Types of Editing

Developmental Editing

Developmental editing is also referred to as structural or substantive editing because it deals with the overall organization and logic of the manuscript, the “Grand Overview” if you will. 

  • The story arc (strong beginning, middle and end with escalating conflict)
  • Determining the best opening scene
  • Ensuring story logic and causality
  • Story theme(s) reflected in the main character’s growth
  • Character expression and development
  • Ensuring that settings are vividly rendered
  • Voice and style
  • Pacing including subplots
  • Point of view, including choice of tense (past, present, etc.)

Line Editing

I find it’s helpful to examine some of the issues that fall into the line editing category during the early part of manuscript creation. I encourage my coaching clients and creative writing students to use strong verbs and simple dialogue tags, avoid “talking heads” and adverbs. Remove “distancing filters.” I have a list of suggestions. Sign up for my email list, and then contact me if you’d like a handout on editing.

Stacey Dennick is a skillful editor, deep and gentle with a light touch that drew me out. She didn’t pressure, but invited me to broaden the scope of my writing. With her light-hearted sense of humor she stimulates the imagination, leaving it up to the writer to take her suggestions. I highly recommend her and will use her much more in the future. 

Don Scully

I charge by the hour, so you can set a budget and be assured that you are always getting your money’s worth.


Copyediting is done after you’ve received and integrated feedback from your writing buddies, beta readers and possibly a professional editor. There’s no point spending time fixing every bit of punctuation in sentences that will be cut or rewritten. During copyediting spelling, spacing and grammar are perfected according to style sheets.


Proofreading is the final step before you send your book to print, or to be made into an eBook. After a thorough copyedit, there should be few errors. But, you might need a fresh set of eyes to catch them.