Developmental edit guides author through writing

Authors who haven’t started penning their book and need guidance through the writing process typically need developmental editing.

This generally includes:
• Selecting concepts that a book will focus on
• Helping organize the book’s structure and its various elements
• Encouraging authors to maintain a writing schedule and to complete the manuscript by deadline
• Providing substantive editing to drafts of “completed” chapters

Most self-published authors don’t work with a developmental editor. Instead, they rely on fellow authors or colleagues to bounce ideas off of. If going with developmental editing, you will need to work with an editor who you feel comfortable with, as the process will be lengthy and you will receive a lot of suggestions with which you may not agree.

That’s an expensive route for those self-publishing books. Most self-published authors can do the developmental and substantive editing themselves with the help of fellow writers or colleagues. They definitely need copy editing and then a proofreading of their formatted book by an outside source, though. And if a beginning writer, having a substantive edit done until you become more skilled is a good idea.

During the days ahead, we’ll look more in depth at each these different types of editing.