“Does This Make Any Sense?”
You hope readers will be able to learn everything you want to teach them in your nonfiction book, but think your wisdom might be getting lost along the way. Or, you want readers to fall in love with your wonderful work of fiction, but worry that the plot might be full of confusion (and maybe a few holes).
Even if you think the overall structure is okay, you’re not sure about the “readability.” Is your writing clear? Is it too cluttered, or not explained thoroughly enough? Are your humor, voice, and personality coming through?
If you’ve been staring at your document well into the night, pondering these questions after your sixth cup of coffee, developmental/content editing just might be for you.
What does Developmental/Content Editing Cover?
This round of editing comes before copy editing, and it covers the overall content, plotline, and structure of the book as well as the syntax, voice, consistency, flow, readability, and overall clarity of the topic.
Comments and suggestions will be added along the margins about things that need to be reworked, added, deleted, or relocated in order to make the manuscript flow better.
It may also involve rewording sentences and possibly whole paragraphs to enhance readability. Suggestions could be made to move entire sections or paragraphs of the book around or add/delete portions altogether.
This phase of editing is recommended for writers who are unsure of whether or not their books are easily readable, well-structured, or suitable for their target audience.