WHAT IS A DEVELOPMENT EDITOR?
Development Editing is a form of writing support that comes into play before or during the production of a publishable manuscript. Developmental editing can involve several different levels of intervention and often involves significant structuring or restructuring of a manuscript, or series, for continuity and reader experience.
THINGS J. KOMP DOES AS A DEVELOPMENT EDITOR:
- Keeps your writing consistent with “the big picture”
- Assists in developing mythology or the rules of the world
- Maps character arcs, plot, pacing, world-building, and series structure
- Brings out the writers unique voice when it gets lost
- Prioritizes the delivery of information in a scene for maximum impact reader
- Gives you multiple story delivery structures, based on your goals and story type
- Organizes information in non-fiction for better readability
- Works with you to spotlight easily marketed aspects of a story for higher sales
- And so much more! Have a request? Just ask.
Developmental Line Edits
This is a specialty of mine that very few Development Editors do. I only accept 2-6 of them a year to ensure the highest quality. This is a project that can take several months so plan accordingly.
When and why to pay for developmental line edits-
I most often see manuscripts that are too much or too little of something that escapes the writers current skill level. Think of stories described as cold, missing emotion, or too emotional, as well as ones that struggle with beginnings, middles, or endings, but not all three at once. You may have a great story but the telling of it lacks focus. Maybe you can’t seem to get your idea off the page and into a readers mind. Sometime beta readers or agents reject it with notes the writer is unsure of how to use. There are countless reasons to use a Development Editor when you’re ready, but I always tell people this, “Above all, put the story first.” If a Developmental Editor will help you better tell your story, why wouldn’t you at least find out all there is to know about hiring one?
What to expect:
I start with a full manuscript review and we do a 1-3 hour call to discuss your manuscript, story goals, trouble spots, any mythology, and the overall reader experience you are going for. Then I go through your manuscript, with track changes* on, and implement the changes you agreed to, keeping your writers “voice” intact or punching it up as needed. You review and accept or make changes of your own, with track changes on, and send the chapters back to me.
*Track changes has it’s limits. When I exceed them, I will let you know.
At the end, I give you a full manuscript in a single document and a spreadsheet that details all chapters, word counts for each chapter, a title (if requested), and 1-3 lines summing up the each chapter.
Developmental Line Edits DO NOT extend 100% into deep grammar, spelling, and punctuation rules. While all efforts are made to catch these things, I recommend you review all changes and hire a copy editor as needed. I can provide this service for an additional fee or provide a referral. My preference is to rarely do both. “Word-blindness” happiness to all of us after staring at a manuscript for several hours and I am no exception.
(Yes, payment plans are always available for projects over 5,000 words. We set dates and you receive my notes in sections after each payment. Please contact me for quotes and further details.)
Not all manuscripts require Developmental Line edits from the first to last page. All clients, that have done a Manuscript Review, are eligible for special pricing on al-carte Developmental Line Edits. That means, if your book is “great except for that one part”, we can make a plan, agree on terms, and do smaller sections as my availability allows.
LQBTQ+, POC, Minorities, Women, Spectrum (ADHD/Autism), or other special needs writers, please identify yourselves in your pricing requests. Your projects go to the top of my list and I extend all the available discounts and special terms I can offer. I am committed to getting more of you published and have significantly adjusted my rates and or terms to compensate for our industry’s historically exclusive policies and pricing. You deserve every opportunity that can be extended to you and we’re all better for your contributions. You are our future.
Smart writers know that even great writers get help. So whether you’re struggling with keeping the rules of your world consistent, getting lost in too many descriptions, or just plain stumped on the best way to insert subtext and multiple plot lines, Developmental Line Edits can be the thing that turns your manuscript into a page-turner that agents and readers can’t put down.