Developmental Editing

This service offers developmental editing only. I’ll look at big picture issues with the plot, characters, pacing, and dialogue. For a more in-depth edit, you might be interested in a developmental and line editing combo.

Here are some of the issues I’ll flag:

-Characters are one-dimensional.
-The plot has holes or unresolved issues (and this wasn’t done intentionally to continue a series).
-As a whole, the story isn’t working. The plot is weak or there is no plot. Some of the plot elements feel contrived.
-The protagonist is too perfect and has no room for growth.
-The hero or heroine is flawed but doesn’t grow by the end of the story.
-The middle sags.
-The story doesn’t start at the right place.
-The scenes don’t have goals.
-The story lacks emotion.
-There isn’t enough conflict.
-The stakes aren’t clear.
-The pacing is too slow or too fast.
-We’re not deep enough in the character’s POV (point of view).
-The scenes are episodic.
-The story lacks substance.
-Minor characters take over.
-There are backstory and/or information dumps.
-There are inconsistencies in the story.
-Some of the character reactions or actions aren’t realistic or don’t fit that character.
-The POV character doesn’t always think logically.
-The author doesn’t stay in one POV long enough or slips back and forth within the same scene.
-We’re not grounded in the scene.
-The story doesn’t progress.
-The transitions between scenes are weak or nonexistent.
-There are issues with the implementation of deep POV.
-There’s bad choreography, and we can’t visualize what the character is doing, or what he’s doing is physically impossible.
-The author explains things to the reader instead of trusting she’ll understand.
-There’s poor execution of GMCs (goals, motivations, conflicts).
-There are talking heads.
-The dialogue is buried in the narration.

NOTE: This is more in-depth than a manuscript evaluation report because the issues will be flagged within the manuscript. However, it’s not as thorough as the developmental and line editing combo because line editing helps clean up craft issues as well as big picture problems. Developmental editing is a good service for those who write clean and might not need line edits. It’s also great for those who will need to do extensive revisions after the initial edit. In that case, it’s premature to have line edits done. Get the story right first and then worry about craft and mechanics.