Developmental Editing

As Scott Norton says in Developmental Editing: A Handbook for Freelancers, Authors, and Publishers, developmental editing involves “significant structuring or restructuring of a manuscript’s discourse.” The job of a developmental editor is to help an author improve their manuscript through a substantive editing process.

At, Anita Lovett handles all developmental editing projects. She has over a decade of editorial experience spanning books, magazines, and electronic content. Her publishing expertise provides an edge in connecting with authors and helping them transform their stories into the best possible versions.

The Goal of Development

When a manuscript is developmentally edited, the goal is to develop all of the story’s elements completely. Anita accomplishes this in three stages:

  • Stage 1: The author completes an in-depth questionnaire that taps into their creative thought process, story goals, and universe details. The questionnaire is used to create an informational baseline that guides development and helps maintain consistency.
  • Stage 2: Once the informational baseline is complete, Anita reads and marks the manuscript with editorial comments. The goal is to highlight weak areas, focus on consistency, and ensure all story elements (characters, main plot, subplots, etc.) are as developed as possible. These comments often spark revisions, rewrites, and overall structural changes for the author to weigh and complete on their own.
  • Stage 3: After the author has thoroughly updated their manuscript, Anita completes a final readthrough to verify overall consistency and fluidity. Editorial comments are added where applicable for the author to weigh and incorporate as they please.

Developmental editing is not necessary for all manuscripts, but we strongly recommend it for:

  • First-time authors
  • Fiction manuscripts
  • Manuscripts that are the first in a series

Unlimited Collaborative Access

During your developmental edit, you will have unlimited access to Anita for one-on-one collaboration. You can contact her for feedback and to “bounce around” ideas via your private project room in our online project hub, email, Skype, and (depending on your location) phone.

Price: $3.50 per page

Developmental editing can be purchased as a standalone service or via one of our author packages. The above price is for standalone purchase. One page is equal to 350 words, which is 50 words more than the industry standard page of 300 words.

Turnaround time varies per project and based on author responsiveness. Contact us below to discuss a developmental edit of your manuscript.