Developmental Editing

Everyone has a story to tell.

It’s true. Creatives tell their stories through poetry, music, film, and novels. Most of the people who choose those venues believe they have lots of stories to tell. They learned their art form when they were young and have had private lessons, went to college, got every bit of instruction they could. But others came to this knowledge late or chose to get “practical” degrees.

 Now creatives have the incredible opportunity of indie music, film, and books to tell their story. But many aren’t sure where to start, or how to tell it. Some people hire ghostwriters for thousands of dollars or hit the internet looking up everything they think they need to tell their story. But how do you know what sources to trust on the internet? For all the good, there’s also a lot of bad. Preditors and Editors used to be a fantastic resource to find quality editors and see reports on predators, but it has gone away. 

There are lots of communities who’ve built up to give tools on how to decide if someone can aid you such as Stage 32, Independent Author Network, Reedsy, and Writer Beware. Each provides tons of free information such as good questions to ask when looking for resources and providing lists of “qualified editors.” Networking in the community can also introduce you to fellow indie recommendations. Even with all the resources in the world at our fingertips, it’s hard to find an editor. The horror stories run rampant. 

Why it’s hard to find an Editor

One reason is that there are lots of different types of editing, and not every editor clarifies that with clients. If someone tells you they charge $1,500 for a “full edit” you might think, Wait, but this guy over here is charging $200 for a “full edit” what? The first guy is probably referring to developmental editing, and the second guy is referring to line editing. Full edit simply means they will edit the full manuscript. But what’s the difference? You might be wondering. A lot, actually. 

Developmental editors are looking at all of your story. They are master storytellers who are helping you tell your story in the most marketable manner. Dev. Editors look at the medium, genre expectations, plot holes, story inconsistencies, fact-checking, and word usage. They are helping you to refine and develop your voice and your story. Line editors are just there to check that the story flows, the words make sense, your commas are good, and the sentence structure is correct. You can see how developmental editing can be as much about the rules as it is the personality. 

How to Find the Best Fit

No matter how “qualified” an editor might be, that doesn’t mean they are the best fit for you. How do you find out if they are the best fit? Ask for a sample. Some will provide it, others won’t. Even amongst editors, there’s a wide variation in how each does their job. Each brings a different flavor to their work. Will they teach you, or just correct what’s wrong? Will they tell you what you’re doing well, or only focus on what’s industry standard? Do they leave room for breaking and bending the rules? All superb questions. 

You can take months getting to know the editors and seeing if they are a good fit, or you can risk your story and your wallet and sign a contract. Or you can get your first 15 pages of your project edited by Heidi Angell. That’s Fiverr-worthy prices with a qualified developmental editor. You get to see how I edit, how I make recommendations, and you are under no obligation to have me finish your project. But if you find you like my style and services, I would love to work with you.

As a storyteller myself, I understand how hard it is starting out. I offer customized payment plans and services to fit almost every storyteller’s budget. I recognize that your story deserves to be told, even if you don’t have thousands of dollars to invest. I have extensive experience in a wide range of storytelling formats, from movie script development to poetry, to short stories, and full-length novels in Fantasy, Science-fiction, Urban Fantasy, Horror and Police Procedurals. I’m not afraid of genre-mashing and recognize that it’s a great tool to surprise and delight readers.

The Next Step in Your Dream

Are you ready for the next step in your storytelling journey? Then contact me today.

All I need is

  • a Word document with the first 15 pages of your work,
  • a synopsis of your story,
  • page count,
  • timetable you are hoping to complete your developmental editing project.

I will get a sample edit back to you within the week.