Developmental Editing (FICTION & NONFICTION)

Taking the measure of the "big picture", developmental editing focuses on a manuscript's fundamental elements: plot and/or dramatic arc, structure, pacing, voice, character development, and so on. I'll assess your manuscript in the context of its genre and audience, and identify what's working, what isn't, and what might be missing. You'll receive an editorial letter containing my detailed feedback on your draft as well as meaningful, practical suggestions on how you can enhance its strengths, address its weaknesses, and fix specific problems in your next revision. These may include recommendations for structural reorganization or substantial cuts. 

“Half my life is an act of revision.”


Proposal Development (NONFICTION)

I'll help you define, and refine, your nonfiction proposal so it distinguishes itself from the competition. Based on my insider knowledge of what agents and editors are looking for in the marketplace, I can advise you on how to develop the core components of a compelling proposal and share my specific notes on your draft. Together, we will workshop sections of your argument that would benefit from clarification or further explanation, identify unexploited opportunities to enrich your exploration of your subject, address outstanding questions, and amp up the commercial presentation of your material.

“I want my prose to be as clear as a pane of glass.”



Engaging with your manuscript on a sentence-by-sentence level to critique its style and substance. I'll provide my notes and queries about word choice, syntax, flow, chronology, consistency of voice/character, content, and other important granular aspects of a draft, as well as indicate suggested cuts, through text mark-up and margin comments. Because a line edit's focus is intentionally detailed, it can be most effective if it follows a round of developmental editing that tackles "big picture" concerns and more significant structural revision or content cuts.

“You should write because you love the shape of stories and sentences and the creation of different words on a page.”



Book doctoring conflates the heavy lifting of a developmental edit with the finely tuned nature of a line edit and culminates in direct editorial intervention to address issues holding back the manuscript. These might include reworking passages or adding necessary new material, but in a way that respects your voice and writing style; making substantial cuts or structural changes; or implementing (not just suggesting) plot revisions. The collaborative process is an intensive one, and we will communicate closely to make sure the revised book honors your original intentions and reflects your creative vision.

“He must trust, and he must have faith. And so he builds, because what is building, and rebuilding and rebuilding again, but an act of faith?”