Developmental Editing for Fantasy Fiction

Developmental editing for fantasy fiction authors

Developmental editing for self-publishing fantasy fiction authors

Developmental and line editing for fantasy authors

Hello, I’m Stacey

Hi, I’m Stacey. I’m here to help you create a novel your readers will experience. Because with the help of developmental editing, a story becomes more than just words written on a page.

You see, when people remember their favourite books, they remember them because the book connected with them on an emotional level. Because something, whether theme, characters, or even the plot, made them feel.

So, if you want your novel to be more than just read, then a developmental edit may be just what you’re looking for.

Is developmental editing right for me?

You can probably think of your favourite author, even your favourite book. But do you know why they’re your favourites? Because they made you smile? Laugh? Or maybe they made you angry or cry. Either way, as a result of how they made you feel, those books stuck in your memory.

Even if you’re not consciously aware of an emotional response to reading the book, the chances are, you experienced something. The story, the characters. You felt something while reading. And, if you want to connect with your readers in a similar way, you have to elicit an emotional response from them. You need to hook your readers and you need to make them care. You need to make them care about your characters and what happens.

Novel writing is storytelling in the written form. And with structured help, you can create characters that come alive to your readers. You can create tension that keeps them turning the pages. But, most of all, you can create an experience that will have a lasting impact on them for years to come. A developmental edit can help you achieve all of that.

You will benefit from a developmental edit if:

  • You’re unfamiliar with the craft and structure of novel writing.
  • Terms like character journey, character arc, inciting incident, midpoint, pacing, theme, etc leave you drawing a blank face.
  • Feedback from beta readers includes things like:
    • characters are flat
    • the story is confusing in places
    • there are plot holes or inconsistencies
    • it is hard connecting to characters
    • the ending is a bit of a let down, etc.
  • You know as a writer that you have specific weaknesses, for example:
    • character development
    • show v tell
    • info dumping
    • pacing
    • tying loose ends together.
  • A developmental edit will not benefit you if you’re looking to traditionally publish, or you’re at the stage where you need sentence-level corrections and fixes.

What level of editing do I need?

Where you are in your writing journey, your experience, and your budget, will determine which level of editing you need. Just remember, almost every manuscript needs at least one other level of editing before the final proofread.


The first stage of the editing process, developmental editing — sometimes referred to as structural editing — covers your manuscript on a “big picture” level. It focuses on ensuring that the story “works”, so attention is dedicated to plot (and plot holes), characters, pacing, audience and genre suitability, and theme. It is the first round of editing that a book should undergo.

Line Editing

Line-editing, often confused with copy-editing, does what it says in its name; it edits the book at sentence level to ensure flow, plus correct grammar, syntax, spelling, and punctuation. This is the level of editing that most authors actually need when looking for proofreading, and comes after the developmental edit. Line editing is the second round of editing a book should undergo.


Proofreading is arguably the most common term searched for by would-be authors when really, what they need is both developmental and/or line/copy-editing. Proofreading is the final stage before a book is published. It’s the quality-control stage to pick up any errors once everything else has been done. It’s the last step before publication and therefore the very last round of editing.

“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.”

― Michael Scott, The Warlock


Through developmental editing, I help self-publishing authors turn their stories into novels.

Combining my passion and experience of fantasy with my knowledge of the craft of storytelling, I help new authors transform their manuscripts into books that readers won’t just read, but experience.

Stacey Bowditch - CIEP Member

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