There are several stages of editing when it comes to polishing a manuscript. The first to focus on is the developmental edit. With this edit, we look at the larger items and review the story as a whole – what is the story about (its premise), how is it carried out (plot structure), and are the characters complex (have solid goals and motivations). We consider the hook (is it a strong opening), does the story start in the right place (avoid opening with a lot of backstory and setup), does it flow smoothly, does the pace fit the story (ex., is it a fast-paced action or a slow-burn romance), do scenes transition properly and avoid confusion, and is it historically accurate. We point out plot holes, easy fixes, and head hopping.
A developmental edit often includes more than one draft. It can be overwhelming to an author for us to point out too many things all at once, so we start with the largest issues and work our way down to smaller, yet still significant, ones. We will continue until the issues are resolved.
Along with comments within the manuscript, a developmental edit includes a detailed DE letter. We point out the strengths and weaknesses and provide ways to improve to help guide your through the next draft.