Fiction Developmental Editing

A well-told story answers four major questions:

  1. Whose story is being told?
  2. Why is this story being told now?
  3. What’s happening in the story?
  4. What’s at stake in the story?

Being a trained developmental editor, I’ll help you address the high-level aspects of fiction storytelling principles within your manuscript:

  • Structural Framework Choice
  • Character Arcs
  • Point-of-View and Voice
  • Plot Pacing and Development
  • Story and Character Themes/Tropes
  • Settings/Worldbuilding

Developmental editing can come any time after you’ve finished your final self-edit. At this point, you’re absolutely sick of looking at that manuscript and likely want to throw it out the window because, “What else is missing that I’m not seeing?!”

With an objective on-page analysis, clear author intentions, and an obsession with tension-filled stories (regardless of genre), you can count on me to help you find the major missing piece(s) of your story’s puzzle. With this service, you get:

  • Two full passes through your manuscript: once as a reader and once for a thorough editorial analysis.
  • Specific inline comments asking questions, making observations, and suggesting possible rewrites or approaches based on patterns and examples noted.
  • A 30- to 50-page editorial letter covering your story’s strengths, themes, and a few areas to consider during the revision process.
  • An optional 60-minute Post-Project Debrief video call to go over any questions or concerns you may have with my assessment. If time allows, we can also discuss potential paths going forward.


I do not provide editorial services for the following genres or with the following content. If your manuscript falls in one of these categories, or contains any of the listed content, I truly thank you for considering Sage Editing, but I will not be able to assist you in your editorial needs. I know editors who do and will be more than happy to provide a referral.


  • High or Contemporary Fantasy
  • Contemporary Urban Fantasy
  • Magical Realism
  • Poetry


  • Excessive On-page Physical Torture or Violence
  • Excessive On-page Drug Use
  • Stereotypes Of or Against Marginalized Groups
  • Dubious/Nonconsensual Consent
  • On-page Sexual Violence/Assault
  • Hauntings or Graphic Horror
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