Did you know that there are different kinds of book editors? And that depending on the stage of your work, there are different editors who are skilled to help you at each stage?
Copy editors are your grammar police. They check for spelling and grammar, punctuation and style. Line editors are your red-pen wielding teachers. They go through your manuscript line by line, marking off your page and hurting your feelings. They are also the ones who tell you if certain sentences and paragraphs don't make sense, or if you are overusing a particular word or phrase. In most cases, a line editor doubles as a copy editor. Developmental editors, on the other hand, are entirely different types of editors. Developmental editors help writers who are struggling to gather their thoughts before and during the writing process. They are very useful in cases where a writer has a story in theory but is struggling to put the pieces together on paper, and can't seem to find a starting point. If this is you, here are 5 reasons why you might want to consider hiring a developmental editor:
Getting Started: A developmental editor helps you gather your ideas, helps you with researching the essential elements of your story, and points you in the right direction to help you get started with putting words on paper.
Personalized Coaching: In some ways, your developmental editor will serve as your writing coach, guiding you and pushing you and helping you in your journey from start to finish of your first draft.
Plot and Character Development: Sometimes, coming up with fluid, interesting characters who drive your story can become a difficult task. A developmental editor will help you develop your plot, theme, mood, pace and so much more to bring your story the life that it lacks.
It Saves Time: When hired early on in the writing process, a developmental editor can save you the good amount of time you'll be wasting on rewrites.
It Saves Energy: The writing process can be a tedious one for a writer who lacks direction and guidance on how to get to the end of a story (or how to start). If you have no idea how to get from point A to point B, you'll find yourself frustrated, expending energy and effort on unnecessary editing and rewrites before you even hit the "End" button on that last page.
A developmental editor can help you in ways that will cut down on your frustrations and your moments of doubt and fear, and lead you safely and sanely through the process. If you are struggling to get started with that book idea that has been passionately burning inside you, or you have started and feel stuck, or are wondering if your story even makes sense and if it will sell, then consider hiring a developmental editor. Doing so will save you so much in the end, leaving you with a publish-ready manuscript by the time it reaches a copy editor's desk. At which point, all you'll probably need is proofreading and nothing more.