developmental editors strengthen story structure

Here's how I work and what I like to work on. 

I can give you a timeline estimate, but it’ll be that - an estimate. I give your story the time it needs, I won’t rush through comments just to get to the end.  Especially if you are doing book doctoring, know that this is NOT a quick process. Bringing a book from draft to published is not for the faint of heart.

The style of my comments varies. If you can take it, I’ll let your MS have it. If you need kid-gloves; I can do hand-holding and cheer-leading too. (psst... I LOVE cheer-leading new authors!) 

Either way, you will get comments that may come across as tough—ones that will make you think, and maybe pout a bit. You will get manifestos- but I tell everyone new to me, those are GOOD, it means you've got me hooked and I am invested. You WANT those, even if they are somewhat unsettling. If I'm hurry-typing enough to fuss up my spelling, it’s because I am invested and trying to get back to the action.

Developmental editing is a big commitment - for you in dollars, for me in time. So I totally understand the need for a trial run (for both of us—you need to connect with my commenting style and I with your story, sometimes it just doesn't work out and that’s understandable).

Genres I connect with:

Genres/topics I don’t connect with:

*I do read some epic fantasy so feel free to send me a query with your blurb and we can chat to see if your book is a fit for me 

**If your book doesn’t fit on either of these lists feel free to query me and we can talk about it!** 

Special Expertise - Horses in fiction

Do send me your books with horses in them! I am a trainer and have been an equestrian since before I could walk. I will help make those scenes as realistic as possible so readers are not thrown from your story like from the back of a young horse. I also have experience helping integrate horses, or horse-like animals into your fantasy world in a realistic, yet true-to-story way. 

I am also happy to work on sections of your work that contain horses. Minimum 2.5k words to each scene/chapter. All levels of editing available.

How To Get In Touch:

Send the following to with "Developmental Edit" in the subject line.

1. Your MS (or a link to it in GoogleDocs)
2. A blurb or short (under 200 words) book description
3. Genre/subgenre
4. Word count
5. Any deadlines if you have them
6. Any trigger warnings for your story 

I have openings beginning December 15th 2023.

Trial Basic Edit:


Offered for a limited time only, as I build my client list.

I will give a basic developmental edit on your first chapter (or up to 2500 words) 

Basic Developmental Edit:

USD$7.50 per 1000 words

One pass: I will read and leave in-line comments on your work in a googleDoc, each chapter will also get a write up with my thoughts and ideas instead of just one overall write up at the end so it is more clear where you can implement my suggestions. I am known to light up your MS like a Christmas tree, from heart emojis on passages I love to full on manifestos where something needs work (often with suggestions as to how to do this). I’m not known for biting my tongue, but I can (and will) also be your biggest cheerleader once you hook me. Basic editing includes 1 week of email support after the edit is complete. Further discussion can take place in a Scene-Saver meeting if desired.

Who it's for: Writers who want feedback and to move forward with it on their own. Maybe they have a good idea that *something* is off and just aren't sure what. Looking for a ‘quick’ map-out of their story. 

Book Doctor Developmental Edit:

USD$15 per 1000 words

Some writers are ready to/need to get down and dirty with their MS and I’m here for that. You get the basic first pass with in-line comments but you also get me around for your fixes. Mark up your changes, reply and ask questions about my comments and I’ll jump back in for a second pass to help you move in the right direction. I will help you totally revamp scenes, create new ones, chop the bad ones—whatever is needed. Generally, I plan for about 2 weeks between rounds for you to work on your edits, but this can be flexible and discussed during scheduling. Book Doctor editing includes 2 weeks of email support after the edit is complete. Further discussion can take place in a Scene-Saver meeting if desired.

Who it's for: Writers willing to put in the work. You are here because you believe in your story and are willing to do whatever it takes to make it better. It will no longer be a one on one battle with your MS, we can tag-team it into submission. 

Manuscript Critique:

USD $5 per 1000 words

This is a read-through of your MS at a slightly more surface level than developmental editing. I will still be looking at plot arc, pacing, character development, and for plot holes. But I won't be leaving in-line comments. You will get notes at the end of each chapter, then a summary of the entire work at the end. Manuscript Critiques do not include email follow up support. But authors choosing this option can take 50% off a Basic or Book Doctor edit of the same MS.

Who it's for: Writers looking for an overview of their MS, who want to-the-point feedback on big picture areas of their story. This can be great for new writers who feel they may be overwhelmed with extensive in-line commenting. 

Scene Saver Meetings:

USD$20/hr (1 hr minimum charge)

This service  is only for clients already working with me at either Basic or Book Doctor service level.

Do you have a scene that is just not working? I can get on google docs together with you and help hash it out.  I can offer very specific suggestions and drag—wait, I mean lead—you away from the corner that you’ve written yourself into. I will look at all your fixes and tell you what’s working and what’s still not working. We will fix the scene together but it will still be your work. 

I Accept PayPal and Venmo

Trial edits paid at start (if you go on to another service edit price will be subtracted from initial payment).

 A 10% non-refundable deposit is required to book your editing slot.

Basic Edit & Manuscript Critique: 40% will be due when the MS is delivered to me and the remaining
50% will be due upon completion. You will received your MS back once the final installment is paid.

Book Doctor Edit: 40% due when MS is delivered. 25% due upon completion of first round edits and the final
25% due upon completion of second round. You will received your MS back once the final installment is paid.

Scene Saver billed hourly as completed.

Books I Have Worked On:

Client Testimonials:

"I’ve worked with Erica on a few different projects of my own. My experience was so amazing that when a fellow indie author asked me for a recommendation for a developmental editor, she was the first to come to mind. Erica is thorough, kind, professional, and so, so knowledgeable. She really knows how to get to the root of the story and characters and make stories shine. She’s amazing! I recommend her to anyone who is serious about their writing. "

- MK Hall author (Summer Simmer) and line editor

"Apart from the usual comments I would expect, Erica was able to tell me exactly which scenes needed expanding and which were missing. Her evaluation of my manuscript was the work of an intelligent reader. My manuscript changed for the better once I adopted her suggestions and I can honestly say that it is a richer and more engaging story thanks to her thoughtful and kind input. I highly recommend her. you won't be disappointed."

- Cassia Hall author of Summer Lights, Fall Lanterns & Silvermist 

"I think of your replies as if... I'm putting together a quilt and you are able to hold it to the light and show me the holes.  I'm learning very much from your commentaries. Excellent stuff. Can't believe this is the end. The last few weeks have been a jambalaya of emotions: the excitement of preparing the next chapters for your latest review, the dread of not being able to keep one chapter ahead, the triumph of learning from your comments, the sadness of losing an excuse to jot you lines of self-pity. You have been great working with me, taking my newbie questions, and thoughtfully answering them."

- David Basinski author of The Vet's Apprentice 

"I have worked with Erica on several of my flash stories and I find her brilliant in giving straightforward feedback, spotting the problems with characters and even cheering to make the flash into the novella. However, the thing you would love the best to receive is Erica’s legendary manifestos (It means your story is awesome and if you listen to Erica it will be even better).

The first time I received one of Erica’s manifestos drew me back (even made me a bit angry) but when emotions died out, I could see her point that, to be honest, reached the crux of the problem of my story."

- Naito Diamond author featured in Spring Blossoms and Summer Simmer

Looking for Line Edits or Proofreading?

Developmental edits are just one step in publishing, if you are looking for an editor to help you polish your prose check out MK Hall of Get TUF Editing Services.

I have worked with her on a few stories and highly recommend her services!

Free Resources for Writers

Here are some of my favorite free places to get information on writing craft: Youtube is a great place to start, there are some amazing content creators that are also authors and editors sharing tips and tricks for writing and editing. Some of my personal favorites are: @AbbieEmmons, @ShaelinWrites, and @AlexaDonne

There are also some awesome blog posts over at Sand Kittens Press page (a collab with my crit partners) on all kinds of writing craft and indie publishing tips.