• Copy Editing
• Manuscript Critique
• Major Revision
• Ghostwriting and Collaboration
© 2008 Ricky Weisbroth
• Developmental Editing
The work of the Developmental Editor is, essentially, all-inclusive. When I am hired as a Developmental Editor, an inherent part of my job involves reading the manuscript and giving an in-depth critique of the material, and it includes editing the copy (each described elsewhere, see the navigation bar).
The Developmental Editor's job begins early on -- during the developmental stages of the project. For some writers this may mean engaging an Editor after completing a full or partial draft, and for others it may be during the conceptual stage of outlining or synopsizing the material. An Editor can help you determine the best order in which to put forth the ideas and this is as important for fiction as it is for nonfiction. An Editor will point out where the material needs clarity, what is boring, what needs further development, what is irrelevant or redundant, is inconsistent, needs to be broken up, placed in another section of the manuscript or simply deleted. An Editor will also be able to discuss the flow and accessibility of the material and will help you with suggestions and examples for how to improve the work.
Just as important, an Editor will point out your strengths as a writer, can be a source of encouragement when the work seems endless, and will happily provide the “huzzahs” for a job well done.
When looking to hire a Developmental Editor, more so than at any other stage of the editing process, it is important to try to find someone with whom you feel compatibility and whose opinion you trust. If you are not meeting face-to-face this is, of course, difficult to determine, but talking by telephone will certainly help each to get a “feel” for the other. Remember that you are going to be working together over a period of months. As an Editor, when I consider taking on a new client for a developmental editing project, it is as important to me as it should be to you, that I feel I have a good personality mesh with the client, as well as having a genuine interest in the material.