DEVELOPMENT EDITING

Sometimes we all get stuck. We write ourselves into dead ends. We realise our character arcs have fallen flat, that our plot has more holes than a sieve, or we just don’t quite know how to end it all.

Don’t ask your mum – she will say it’s full of moonbeams and the next blockbuster. Don’t ask your spouse – just don’t.

Getting in the help of a professional navigator is the best next step to story success.

Is your story bloated?

Is it struggling to limp into the final act?

Does it simply pack the punch it needs to in order to keep readers turning pages, and coming back for your next book?

Developmental editorial services delve into the handbag of your story, and determine excessive baggage from the true essentials. The level of involvement / work depends on the shape your manuscript is in – which is something we can work out together. Think of me as your professional story-hand-holder.

Hiring a professional editor demonstrates your commitment to your project, and to your craft, presenting only the most polished manuscripts to your audience – agents, publishers and direct readers alike.

Development editing goes beyond basic proof reading (although that’s critical, and I offer this essential service), or grammar and formatting (again, contact me for my eagle eyes). Whether you have actually completed a full draft or two, or are stuck halfway,  I come prepared with a shovel and a torch, to dig your way up.

Structural/Development Editing examines:

  • How your story hangs together overall
  • Opening lines / chapters that deliver
    • Starting your story with action to hook the reader
    • Ensuring you actually join the narrative at the right point (versus stodgy prologues or information-overload)
    • World building
    • Clarity on your inciting incident. Your end of Act One call to action, where the normal world is challenged and the story-gauntlet is set.
  • Character development
    • Creating an empathetic, active protagonist. Main characters readers care about and root for.
    • Honing dastardly, believable antagonists.
    • Credible supporting casts
    • Believable, natural dialogue (which differs from how people actually talk, but is used to keep the story moving)
  • Pacing and Act structures
    • Defining clear story, chapter and scene goals.
    • Filling scenes with conflict (goal versus attainment of that goal) to keep readers hooked and your story moving forwards.
    • Filling plotting errors and rabbit holes
    • Creating page turning moments

One of my most popular complementary services is the Perfect Your Pitch package, whereby I offer Synopsis, Log-Line, Coverage and Agent Query advice. First, we knock your manuscript into shape with a full editorial service, and then I work with you (or for you) to create the best presentation possible to enhance your marketability and chance of signing your next publishing deal.

Alternatively, if you want to go the Indie route, I offer end-to-end publishing services or consultation. Want to get your book on Amazon or Barnes & Noble? How about print on demand services, so you have a physical book in your hand? Or create a stunning website and offer direct downloads, where readers can support you by Patreon or Pay What You Feel? Or we can discuss many of the new channels that are opening up to authors to get their words into the world.

Contact me today to let me know what stage your draft is in, and I can help determine how to finish and hit send.

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