Developmental Editing and Manuscript Critique Services

I’m an editor who likes to get my hands dirty, i.e. really dig into words, plot, structure, and any story’s other big picture elements—whether fiction or nonfiction. This I might do to my heart’s content in a developmental edit where I make corrections, offer suggestions, and add additional comments on the manuscript page.

When I’m not “hands-on” in a developmental edit, you will likely find me taking the “hands off” approach in a manuscript evaluation/extensive critique of your manuscript. This means I will do a “clean” pass; I won’t touch the story itself through editing on the page but I will plumb the same elements in a comprehensive editorial memo that summarizes the strengths and weaknesses of your manuscript, as mentioned above.
Using these industry standards, I advise you of the Chicago Manual of Style rules and Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary spelling and meaning of words. Finally, I provide a comprehensive editorial memo that covers the many elements listed below, and additional thoughts and suggestions specific to your book.
Copyediting, proofreading, and publishing strategy are also part of what I do.

What I do:

  • Developmental/structural/ stylistic editing
  • Detailed critique/extensive evaluation
  • Ghostwriting of unwritten or written manuscript
  • Revision of written manuscript
  • Collaborate with you in a mentoring capacity as you revise your manuscript
  • Copyediting
  • Collaborate with you on query letter and/or synopsis
  • Determine with you which literary agent would be suitable for representation
  • Determine with you whether to pursue mainstream, niche, or independent publishing
  • Consultation on your initial and/or ongoing social media strategy

Let’s not forget:

  • Story and character arcs (for fiction and nonfiction)
  • Plot events and turning points
  • Conflicts, stakes, and tension
  • Narrative pacing
  • Information “dumps”
  • Characterization; believability, themes, motivations, etc.
  • General writing issues such as showing vs. telling, point-of-view, etc.
  • Grammar and spelling
  • Industry style standards (i.e. Chicago Manual of Style; Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary)

Let's talk about your book

Stacey Donovan is a consultant for Book Editing Associates,
a small, carefully vetted group of elite editors.