brandt steeet press editing fiction

Developmental Editing
Copy Editing
Developmental & Copy Editing
Other Basic Terms

Developmental Editing

An in-depth, written analysis of your novel or short story’s plot/structure, characters, pacing, tone, point-of-view, consistency, language, themes, conflict and tension. For a novel, our experienced and qualified professional editors provide an analysis typically between 6-10 single-spaced pages; for a short story, 1-3 single-spaced pages.

We’ll work with you to make sure that your story grabs and holds readers, that it develops logically and with the appropriate amount of drama, that it’s as fleshed out as it needs to be and as tightly written as possible.

We’ll consider a number of technical factors, such as:

  • Does the story have enough conflict and tension? Does the plot move at the correct pace?

  • Do the subplots make sense? Is the story structured in the best possible way?

  • Is the point-of-view right for this story? Is the narrative voice consistent all the way through?

  • Are the characters as rounded as they need to be? Are there extra characters your story doesn’t need? Are any characters stereotyped?

  • Is the language right for the story you’re trying to tell? Are there general mechanical or formatting errors that you should fix?

  • Are the themes and symbols in the story cohesive, intriguing and adequately developed?

  • Have you handled the backstory as deftly as possible? Do you use flashbacks effectively?

  • If it’s a genre novel or story, does it meet the usual expectations of that genre? If you break the rules, does it work?

As part of the analysis, we’ll suggest ways for you to make your piece better. We’ll make specific references to sections, pages or lines, so that you know exactly what to work on.

This service includes any email correspondence or teleconferences (whichever you prefer) for questions or clarifications. Finally, we can offer suggestions for where to send your manuscript (agents and publishers)—especially important in the current fast-changing world of publishing.

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Copy Editing

A line-by-line edit for basic character and language issues. We'll do a careful edit for a number of fiction issues:

  • Checking for consistency in characters, descriptions and voice

  • Suggesting ways to make the language more interesting and active

  • Eliminating clichés and stereotypes

  • Editing for proper grammatical constructions

  • Detecting word variety and spelling errors

  • Ensuring standard manuscript formatting

You will end up with a manuscript that flows seamlessly and is interesting to read. We can edit either in Microsoft Word (a redlined and commented version) or on a hardcopy of the manuscript (if you provide one)—whichever you prefer.

Note: This should not be considered a final proofread of the manuscript, which should be done just prior to publication to ensure that no errors were introduced in the editing/revision process.

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Developmental & Copy Editing (Reduced Pricing for Combined Services)

To ensure a quality edit, each of the above should be done separately, requiring multiple reads. If you choose to have us do both a developmental and a copy edit, we'll read your novel or short story carefully at least twice (often going back and rereading individual sections several more times). You should consider this option if you want your manuscript to be ready to head out the door to an agent or publisher.

Note: If the developmental edit uncovers some major issues, or even several minor ones that you will want to work on, we suggest that these two processes happen in stages. In that case, we would offer you a developmental edit, then allow you time to work on your piece before resubmitting it for a copy edit. For this reason, it’s not always possible for us to give you a firm deadline for completing both of these edits together.

Contact us at for pricing.

Other Basic Terms:

  • Click here for a full bio and curriculum vita of your editor

  • Samples of work can be provided upon request

  • Turnaround times are negotiable

  • One half of the project fee is due prior to the start of the edit, with the other half due within 30 days of project completion


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