Developmental/content editing

What clients say:

What I love about working with Mariëlle on my project (a novel) is that she understands where you want to go with it. She has the ability to immerse herself in your work and treat it as she would her own work—with respect and enthusiasm—while she doesn’t shrink back to ask all the right questions and give clear and constructive feedback. She really joins you on your way to the final version that you envision for yourself.

Kathelijne Schoonackers


 A developmental or content edit is

a substantive edit that helps you develop every single aspect of your manuscript. For fiction, this includes plot, characters, structure, pace, voice, audience, and setting. For nonfiction, this includes outline, arguments, examples, structure, pace, voice, and audience. It points out larger issues and zooms in on every little detail. As such, a developmental edit can feel overwhelming, but it is the best way to make sure you are telling the best possible version of your story. Developmental editing is also not merely about telling you where you need to improve; I will point out what you are doing right as well.

Editing options

Please note that the rates listed below are my standard rates. I invite those with financial constraints to contact me at marielle@mswordsmith.nl to discuss options.

Outline Critique

An outline critique is the first professional step you can take. Instead of looking at a full manuscript after it is written, I provide feedback on an extensive outline of a maximum of 10,000 words. This way, you can make sure your ideas are promising and your outline is fleshed out before writing the first draft. This will make you a faster writer.

Basic Outline Critique

A basic outline critique provides my initial impressions of the text or story, detailed comments on aspects including plot, characters, twists, setting, clues, and more, and thoughts and tips on how the text or story could be developed further.

Rate: €219*

Outline Critique Plus

An outline critique plus gets you all of the above, plus a one-hour review call to discuss the critique.

Rate: €259*

Book Critique

A book critique is the budget version of a developmental edit, and will get you an overall assessment of all aspects of your work and the manuscript as a whole, as well as advice on how to improve these aspects. If you want to know whether you have written a promising text or story and you are on a budget, a book critique is the way to go.

Rate: €7.50 per 1000 words*

Full Developmental Edit

A full developmental edit will get you two separate documents. The first document will contain my overall assessment and advice on the manuscript as a whole, including strengths and weaknesses. You can find an example of such an assessment letter for a work of fiction here. The second document will contain your manuscript along with extensive comments, suggestions, and track changes on all aspects of your work.

Rate:  €12.50 per 1000 words*

Please note: although a full developmental edit will pick up on some language issues, it does not include copy/line editing.

The Butcher’s Block

The Butcher’s Block is the 2.0 version of the full developmental edit. It includes not one but two close reads of the entire manuscript, making sure no stone is left unturned; an in-depth assessment of language, style, and grammar; and a one-hour review call to discuss the assessment. A favourite amongst newbie writers, The Butcher’s Block will give your manuscript the attention it deserves, and will make you a better writer faster.

Rate: €17.50 per 1000 words*

* Please note: all rates are ex. 21% Dutch sales tax.

Academic editing

Are you an academic researcher and looking for a content edit? I offer academic editing here.

If you would like to work with me

  1. Please send me an email at marielle@mswordsmith.nl with your name, the title and genre of your work, the word count, and when you prefer the work to be completed. Please include any relevant information such as specific areas in which you would like feedback. It is preferable that you also include the work itself as an attachment (Word or PDF; I prefer Word) so that I can make sure I am able to help you.
  2. After I receive your email and take a peek at your work, I will reply with a price quote and an estimate of how long the project will take me.
  3. If you are happy with my offer, please send your work if you have not already done so and let me know how you would prefer to pay.
  4. I will send you a PayPal invoice or an invoice with details on how to make a direct deposit into my bank account. Once payment has cleared, I will begin working on the project.

Please note: by agreeing to the quote and paying the invoice, you are agreeing to the terms & conditions.