The Check-List for Evaluations, Substantive & Developmental Editing


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There are so many different types of editors that it's confusing! Often, when writers think of an "editor" they think that this is someone who will correct typos, misspells and incorrect grammar. That is definitely ONE type of editor, yes. That's a copy editor. For your edification, here is a list of other types of editors.


These are the things that I look to improve in your story.


Plot

Is it interesting and engrossing?

Is there enough to sustain the story through the final page?

Are there too many sub-plots, not enough sub-plots?

Are major plot issues resolved?

Is plot introduced in an engaging way?

Does the story make sense?

Are there hooks; are they logical; are they related to the rest of the plot?

Is plot engaging, inevitable, believable?

Is the plot full enough or does it feel thin?

Is the premise right for the story that’s been written?

Has reader expectation been whetted and then satisfied?

Is there a focus or is the plot scattered?

Does the story start in the right place?

Characters

Are lead characters interesting enough for the story?

Do lead characters have sufficient motivation to move through the plot?

Is the antagonist strong enough, a good complement to the protagonist?

Do characters have strengths and weaknesses?

Are character goals clear?

Are characters well-rounded?

Are all featured characters vital to the plot?

Is character motivation appropriate for the story that developed from it?

Setting

Is it conveyed sufficiently?

Is it appropriate for the story?

Would a different setting work better?

Is setting used to advance plot, to create tone, to increase tension?

Are readers given a clear sense of place and time for each scene?

Dialogue

Does dialogue advance the story?

Is dialogue appropriate to character?

Is dialogue appropriate to the scene?

Does dialogue increase conflict?

Point of view

Is it the right POV for the story and for the scene; would another be better?

Is POV clear?

Is POV maintained within scenes?

Should POV change with scenes?

Who should be the viewpoint character in each scene?

Pace

Does pace vary?

Is the pace of each scene appropriate?

Does pace influence tone?

Does pace increase/decrease tension?

Conflict

Is there sufficient conflict in each scene and between characters?

Does conflict escalate?

General questions and reminders

Has the writer made the reader care about the character and his dilemma?

Is the story entertaining?

Is there enough story to the story?

Is the story different enough to catch a reader’s attention?

Does the story move fast enough?

Does the story catch either the reader’s mind or heart, perhaps both?