DEVELOPMENTAL EDITING

DEVELOPMENTAL EDITING

DEVELOPMENTAL EDITING


Explanation of terminology: The different types of editing.


Editing takes on many forms, and it is necessary to specify what type of editing we are talking about. In general, three main types are identified: developmental editing, copy editing, and proofreading. Each involves varying degrees of time and attention to detail. Finer differentiation can be made such as developmental editing, structural editing, line editing, research, and fact-checking, rewriting, copy editing, proofreading, and ghostwriting.


1. Developmental editing:


Developmental (structural) editing is the most substantive type of editing done. Developmental editing works on the macro-level of the story, looking at the overall picture, the comprehensibility of the story, while copyediting and proofreading address the micro-level—paying attention to the finer detail such as grammar, spelling, and punctuation.


Developmental editing is more subjective, it is an intuitive process of offering advice and suggestions to better tell a coherent story, while copyediting and proofreading follow certain rules, such as The Chicago Manual of Style.


Storytelling at its heart is about a character that wants something but cannot get it—the character has a deep-seated desire, encounters an obstacle(s), with the resulting struggle(s) to overcome it.


In fiction, developmental editing has as a goal to strengthen the storyline (story arc), optimize plot development, strengthen characterization, use dialogue effectively, and ensure the work remains tension-driven. Attention is given to the logical sequence of events. The story must make sense, flow well, and keep the reader turning the pages. Tension and unmet desire are at the heart of a story that works.


In nonfiction, this involves coordinating a project from proposal and rough draft to final manuscript. The focus is on a logical presentation of arguments and material. Words, sentences, paragraphs, and chapters may be added, removed, rewritten, or expanded.


Depending on how much developmental changes are required, some ghostwriting will take place. 


Developmental editing can be done in the form of, (1) an Editorial Letter (3-5 pages or more), outlining the weaknesses and strengths of the work, with recommendations, or (2) Substantive Editing, which provides comments and feedback in the margins on a line per line basis.


2. Copy editing:


is the editing more often asked for. Copy editing pays attention to the smaller detail of storytelling and corrects errors in spelling, grammar, and punctuation, following certain writing conventions and rules. It fixes incorrect word usage, style, inconsistencies, and repetition. Editing of cover copy and front and back matter can be part of the editing. Copyediting will not fix plot holes, lack of escalating tension, or a story that doesn't connect emotionally with the reader, or which doesn't make sense—that is the purpose of developmental editing.


3. Proofreading:


is the lightest and most basic form of editing. It is usually the final step following developmental and copyediting. Minor errors that were overlooked are corrected, such as improper grammar, spelling, punctuation, and capitalization.


4. Ghostwriting:


A ghostwriter creates content and is responsible for writing the book. In exchange for a fee, the ghostwriter completes the book based on the client’s ideas, material, and concepts. Ghostwriting is usually involved in nonfiction writing (including memoirs), and the degree of involvement of the client varies as per the client’s preference. The ghost writer’s name usually does not appear on the book cover and credit to the ghostwriter is not always given by the author.


5. Editorial rates: (2018 Editorial Freelancers Association.) •


Proofreading: 9 – 13 pgs/hr—$30-35/hr

Basic copyediting: 5 – 10 pgs/hr—$30-40/hr

Detailed copyediting: 2 – 5 pgs/hr—$40-50/hr

Developmental editing: 1 – 5 pgs/hr—$45-55/hr

Substantive or line editing: 1 – 6 pgs/hr—$40-60/hr



Explanation of terminology: The different types of editing.


Editing takes on many forms, and it is necessary to specify what type of editing we are talking about. In general, three main types are identified: developmental editing, copy editing, and proofreading. Each involves varying degrees of time and attention to detail. Finer differentiation can be made such as developmental editing, structural editing, line editing, research and fact-checking, rewriting, copy editing, proofreading, and ghostwriting.


1. Developmental editing:


Developmental (structural) editing is the most substantive type of editing done. Developmental editing works on the macro-level of the story, looking at the overall picture, the comprehensibility of the story, while copyediting and proofreading address the micro-level—paying attention to the finer detail such as grammar, spelling, and punctuation.


Developmental editing is more subjective; it is an intuitive process of offering advice and suggestions to better tell a coherent story, while copyediting and proofreading follow certain rules, such as The Chicago Manual of Style.


Storytelling at its heart is about a character that wants something but cannot get it—the character has a deep-seated desire, encounters an obstacle(s), with the resulting struggle(s) to overcome it.


In fiction, developmental editing has as a goal to strengthen the storyline (story arc), optimize plot development, strengthen characterization, use dialogue effectively, and ensure the work remains tension-driven. Attention is given to the logical sequence of events. The story must make sense, flow well, and keep the reader turning the pages. Tension and unmet desire are at the heart of a story that works.


In nonfiction, this involves coordinating a project from proposal and rough draft to final manuscript. The focus is on a logical presentation of arguments and material. Words, sentences, paragraphs, and chapters may be added, removed, rewritten, or expanded.


Depending on how much developmental changes are required, some ghostwriting will take place. 


Developmental editing can be done in the form of, (1) an Editorial Letter (3-5 pages or more), outlining the weaknesses and strengths of the work, with recommendations, or (2) Substantive Editing, which provides comments and feedback in the margins on a line per line basis.


2. Copy editing:


is the editing more often asked for. Copy editing pays attention to the smaller detail of storytelling and corrects errors in spelling, grammar, and punctuation, following certain writing conventions and rules. It fixes incorrect word usage, style, inconsistencies, and repetition. Editing of cover copy and front and back matter can be part of the editing. Copyediting will not fix plot holes, lack of escalating tension, or a story that doesn't connect emotionally with the reader, or which doesn't make sense—that is the purpose of developmental editing.


3. Proofreading:


is the lightest and most basic form of editing. It is usually the final step following developmental and copyediting. Minor errors that were overlooked are corrected, such as improper grammar, spelling, punctuation, and capitalization.


4. Ghostwriting:


A ghostwriter creates content and is responsible for writing the book. In exchange for a fee, the ghostwriter completes the book based on the client’s ideas, material, and concepts. Ghostwriting is usually involved in nonfiction writing (including memoirs), and the degree of involvement of the client varies as per the client’s preference. The ghost writer’s name usually does not appear on the book cover and credit to the ghostwriter is not always given by the author.


5. Editorial rates: (2018 Editorial Freelancers Association.) •


Proofreading: 9 – 13 pgs/hr—$30-35/hr

Basic copyediting: 5 – 10 pgs/hr—$30-40/hr

Detailed copyediting: 2 – 5 pgs/hr—$40-50/hr

Developmental editing: 1 – 5 pgs/hr—$45-55/hr

Substantive or line editing: 1 – 6 pgs/hr—$40-60/hr



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