Polish Your Prose

Jacquelin Cangro // Manuscript Editing

You’ve just typed The End. Now what?


You know it’s time for revision, but you’ve read and reread your manuscript so many times, the words seem like a jumble.

Maybe you ask your mom, your partner, and a friend who “really loves to read” to take a look, and they all think it’s Pulitzer-worthy.

You send a few chapters to your writing critique group. The comments you receive are either vague and disorganized or they lack any real guidance. Some feel downright hostile.

You’re anxious and excited and itching to get the ball rolling. You’ll test the waters by querying a few agents and see what happens.

Before you do that, can I just stop you there?!


This point represents a shift in the life of your story from creation to revision. Your manuscript should be as polished as possible before sharing it with agents and publishers. There is often only one chance to impress. Now is the time to get a professional opinion—someone who is invested and supportive, experienced and honest.

That’s where I can help.

What developmental editing is…

When I put my developmental editor hat on, I’m reviewing all the story elements that you’ve been worried about since you started writing your novel or short story. Elements like…

  • Characterization
  • Suspense
  • Scenes
  • Backstory
  • Pacing

Developmental editing is in-depth, comprehensive editing — the kind that deals with the nuts and bolts of structure, of plotting and pacing, of characterization, of voice and tone, along with all of the stylistic elements that go into creating a great read.


What developmental editing isn’t…

Copyediting or proofreading. Proofreading is the final stage of the editing process, cleaning up spelling, grammar, and punctuation.

A quick fix. My notes are substantive and fundamental, really getting to the core of the story you want to tell.

Someone to rewrite your work. My job is to bring my 20+ years of editing and publishing experience to provide guidance in making your story the best it can be.

After my developmental edit, you’ll…

gain some objectivity about your story. I’ll provide you with honest, actionable feedback.

feel confident in revising your manuscript. You’ll know what your next steps are and how to implement them.

understand the strengths and weaknesses of your manuscript before diving into revision.

have your questions answered. I’m here to help. I don’t return your manuscript and disappear.

Let's Polish Your Prose!

14 + 2 =

Continuing Education

Editorial Freelancers AssociationIt’s important to stay current on the ever-changing world of grammar and punctuation. (Did you hear that the word “selfie” was just admitted into the Oxford Dictionaries?) I recently completed two refresher copyediting courses — levels II and III — through the Editorial Freelancers Association.

Get a creative boost and stay on track with my FREE 5 Days of Writing Inspiration! 

Check your inbox to confirm your subscription.

Pin It on Pinterest