A versatile author with an editing advantage
Only a few published authors would branch out in fields related to the writing craft, such as copyediting and development editing. Greg Van Arsdale does both, and he’s just one of the few.
Greg began his writing career in 1983. He had written several books before he embarked fulltime on editing. As a published author, he wrote about science and religion, due to his experiences as a teacher (of nuclear physics-related courses) and minister for many years. He also wrote thrillers and science fiction.
Over the years, Greg has changed the titles of some of his works, most of which have been heavily updated and edited. Among his published works are The Dual Energy Concept (2016), Beyond Mere Belief (2016), The Priestly Murders (2018), The Stranger (2017), Hijacked on the Alaskan Seas (2016), and Alina’s Revenge (2020).
Being an author and, at the same time, book editor, Greg knows what he wants in—and on—a book: A well-written, well-thought-of story with great character and plot developments.
As a book editor, he strives to help authors become better writers and master storytellers. He exhorts his clients to understand the changes he makes to their manuscripts as this knowledge will save them money in editorial costs and increase their chances at publication.
What does a developmental editor do?
One of the editorial services that Greg offers is developmental editing. Just what is developmental editing?
First, you should know that there are three types or phases of editing (depending on who you ask): developmental editing, copyediting, and proofreading. Developmental editing is the first phase, coming before copyediting and proofreading.
Development editing ensures that the content foundation of your book is strong. In this phase, the developmental editor looks at the “big picture” of your book’s organization and structure. As the most important type or phase of editing, developmental editing has the largest impact of the reader – and author – satisfaction.
The developmental editor helps you see your work as the readers see it. They are concerned with how your book’s content is organized, how the information unfolds, and how your ideas flow. They provide you with feedback about the content and structure of your book.
The developmental editor looks at the story, plot, setting, characters, voice, tone, theme, point of view, dialogue, structure, sequencing, pacing, formatting, transitions, and consistency. They make sure the order of your chapters make sense, your characters are believable, your information unfolds in a rational and logical way, your transitions are solid, and the flow makes sense to your readers. They will let you know if you’re leaving out important information that your readers need, if something needs to be cut, whether you need to develop secondary characters, what characters or subplots need to be developed, what information or sections could be reordered, etc.
Though the developmental editor makes suggestions for changes, they will not make the changes in your manuscript. It’s up to you, the author, to do the rewriting, that is if you agree with the ideas that the developmental editor suggests.
An interaction between author and editor
Development editing is sometimes referred to as a conversation in the margins between the editor and the author. Indeed, the developmental editor, who wears the hat of a reader and immerses him/herself in your story – is the first person to provide feedback about your book. Having read your book for days or weeks and being tasked to provide feedback, the developmental editor is as close as they can be with your story without actually being the author.
The right developmental editor knows it is your book – your writing and your story – that they are editing but will never try to change your story. They understand what you’re hoping to accomplish with your book and they will help you accomplish that. The right developmental editor will never try to change your vision.
To purchase Greg Van Arsdale’s books, visit the author’s Amazon page https://www.amazon.com/Greg-Van-Arsdale/e/B00IVI50RQ