Developmental Editing 

Developmental editing (also known as substantive or content editing) focuses on the larger picture of your writing. Instead of focusing on fixing grammatical and stylistic errors (as with copyediting), developmental editing looks at the big picture of your overall project, while applying the microscope to aspects of your writing such as descriptions, sentence flow, and organization.  The goal is to make your writing as clear and powerful as possible for your readers!

For nonfiction content, a developmental edit will help you improve the details of writing mechanics as well as the big picture issues such as thought flow and organization.

While performing a developmental edit on a website, nonfiction manuscript, ad copy, etc., I will help you do things such as:

  • Decide topics to expand and which to trim down

  • Eliminate cliches and overused words

  • Find places where an example or additional explanation would be helpful

  • Strengthen the logic in your argument


If your project is a fiction manuscript, this is the type of editing that will help you develop your characters, strengthen your plotting, etc. A content edit analyzes dialogue, plot, character development, descriptions, and more. While looking at those individual components, I examine your book as a whole and ensure that it remains exciting, clear, and compelling throughout.

While performing a developmental edit on a story, I detect and help you fix things like: 

  • Character inconsistencies

  • Passive writing

  • Descriptions that "tell" instead of "show"

  • Sagging-Middle Syndrome

  • Purple prose and stilted writing

  • Overused words and clichés

  • Floating body parts

  • Inconsistent POV and tone