Some authors don’t hire editors because they don’t want someone telling them how they have to write their books. While I can’t speak for other freelance editors, that is an inaccurate view of my editing style. My edits are and always will be merely suggestions.
When I do a Developmental Edit, I read through the manuscript and take notes. Sometimes, I hand write the notes in a notebook. But more times than not, I type up my comments in the manuscript. After I finish reading it, I sit and think about it. I digest the story. I think about what could have made it better, what scenes need enhancing, when the pacing was slow, or if the characters ever acted out of their personality. And then, I type up a report detailing all of that and all of my edits. AKA my suggestions for improvement.
When the author gets my comments and my report, they can do whatever they want. They can take the suggestions and run with them. Or they can ignore the edits because that is not how they want the story to read.
Recently, I did a Developmental Edit with Lexi C. Foss on her novel, Blood Heart. There was one particular scene that I felt wasn’t emotional enough. I told her to, “destroy me.” She went back and reworked that scene, coming up with two alternatives. We debated the merits of both new scenes. I preferred one, and she preferred the other.
I finally told her to stop listening to me. It was her book. She needed to go with the scene that she felt was better for the flow of the story. My opinion was only my opinion. She didn’t agree with me and that was totally fine.
Lexi ended up adding over 15,000 words to Blood Heart because of my edits. There were things that she disagreed with me on and didn’t change. And there were a lot of things that she added to or expanded on because of what I pointed out.
For me, that is absolutely incredible. Her book was already a strong novel – a very detailed world, with powerful characters. But I helped her dig deeper into the story and expand it – taking it from good to phenomenal.
Are you looking for a Developmental Editor? You can contact me today for a sample edit to see if we’d be a good fit!