Does this sound familiar?
You try so hard to write a kick-ass novel that will wow readers and get everyone talking. Then you go around in circles tweaking and rewriting. Because you need to get it just perfect! And for a while, your book genuinely seems to be getting better. Then you lose a subplot or a character falls out stage left.
Now you’re demoralised and stressed out. Your manuscript has turned into a monster, complete with tentacles. (Where did all these loose bits come from?)
You’ve struggled to find reliable beta readers. Maybe you’ve tried online writing groups only to feel intimidated or frustrated because some of the advice just seemed plain wrong or contradictory.
Unfortunately, serious indie authors and those hoping to submit to agents will always struggle with polishing their work. Everyone does, including seasoned professionals.
Indie writers don’t have a publisher to help
When you have an agent and a publishing house, you have a team working to support you and your book. You can take confidence in trained experts making your book the best it can be.
But when you’re publishing yourself or just starting out, you don’t have these things. Then, you’re often dependent on the conflicting advice of writing groups and beta readers.
Worse, they’re not trained to spot underlying problems, let alone anticipate the way different fixes impact one another in a manuscript. Because when you change one thing it can have a knock-on effect on everything else. Other writers or beta readers can also base their advice on how they would have written the book if it was theirs. That’s not the kind of advice you want. Because it’s not their book, it’s yours.
You need someone who will respect your author voice and intentions.
How developmental editing helps you
That’s where developmental editing comes in. Developmental editing, also known as structural editing or substantive editing, is the first round of editing. This is where a professional assesses the big picture issues in your manuscript. They look for plot holes, structural problems, slow pacing, weak characterisation, and more.
Think about it – how often have you given up on a novel you were reading because the story didn’t seem to be going anywhere or the characters were two-dimensional? A developmental edit highlights issues like this and allows you to fix them. Developmental editing takes your work to a whole new level.
If you want to try out a developmental edit or manuscript, I offer a free 3,000-word sample edit. You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or check out my services page.