Structural / Developmental Editing


A very detailed assessment of the novel, usually consisting of both a long report and comments to the manuscript (MS) itself. This is the service most traditionally published books go through and what is most often meant when people talk about editing. It’s in-depth and highlights how your novel can be made to shine.

Structural /developmental / substantive / content editing are all terms for the same thing: a thorough examination of how the novel works. Does the plot hang together? Are characters credible, well-defined and interesting? Do they develop over the course of the novel? Is there sufficient conflict? A strong narrative arc? Is the style working well with the story? Do events occur at the right places or could changes improve the pace or the drama? Is the weighting given to different parts of the novel the best possible? Are some sections told which should be shown, and are there areas of obvious exposition that need a more subtle treatment?


Developmental editing is just as important for narrative non-fiction such as memoirs. The aspects we examine are similar to the above.

We prefer to look at a few thousand words of your manuscript before quoting. The Fiction Feedback fee usually falls between £14 and £16 per 1,000 words.


You might find that after you get your first edit back, you want to return with a revised draft for a second look (as of course is the way in traditional publishing), so try to budget for a second edit if you can. We’re very happy to look through subsequent drafts and offer the service at a reduced rate.


We also provide cumulative editing, and mentoring. Immersive, reassuring and encouraging – as close to having an editor by your elbow while you’re revising as it gets. We recommend this service if you’d like ongoing help with your novel as it develops. It’s intensive – but extremely rewarding. It can transform your novel. More details are here.


Would you love developmental editing but find the cost prohibitive? Check out our Critique Plus.

Submit your work

Send us 5,000 words and what kind of editing you’re ready for – developmental or copy-editing – and we’ll provide a quote.

Editing is where we examine your MS in depth.


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This is the stage where we look at the nuts and bolts of the prose, such as grammar, word choice and punctuation, and much more.


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Got a question? Not a problem, check out our Q&A page for the most frequently asked questions.


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Get in touch to find out more about our full range of services, critiques or to submit your work.


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