Developmental Editing


What is developmental editing?

Developmental editing is the first stage of the editing process. It focuses on a manuscript’s non-grammar elements such as structure, plot, characterization, world-building, pacing, and descriptions to enhance your story.

Why do I need a developmental editor?

As writers, we spend hours writing and redrafting our books, often until we get snowblindness (or wordblindness) we can no longer tell what’s working and what’s not and start second-guessing many elements of our work.  We become blind to our manuscripts’ weak points. A developmental editor will give you that fresh pair of eyes to point out the elements of your story that aren’t working and where to put your energy into making it stronger.

What should I expect?

​My goal is to give you detailed feedback on the structure of your novel. You will receive a report highlighting the following areas: setting/world-building, character arcs, plot, pacing & tension, emotional core, sensitivity, writing craft (showing V telling, dialogue, adverbs, crutch words etc), marketability/concept, general conclusions & areas to focus.

I will also line edit your first chapter looking for crutch words, adverb and adjective overuse, dialogue/action tags.

I will not drop the report and run! You can ask as many questions as you’d like via email while you’re going through your revision process.

My aim is to work closely with you through however many revisions you need until you feel confident enough to hit that publish button!

What Now?

Free Sample Edit

I offer 5-pg sample edits for free. Please be aware I will not be able to advise on big-picture elements in a sample. Pages should be formatted as Times New Roman font, 12-pt, and double-spaced with 1″ margins in a Word doc.

​The big shebang!
​Round 1

This round consists of a 6+ page editorial letter focusing on the strengths and weaknesses of the structure, plot, characterization, world-building, pacing, and other big-picture elements. The editorial letter will act as your guide for revisions. Turnaround is 4 weeks unless stated otherwise.

My rates are $10 per 1000 words, no matter the length or genre of the manuscript.

​Round 2

This round comprises in-depth comments in the margins of the manuscript, focusing on the nitty-gritty details to fine-tune previous revisions and ensure the manuscript is as strong as it can be. This round takes place after you have completed revisions for Round 1. Turnaround is 4 weeks unless stated otherwise. 

​My rates are $10 per 1000 words, no matter the length or genre of the manuscript.

​Package Deal

​The package deal allows you to get both Round 1 and Round 2 at a discounted rate if purchased together before the start of Round 1 at the price of $7.50 per 1000 words.


40% of payment will be taken before I start, the rest on delivery of the edit report. If you need a more flexible payment plan, I am happy to discuss on a case by case basis.

If you wish to pay the full amount upfront, you are welcome to do so. However, this option is not available for the Package Deal, as the total word count may change between Round 1 and Round 2, affecting the price. I will adjust the payment plan accordingly for the Package Deal to ensure you aren’t overcharged.

I will send an electronic invoice, which can be paid via credit card or secure bank payment.

Marisa’s feedback included three main points to improve in my manuscript as well as several comments for each chapter (focusing on superfluous words, chapter endings, similes, sense checking and more). In particular, she guided me in improving my main character’s arc which has brought much more depth to my book. As well as providing constructive feedback, Marisa also included praise and encouragement which is important for any sensitive writer like me! Highly recommend.”

Sally Doherty – author of Toby and the Silverblood Witches.

If you would like to work with me, please email for enquiries.