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  • Writer's pictureKatie Knightley

How To Do Developmental Edits

Updated: Oct 10, 2020

As seen in the Types of Edits blog, Developmental Edits cover your big picture things.

This is where those Character Profile Templates, World Building Templates, and my Critique Partner Checklist come into play. To snag your copy click here.

It's a good idea to wait 2-4 weeks after you finish your first draft to work on edits.

Let's break developmental edits down.

To start, you'll want to do a read through of your draft. I like doing a fast draft read through and this means you're not being nit picky right now. As you read, you'll want to create a new outline, maybe even break it down by chapters, and jot down:

  • Character Inconsistencies

  • Plot Holes

  • Areas that need more/less description

  • Where you're too 'telling'

  • Where the pacing is too slow or fast

  • Where emotion spikes too high for the situation, or not high enough

  • Did your characters follow their arcs?

  • Where the plot points impactful and satisfying?

  • Does it start in the right place?

  • Does your hook make readers want to read on?

What's great is that when you're finished, you can look at your new outline and see where the holes are, where you need to add or take out scenes. AND you'll basically have your synopsis!

Knowing how to do developmental edits will not only enhance your own writing skill, but will make you a great Critique Partner as well.

It also helps to read your draft like a stranger would. What needs clarification? Would you have DNF'd it? Is your voice there? Is your idea unique? What recent titles could you compare it to?

^This is what an agent is going to look for and want to know, although I've read that some agents don't care about comps as much.

Once I'm done with Developmental Edits, I like to work on Line Edits before printing it out for another read through & revision, and moving onto Critique Partners. But I'll go into that more in the Line Edits blog. Click here to check it out!


For more helpful tips, check out my YouTube Channel. And get member access, freebies, and updates by signing up for my newsletter! By signing up you'll get access to my Critique Partner Checklist template & we'll go through what feedback to give your CP and how to handle your own self-edits.


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