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.

Curious to hear me talk about developmental editing and compare notes with a copy editor? In this episode of what was once the All Apprentices: Quick Editing Tips podcast, I discuss the ins and outs.

Editing options

Manuscript Critique

A manuscript critique provides an overall assessment of all the aspects mentioned above and the manuscript as a whole, including advices on how to improve them. If you want to know whether you have written a promising text or story, a manuscript critique is the way to go.

Rate: €5.00/1000 words or €35.00/hour, whichever is less.

Full Developmental Edit

A full developmental edit will get you two separate documents. The first document contains 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 contains your manuscript along with extensive line-by-line comments, suggestions, and track changes on all aspects of your work.

Rate:  €13.50/1000 words or €35.00/hour, whichever is less.

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

The Butcher’s Block

The Butcher’s Block is the 2.0 version of the full developmental edit. It includes as many readthroughs as the manuscript needs, 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 instantly.

Rate: €20.00/1000 words or €35.00/hour, whichever is less.

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.