Developmental editing addresses the large-scale elements of a book: how its chapters are organized, how the sections in the chapters are organized, and how well each section leads to the next. One of the most common problems authors have is assembling all the bits and pieces of their extensive knowledge into a long, seamless narrative. Many times the subject matter itself is excellent, but the way it’s put together doesn’t seem logical. After years of experience, I know how to look first at the whole picture and then suggest how each piece can be fitted in its proper place.
All of the elements needed to make a strong argument are examined. If a passage is too high-flown, I will ask for examples to anchor the theories. If the writing is too specialized, I will rewrite or point out where a layperson will have difficulty. These are but two examples of the many decisions that an experienced editor considers. A good nonfiction book contains solid directions that guide readers effortlessly to the places you want them to go.