Development Editing

“A good story, well told” is the driving force of a satisfying narrative, according to Robert McKee, author of Story. Reader fulfillment occurs when the theme is something that the audience cares about and the essence of the story is fresh and convincing. The reader expects not only the content, but also the expression (grammar, punctuation, syntax, story elements) to flow and take a solid hold.

Although people write for a variety of reasons and demonstrate a spectrum of writing abilities, the eloquent merger of theme, essence and ability is not directed entirely by luck. It is a result of thorough planning and concerted effort. An engaging read should appear effortless, like a violin concerto on opening night, even though it had been rehearsed for months. The persuasion is there. It connects to the heart. Its construction begs the audience to continue.  
When asked, most people will say they have often thought about writing a book. However, they may find themselves sabotaged by busyness, lack of confidence in their writing abilities, proximity to the material, or writer’s block. These challenges make it difficult, if not impossible, to move forward. Barbara can make writing life easier.

Some writers are looking for developmental editing services:

You have a working manuscript, yet you…
~Have reached a point where you are unsure of your   direction.
~Need to create greater depth of character or situation.
~Just discovered additional material and don’t know   how (or if) you should incorporate it.
~Feel a need to research, yet don’t know where to   start.
~Have written and rewritten several versions of the   same content and are becoming more confused.
~Recognize the manuscript is too long, yet don’t   know what to delete without creating a gap.

Enter into a professional partnership

~Discuss your ideas with a trusted, expert writer.
~Be assured that a customized organizational   pattern enhances your story. 
~Feel excited that your message to inspire, inform or   teach is creative, honed and powerful.
~Be confident that your work will be a good story, well   told.

Choose Barbara, a writer who…
~Partners with you to tell your story.
~Organizes your information and develops or refines   a story line.
~Offers a full spectrum of developmental   editing/storyshaping services from tweaking to   complete restructuring.
~Is the only person who works on your manuscript.
~Offers honest, fair pricing.
~Claims no “rights” to any of your work, EVER
~Has the experience to support you and wants to see   you succeed.


With what kinds of writing has Barbara used her skills as a developmental editor or storyshaper?

Although Barbara focuses on creative non-fiction: narratives, histories and memoirs, her skills can be applied to fiction as well.

How do Barbara’s developmental editing/storyshaping services work?

Step 1

it to get a general idea of her services, read examples of her work, and view testimonials.

Step 2
Contact Barbara for a complimentary hour consultation to discuss their ideas and direction.

Step 3
Submit an introduction and up to three (3) chapters of their manuscript; Barbara completes a written critique that includes the following:

1. Strengths, weaknesses of the manuscript

 2. Strengths, weaknesses of the author’s writing capabilities

3. The fee for this critique is $350; however, if the author decides to partner with Barbara, that amount is applied to the contract.

This approach enables Barbara to understand the basic story theme, its development, and organizational pattern; she is also able to assess the level of services needed.

Step 4
Barbara will draft a Memorandum of Understanding for the project. Together, she and the author will identify the scope of the project: known and unknown factors, special amendments, timeframe, cost estimate, and milestones. Generally, projects involving developmental editing can run 8-12 months, depending on assistance needed and length of manuscript.

The service culminates in an MS Word manuscript in electronic format.