Structural Editing

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What is Structural Editing?

In a structural edit, the editor's goal is to assess the story's overall flow; taking note of plot, descriptions, dialogue, pacing, style, structure, characterizations, and any other element that is unique to the story or writing. The author will receive a report on each of these areas. It'll be noted what the strengths and weaknesses are. Suggestions will be made on how the author can improve and strengthen all areas. 

If necessary, advice on what genre and age-range it best fits will be provided. And recommendations on the best word count goal if the author requests it. 


What To Expect

  • Our Structural Edits are extremely thorough and comprehensive

  • This service is for a single pass reading of the manuscript (beyond that it becomes developmental editing)

  • This is the only kind of editing that will be performed at time of service 

  • The manuscript should be in Microsoft Word. 

  • Track Changes in Microsoft Word is used for the reading

  • The author will receive a report, typed up by the editor, on all elements previously stated. 

  • Reports can take as long as ten hours to write and be as long as 20 pages

  • The author is likely to receive more notes, advice, and suggestions than they expected

  • A lot of notes does not mean the book is bad. It simply means there are many opportunities to fine-tune your work


What Structural Editing Is Not

Since a Structural Edit is an assessment of the author's overall manuscript, it is assumed the author will take that report and use it as a reference when editing their own story. As such it is not recommended (or logical) to have any other kind of editing done at the same time, since the manuscript will be changed by the author. The following is what Structural Editing is not: 

  • Proofreading

  • Line-Editing

  • Copyediting

  • Copywriting

  • Re-writing

  • Beta Reading

When To Choose Structural Editing

If you are new to the professional editing game, you may not know the optimal time of the writing phase to get a structural edit. You wonder, "Do I get it after the first draft?", "Do I write it to perfection?", "Do I need to complete the first draft?", "Should I get beta reads first?". 

And I will tell you the answer to all of those questions; it depends. I'm sorry there's no definitive answer here but every editing journey is unique. Some authors will not let eyes peep their work until they are thoroughly satisfied with it. Some authors type 'The End' on their first draft and send it off to their editor. Other authors like to have a few betas read it, make changes, and then have a structural edit, or vice versa. 

It's all about what makes the most sense to you and your project. But here's a secret; you can always speak to an editor and get their opinions. Most editors will be happy to have a short chat with you and advise on a course of action that makes sense. Good and honest editors want what's best for the writer, so if you're feeling pressured into their services even though you're not quite ready or comfortable, don't be shy about cutting contact. 

A fair amount of my time is spent speaking with writers who have questions about editing services and pricing. Some hire me, some don't. It's to be expected. A good editing relationship is not built on pressure. 

My best advice is to seek a structural edit when you've reached the end of what you think you can do without additional eyes. You know your manuscript could be better but you're not sure how.  



Tier 1
Tier 2
Tier 3
In-depth analysis
Comprehensive Report
1 Hour Live Consultation
In-document comments
In-text suggestions/editing
Apply cost to Developmental Edit


Each project is unique and has its own demands. Therefore, its best to request a quote. The following are sample quotes to help provide an idea of the cost.

Sample Quotes:

Tier 1: 50,000 words $500

Tier 2: 50,000 words $1,000

Tier 3: 50,000 words $1,500

Each tier has its advantages. However, each tier provides high level, in-depth analysis.


With Tier 3, after you receive your report and decide you want to work with PBE further with Developmental Editing, 75% of the cost of T3 will be applied to the DE quote. (Stipulations apply: The DE has to be the same book as the structural edit and the decision has to be made within a reasonable time period after the Structural Edit report has been received.) 


Request a quote using this message box. Include genre and word count in the body of the message. 

Sample Report

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