Good news, book nerds. You can turn your knowledge of writing craft into a professional service.
As a developmental editor, you’ll help authors improve their novels – and get paid for doing so. To be able to offer this as a professional service, though, you’ll need to know more than literary theory. You’ll also need to know how to deconstruct a manuscript, communicate appropriately with authors and make suitable suggestions.
Developmental editing can be conducted in several different ways and in varying degrees of depth. In this course, I’ll provide you with a broad overview of the service.
You’ll learn how to write an editorial report (also known as a manuscript critique or manuscript assessment) as well as how to edit a manuscript page-by-page.
By the end of the course, you’ll have a clear idea of what your developmental editing service will include and how to offer, price and conduct it.
Who This Course is For
This course could be for you if:
- You have a sound understanding of writing craft theory – you just aren’t sure how to translate this knowledge into a professional service.
- You’re already a professional developmental editor but would like to freshen up your skills and get feedback on your work.
- You want to start a fiction editing business but you don’t want to offer copy-editing or proofreading – you just want to offer big-picture feedback.
This course isn’t for you if you don’t already understand what constitutes good writing. You need to be knowledgeable about literary theory so you can recognise where a manuscript could be improved and be able to offer suitable suggestions.
The three-act structure. Close third-person narration. Character motivation. Narrative thrust. Universal theme … If these terms mean nothing to you, don’t take this course. (Take this one first!)
How the Course Works
This is a 4-week guided online course on how to conduct a developmental edit.
I’ll provide you with comprehensive written modules and weekly assignments, which I’ll give you detailed feedback on. Every week, I’ll email you with the course materials.
You’ll also have access to a private online forum, where you’ll be encouraged to take part in weekly discussions.
Week 1: How Developmental Editing Works
- What you need to know to edit fiction
- Different methods of developmental editing
- Where developmental editing fits in the writing/publishing process
- How to take notes and use lists and tables
Assignment: Read the sample chapters and fill in the structural analysis spreadsheet provided. Using the information you’ve gathered, identify a potential issue.
Week 2: Quoting and Preparing to Edit
- Aligning your service with the author’s goals
- Establishing the scope of work
- The importance of knowing your genre(s)
- Pricing and quoting for projects
Assignment: Develop a questionnaire to send to new clients and respond to three fictional enquiries.
Week 3: Writing an Editorial Report
- An in-depth look at what goes into an editorial report
- Using a template to help you structure your report
- Getting the tone of your feedback right
- Offering objective feedback and suggestions
Assignment: Using the sample chapters from Week One, choose an issue to write about in-depth and suggest how the author can improve the writing.
Week 4: Editing the Page
- Page-level issues to address
- Using Track Changes and comments in Word
- How to phrase queries and suggestions
- Exploring when editing becomes rewriting
Assignment: Edit the sample chapter.
BONUS: Finding Clients
A short additional module outlining ways to find your first paying clients.
Special Offer: Save £50
Since this is the first time I’ll be running the course, I’m offering it at a special rate in exchange for your feedback in the form of a short questionnaire at the end of the course. I won’t offer this course at this price again!