Developmental Editing for Fiction and Nonfiction Authors

The content of your book is as important as elegant and error-free prose. Many would argue that it’s more important. If your book does not deliver on the promises made by the genre, title, or opening, then fixing the language will not a great book make. A developmental editor can help you identify and find solutions for big-picture problems that you can’t recognize because you don’t know what to look for or are too close to your work.

Does everyone need a developmental editor? Probably not. Some people have storytelling in their blood. (Understand that, even if you write business or self-improvement books, you’re telling a story.) Most of us have to work at it and could use objective feedback. Whether you work with a developmental editor or not, you should spend time with the structure of your story and hammer on it until it’s ready for polish. In this talk, I’ll share some of the tools editors use to make good stories and nonfiction books great.

Thanks to Leslie for her time and the presentation! The original event can be found on

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About Leslie Watts

lesliewattsLeslie Watts is an editor, author, blogger, and podcaster. She’s been writing for as long as she can remember: a magazine about cats in sixth grade, staff writer for her college newspaper, editor in chief of her law journal, and journaling while writing for an appellate judge. Almost three years ago, she launched Writership with her writer pals and recently started her own company, which you can find at She lives here in Austin with two spirited kids, two rambunctious kitties, and one patient husband.