Turn of Phrase Services

Developmental/Substantive Editing

The developmental/substantive editor helps the writer tighten a manuscript’s scope, helping them focus on what works and what does not by either revising or directing revisions of, or deleting or suggesting deletion of, passages or even entire chapters. I examine the basic elements of the manuscript. This may include your voice, presentation of content, restructure for transition, pacing, clichés, redundancy, organization, dialogue, grammar issues, consistency, clarity, and word flow. As your developmental/substantive editor, I might recommend reordering of chapters in nonfiction, or adding of scenes or dropping of subplots in fiction, and asks questions and makes comments that help clarify the writer’s objective or express their message.

 

 

This crucial step in the editorial process involves at least one intensive reading of the content, followed by correspondence and an exchange of drafts that is more or less extensive depending on the publication, the timeline, and the condition of each successive draft.

 

 

Developmental/Substantive editing might also include “rewriting”—only when necessary. A good developmental/substantive editor is a “ghostwriter.” Some manuscripts, projects, or documents need significant reorganization (a touch-up or resuscitation). This service includes ways to help you develop precise and logical content that is suitable for your anticipated audience.

 

 

You will find that I offer specific suggestions about the core intentions and purposes of the manuscript, the underlying premise, the story, character development, use of dialogue and sensory description, the polish, narrative voice, pacing, style, language—the craft and art of your manuscript.  I examine the basic elements of the manuscript. This may include your voice, presentation of content, restructure for transition, pacing, clichés, redundancy, organization, dialogue, grammar issues, consistency, clarity, and word flow.