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This title in other editions

Other titles in the Chicago Guides to Writing, Editing, & Publishing series:

Developmental Editing: A Handbook for Freelancers, Authors, and Publishers (Chicago Guides to Writing, Editing, & Publishing)


Developmental Editing: A Handbook for Freelancers, Authors, and Publishers (Chicago Guides to Writing, Editing, & Publishing) Cover

ISBN13: 9780226595153
ISBN10: 0226595153
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Editing is a tricky business. It requires analytical flair and creative panache, the patience of a saint and the vision of a writer. Transforming a manuscript into a book that edifies, inspires, and sells? Thats the job of the developmental editor, whose desk is the first stop for many manuscripts on the road to bookdom—a route ably mapped out in the pages of Developmental Editing.

Author Scott Norton has worked with a diverse range of authors, editors, and publishers, and his handbook provides an approach to developmental editing that is logical, collaborative, humorous, and realistic. He starts with the core tasks of shaping the proposal, finding the hook, and building the narrative or argument, and then turns to the hard work of executing the plan and establishing a style.

Developmental Editing includes detailed case studies featuring a variety of nonfiction books—election-year polemic, popular science, memoir, travel guide—and authors ranging from first-timer to veteran, journalist to scholar. Handy sidebars offer advice on how to become a developmental editor, create effective illustration programs, and adapt sophisticated fiction techniques (such as point of view, suspense, plotting, character, and setting) to nonfiction writing.  

Nortons book also provides freelance copyeditors with a way to earn higher fees while introducing more creativity into their work lives. It gives acquisitions, marketing, and production staff a vocabulary for diagnosing a manuscripts flaws and techniques for transforming it into a bestseller. And perhaps most importantly, Developmental Editing equips authors with the concrete tools they need to reach their audiences.

About the Author

Scott Norton is director of editing, design, and production at the University of California Press.

Table of Contents



            What Developmental Editing Is

            Whom This Book Is For

            What This Book Covers

            Some Ground Rules


1           Concept: Shaping the Proposal             

             Author Profile: The Veteran

             Client Profile: The Agent

             Assignment: The Proposal with Too Many Concepts

             Locate the Concept

             Profile the Audience

             Evaluate Market Potential

             Bring the Vision into Focus


2           Content: Assessing Potential

             Author Profile: The First-timer

             Client Profile: The Big Trade House

             Assignment: The Tome with Too Many Subjects

             Size Up the Author

             Size Up the Publisher

             Size Up the DE

             Create a Content Summary

             Find the Main Subject

3          Thesis: Finding the Hook

            Author Profile: The Coauthors

            Client Profile: The Small Trade House

            Assignment: The Study with Too Many Theses

            Cull Theses from Topics

            Beware of the Rehash

            Choose the Main Thesis

            Create a Working Title


4          Narrative: Tailoring the Timeline

           Author Profile: The Historian

           Client Profile: The Copublisher

           Assignment: The Sprawling Saga

           Untangle Timelines from Arguments

           Find the Main Timelines

           Brainstorm Timeline Strategies

           Compose the New Timeline

           Finetune the Timeline

           Restore Bits of Argument


5         Exposition: Deploying the Argument

          Author Profile: The Theorist

          Client Profile: The University Press

          Assignment: The Theory with Too Many Tangents

          Untangle Arguments from Timelines

          Find the Main Arguments

          Brainstorm Argument Strategies

          Compose the New Argument

          Finetune the Argument

          Restore Bits of Timeline


6        Plan: Drafting a Blueprint

          Write Up the Plan

          Compose Chapter Theses

          Intervene Strategically

7        Rhythm: Setting the Pace

         Author Profile: The Sole Authority

         Client Profile: The Regional House

         Assignment: The Local History Turned Personal

         Rearrange the Furniture

         Draft New Passages

         Balance Chapter Weights

         Edit for Pace


8       Transitions: Filling in the Blanks

        Author Profile: The Dead Author

        Client Profile: The Self-Publisher

        Assignment: The Memoir with Lapses

        Create Opening Transitions

        Create Closing Transitions

        Draw Conclusions

        Place Those Conclusions


9      Style: Training the Voice

       Author Profile: The Journalist

       Client Profile: The Book Packager

       Assignment: The Story with Too Many Voices

       Set the Tone

       Parse the Rhetoric

       Master Abstraction

       Gauge the Ironies

       Harmonize the Voices


10   Display: Dressing Up the Text

      Author Profile: The Author-for-Hire

      Client Profile: The Trade Reference House

      Assignment: The Guidebook with Poor Signage

      Consider Subheads

      Consider Epigraphs

      Draft an Art Plan

      Illustrate Concepts

      Visualize Data

      Test-Drive Maps

      Add Lagniappe



Further Reading



What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

Darahlee10, July 10, 2013 (view all comments by Darahlee10)
University of California Press in Berkeley guides developmental editing in this book, for authors and publishers. This book denotes significant structuring or restructuring of a manuscripts discourse. It helps the author form a vision for the book and coaches chapter by chapter to ensure the vision is successfully executed. With use of line editing, chapter, section, paragraph and sentence levels, suggested rewrites are given. Authors should find practical advice to improve their writing skills; and maximize the appeal of their own manuscripts to prospective publishers. Concept focusing the authors vision, thesis and creating a winning title that reflects the winning choice is covered. Narrative to form a coherent story structure to choose between telling a story and making an argument is discussed. Detail to name a few topics includes, brainstorming to fine-tune a timeline to a revised table of contents is included. In exposition they fine-tune the main argument. A blueprint is created that will serve as a touchstone for the author and publisher throughout the editing process. It provides interventions when schedule or budget does not allow for a full developmental edit. Chapter equality with editing for pace with restructuring and transitions are used. How moving a conclusion from one place to another can lead to entirely different effects. With structure in place, ways of prose is used to help authors achieve their unique voice in prose. Opportunities to illustrate concepts and to express data visually, and extra touches to add luster, web pages are discussed. The sequences of stages may occur simultaneously or frequently and others may be inapplicable to specific projects. Techniques presented can be adapted to personal styles and advice discarded if it does not resonate. There is no one way to perform a developmental edit but first learn to master the rules. The tools given in this book are clear and in sequence with much more valuable instruction to read. I highly recommend this book. I own a copy
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Product Details

Norton, Scott
University of Chicago Press
Writing Skills
Edition Description:
Chicago Guides to Writing, Editing, and Publishing
Publication Date:
4 tables
9 x 6 in

Related Subjects

Reference » Editing
Reference » Writing » General

Developmental Editing: A Handbook for Freelancers, Authors, and Publishers (Chicago Guides to Writing, Editing, & Publishing) New Trade Paper
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Product details 256 pages University of Chicago Press - English 9780226595153 Reviews:
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