What a developmental editor does…
A developmental editor does just what the name suggests—she helps develop a written project. Every manuscript has unique strengths and unique problems. A developmental editor identifies these and helps the writer establish a revision plan that enhances the strengths and solves the problems. To learn more about the role of a developmental editor in traditional and indie publishing, click to read this interview with Catherine Adams of Inkslinger Editing.
While many readily available books offer excellent general advice on the art of writing and the business of publishing, the eccentricities of every manuscript demand a more tailored approach. When agents regularly received 250–500 queries every week or even every day, a fiction or nonfiction manuscript needs to be better than very well written or a fresh take on an exciting subject. Manuscripts—and their pitches—must be exceptional. It is more than worth your time and resources to get the opinion of a devoted developmental editor before pitching a project to agents and editors. At the very least, it will give you ease of mind that your manuscript is ready to face the steely gaze of publishing. At the very most, the experience will generate new ideas to take your narrative, argument, and prose to another level.
To this end, I offer a range of editing services. Some take a quick, penetrating look at the manuscript project (see: New to Inkslinger? The Initial Evaluation Process). Others dive into the manuscript with great depth and precision (see: In-depth Editing: Overall Analysis & Comprehensive Line Editing or Nonfiction Proposals & Manuscripts). Still others attend to a specific aspect of the writing or submissions process (see respectively: Copyediting and Query Materials & Targeted Agent Research). I have services specific to the short fiction or nonfiction forms (see: Short Fiction & Nonfiction), and I actively seek to support writers throughout the creation and revision process (After the Edits: The Revision Process).
No matter the chosen service, one core philosophy runs through all of my work: I treat the writer-editor dynamic as a relationship, a relationship I hope will be long-lasting and inspiring. I work with individual writers across multiple projects and books, and I attribute that loyalty to my sincere interest in the career of an author. I am interested in your growth, not least because it elevates my experience as an editor. Your writing and my editing stays fresh even as we start in on our fourth, fifth, eighth (yes, that happens at Inkslinger) book together. I aspire to be the critical voice you turn to for honest, supportive advice, even as you break with an agent and explore the field for a while.
Please take all the time you need to explore the descriptions of editing services presented on this website—but also know that any actual editing starts by taking cues from the manuscript itself under consideration. To get the best idea of how I can help you and your manuscript, I encourage you to send an email (just click the button below) to share details about your project and your writing aspirations.
My best wishes,