A substantive edit, or what some people call a developmental or content edit, takes in the manuscript as a whole, focusing on big-picture elements.

• Fiction and narrative nonfiction: I evaluate character, dialogue, description, point of view, structure, pacing, scene craft, continuity, and prose style.

• Expository or technical nonfiction: I evaluate thesis, content, structure, argument, logic, continuity, tone, and pacing.

When my edit is complete, I will send you the following:

• A detailed editorial letter describing my impressions and offering suggestions for revision. The letter may include overarching observations on content and craft, or a chapter-by-chapter breakdown.

• An electronic version of your manuscript with edits highlighted in tracked changes. Comments in the margin will include questions, suggestions, and draft language where I think it may be helpful.

Substantive editing inevitably includes some line editing, as I pay close attention to the art of sentence-making while addressing larger points in the manuscript.

There is a difference between a book of two hundred pages from the very beginning,
and a book of two hundred pages which is the result of an original eight hundred pages. The six hundred pages are there. Only you
don’t see them.
— Elie Wiesel