Wednesday, April 4, 2018

A to Z - All About Writing: Developmental Edits

Welcome to the Blogging A to Z Challenge, where, this month, I'll be focusing on all things writing. This may be a random jumping around of topics within my theme, but hopefully something somewhere will be useful to someone. (V is for vague - see that last sentence.) Check out all the participants here and lets get on with today's letter.

D is for Developmental Edits

A Developmental Edit is your first stop when you're either paying for an edit or receiving one from a publisher. A dev edit will cover the big picture aspects of your story. There will be comments on the overall plot, subplots, characters and their motivations and arcs. It might cover whether the story needs more description, action, tension or dialogue.

This stage of editing shouldn't be about the nitpicky things. It will help get the main story shaped up and tightened to create a compelling plot and host of characters that readers will care about.

You might think you have all of this covered, but you know your story. It came from your head. You can see the setting, you know the characters, the backstory and where book two will be headed. Everything seems perfectly logical in your mind.

Unfortunately, (or probably not because it's a darn twisted place) the reader is not in your head. It's very likely that some of what you think is clear on the page isn't actually there at all. There's probably a whole host of details still in your head that just need a little prodding by an editor to be shaken loose in order to fill out the story.

If you have a good critique partner, someone you trust, that isn't afraid to get critical and tell it how it is, they may be able to do this step for you. However, if you are going for publication, you'll be hit with a dev edit regardless of the fact that you think you have this step already covered. Odds are, there are still a bunch of things that could be fixed. It always seems like a story is never quite done.

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Prefer paperback? The print book goes live on April 20. Reviews are always appreciated.


  1. I totally forgot about the A to Z challenge. Goodness, that tells you how out of it I am. You know, this is a stage in a story's development that I think most people ignore or don't realize exists. They get the book written and think it's done. I tell you what, I don't know what I'd do without my critique group/partners and editors. They are epic and then some.

  2. I still need someone to look over what I have written and that is hard to find where I live. I just worked on tightening up my memoir. I too, did not realize that a step as you describe exists.

    1. Look for a critique group online or find a facebook group that does beta reading swaps with other writers. There might be some on Goodreads too.

  3. that is why is so important to let someone else read your writing because we're too close to see the errors.

    have a lovely day.

    my latest a-z post is:
    a dinner conversation


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