A limited type of developmental editing is offered by Epiclesis Consulting LLC in the form of a written critique of an early draft of the manuscript. This critique is normally several pages in length and is designed to help the author create a more effective version of the book in the next draft. Contact us to order a critique of your manuscript.
Not every book has a developmental editor. Developmental editing, also called “content editing,” gives input on the actual content of the book and helps the author to create a manuscript that flows logically and performs its intended function for its target audience. Although the developmental editor normally takes a broad view of the work as a whole, comments may range from sweeping observations to fairly specific suggestions.
For example, in a work of fiction, the developmental editor may point out that a particular character’s actions are inconsistent, or that a specific scene seems unnecessary. In a nonfiction work, the developmental editor may suggest changing the order of the chapters or may even suggest that the evidence presented does not support the book’s thesis. This editor should be involved as early in the project as possible, even before the manuscript is submitted to publishers, because implementing such suggestions can involve a total rewrite of the manuscript.
Although a developmental editor may mention mechanical issues of style or grammar, especially if they recur often, such details are normally left for the copyeditor later in the publication process.