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Developmental Editing of Fiction & Memoir for Indie Authors

You're tired of endlessly polishing your novel, wondering if your plot and characters work. It's time you met IndieCat Editorial.

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Hi there!

I'm Karen McKellar and I'm a developmental editor of fiction and memoir.

Indie authors work hard on their manuscripts and want their books to do well, just like any other writer. But you don’t have the support of a publishing house or agent. 

That’s where I can help. Manuscript critiques and developmental edits can give you fresh insight into your story and characters. Armed with editorial feedback and an actionable rewrite plan, you can move on towards your final drafts with confidence.

I work in the following genres:


I’ve worked with manuscripts in the following genres:

How IndieCat Editorial can help you

How developmental editing and manuscript critiques help to ignite your plot and your characters.

Developmental editing of fiction and memoir

Polish your novel with a clear roadmap for revision

You know how it is – you’ve spent so long on a manuscript, you lose sight of what’s actually on the page. You take things out and put them back in. You read, reread and you wonder if it’s hanging together.

Are there loose threads you’ve lost track of? Does your plot make sense?

Are your characters vivid and interesting? Are their actions credible?

Is there some gigantic plot hole you can’t see because you’re too close to the book? And might it be something obvious enough that you’d want to kick yourself if it was later picked up by an Amazon or Goodreads reviewer?

With a developmental edit or manuscript critique, you can get objective feedback designed to flag issues and provide you with an action plan to tackle your next draft. 

Developmental editing of fiction and memoir

Supercharge your plot, your characters and your writing.

IndieCat Editorial offers a number of services, including an opening chapters developmental edit of 15,000 words, complete with track commenting in the margins of the manuscript, an editorial letter, and a list of recommended books. This is an intensive look at your crucial opening scenes. The package includes an analysis of the synopsis. 

The manuscript critique is an editorial report that looks at your entire manuscript and gives detailed feedback. These reports run to many thousands of words and include recommended reading. There are no margin comments in this package.

The full developmental edit consists of an editorial letter, track comments in the margins of the manuscript, and a reading list. It is the largest package which covers full novels and novellas. Book maps are included where appropriate. 

Whichever package you choose, feedback is targeted at your overall needs and goals. At the outset of the project, you are asked to complete a questionnaire regarding your writing experience, intentions (indie publishing, traditional publishing or simply improving your writing skills), and so on.


Take a break and let a professional look over your manuscript and give you a fresh perspective.

Picture this – no more going round and round in circles, endlessly changing things and wondering if you’re making things better or worse. No more worrying that your book is never going to be quite good enough to show others, send off, or publish yourself. You will have a clear revision plan. No book is ever perfect and even the most successful books have been through plenty of editing. You don’t have to do this alone.

Developmental editing of fiction and memoir

You don't have to spend as much money up front as you think.

Whether you want a manuscript critique or a full developmental edit, you are looking for more than a glorified beta read. Yes, paying for a trained editor will always cost you more – and guess what, it’s worth it. But the cost can be spread, especially if the package includes more than one round of editing. This gives you time to budget for the second round. Staggered payments give peace of mind. 

It can be a lonely business writing a novel or memoir. Especially since it's hard to be objective about your own work. But you don't have to do this alone.

Try these tips !

Join my free 5-Day Conquer Your Novel Challenge!

Get 5 days of tips and challenges on plot, character, and structure so you can improve your manuscript. 

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