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Developmental Editing

What is a TLC Developmental Edit?

For the TLC Developmental Edit service, we offer writers our gold standard manuscript assessment report, in addition to a mark-up of the manuscript. All TLC Editors who offer this service have had  training with us, in partnership with the Publishing Training Centre, to ensure you get the best possible service. 

What do I get?

This ‘manuscript plus’ service offers a way to envisage how you might apply the editorial feedback in order to improve and develop your writing, and is our most bespoke writing services offer outside of our mentoring programme. The focus of a line edit is on style, i.e.: content and flow, tone, voice, and consistency. This is the perfect service if you prefer or require a more hands-on style of edit, helping you to improve your writing with guided examples. 

How much does it cost?

Developmental editing is costed according to the manuscript word count. Please see our Fees page for indicative costs. Typically, this service runs more expensive than a manuscript assessment, as it requires the editor to comment on and mark up individual scenes and lines throughout the manuscript. For a full manuscript (circa 100,000 words), we recommend budgeting for at least a spend of £1,000. All TLC fees are inclusive of VAT.

Is a mark-up the same as a copy-edit?

Copy-editing focuses on ensuring the language adheres to the relevant style guide, and is free from errors. A copy-edit will look at and aim to correct: 

  • Misspellings, punctuation, grammar or syntax
  • Font and typeface, layout, page numbering, tables, indexes
  • Line breaks, indents, headings, footers and titles 
  • Tense, capitalisation, hyphenisation, style guide decisions e.g., ‘-ise’/’-ize’ usage.

For a Developmental Edit, your TLC editor will use Tracked Changes or Comments (or a mixture of both) to lightly mark up your manuscript in a way that complements your manuscript assessment report, highlighting possible edits to the text and offering clarifications, explanations, and queries for you. This is a more creative style of edit, and more rigorous than a report alone. 

A TLC Developmental Edit can really help you to see exactly what needs doing in order to elevate your writing style, so that you can make sure the writing sings, from first to last page. If your concern is primarily about grammar, spelling, syntax and formatting, we recommend you contact us about a copy edit instead. All TLC copy edits are carried out by editors who have relevant qualifications from the Chartered Institute of Editors and Proofreaders, the Publishing Training Centre, or comparable institutions.

Will my editor re-write the manuscript?

No, our Developmental Edit does not include substantial re-writing of your text. For writers wishing to book a more detailed line by line edit, please contact the office and we would be happy to prepare a bespoke quote. 

To book a Developmental Edit, please have your manuscript, synopsis, and a one page covering letter ready to upload. Select ‘Developmental Editing’ from the ‘Manuscript Read Type’ dropdown in the online form. Please note this service is only available for Fiction and Non-fiction prose projects. Your fee will be automatically calculated for you.