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Development Edit

Let's Build a Solid Foundation

Why does my novel need a development edit?

The role of a development edit is to address the big picture issues that will form the foundations of your novel.

These include:

  • Theme(s)

  • Plot and sub-plots

  • Characterisation

  • Dialogue

  • Point of View

  • Structure

  • Pacing

  • Jeopardy

  • Tone

  • Chronology (e.g. linear, flashbacks)

A development edit should take place after an early draft of the novel to ensure that the basis for a successful story is firmly in place. The aim is to pave the way for a gripping read that will engage readers with a riveting plot, absorbing characters, powerful dialogue, vibrant style and so on.

At this stage there is no focus on micro-editing issues such as grammar and punctuation – it would be a waste of time and money to address these areas when much of the text may be subsequently rewritten.

The overriding objective of development editing is to instil the writer with the awareness, knowledge and understanding that will empower and inspire them to refine their narrative to produce an enthralling novel that will intrigue and captivate readers.  

What will the development edit provide?

I will produce an extensive editorial report pinpointing the strengths and weaknesses of your manuscript (in relation to the areas mentioned above) with practical and detailed advice on how to bring about improvements.

This comprehensive document will be complemented by notes (using comment boxes) on the manuscript itself to highlight specific issues.

It is important to stress that a development edit involves very little (if any) actual correcting of specific passages of text. At this stage the emphasis is firmly on strengthening the author’s storytelling ability to enable them to realise the full potential of their novel.

The knowledge gained by an author through a development edit should greatly enhance their narrative skills – to the benefit of not only the novel in question but also their future writing career.


The development edit will be carried out in Microsoft Word. Please supply all your novel in one document.

How much does a development edit cost?

All of my prices are based on the rates suggested by the Chartered Institute for Editors and Proofreaders.


As the time taken to complete the project will depend on the amount of work involved, please send me 1,000 words from the middle of your novel to enable me to provide a quote.

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