Developmental editing

“Editors, you know, are therapists of the sentence. Nothing is more intimate than the way your thought comes into words. That’s your very soul, and editors, if they are good, know how to do precise work with your written soul.” –  James Hillman

Do the research articles you’ve written with collaborators lack style and consistency? Have you translated your tried and true marketing materials from your native language into English only to discover that they aren’t capturing the imagination of your English-speaking target market? A developmental editor, also known as a content editor, can help give a coherent and compelling form to your ideas.

A developmental editor sees the hidden potential in a text and as well as its weaknesses and works with the author to express his or her vision through the right balance of style and content. Developmental editing is the craft side of creative writing. It requires many competences. The work of a developmental editor often involves restructuring or rephrasing a text to better suit the context or the format of a publication and identifying sections of a text that are outdated, superfluous, or fail to communicate the intended message.

It is a developmental editor’s job to ensure that the section and chapter headings of books, reports, and other published works clearly represent the content that follows and that all material is arranged in a logical and understandable order. This type of editor will notice if a section or chapter is too short or too long, if it contains material that would be more suitable for an appendix, if the content of a chart or table doesn’t make sense, or if data included in one section of the manuscript contradicts data in another.

An essential collaborator in any project that involves adapting texts for international distribution, a developmental editor can help organizations effectively communicate messages to a wider audience, a new market, or an overseas partner. Developmental editors can help non-native authors polish their English texts for publication and ensure that important nuances do not get lost in cultural translation.