, so never discount a good set of eyes! An alpha or beta reader can also serve as a DE, so don't count them out, too!

If you need your own developmental editor, we can help! Email us now!

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