Developmental editing

DSC_8501-001DIFFERENT THAN OTHER TYPES OF EDITING—in which an editor makes direct changes to your work—developmental editing, also known as a literary critique, is a careful review of your book-in-progress. By telling you what’s working and what needs further attention, a critique points out the changes that will have the most impact on your work.

A good developmental edit is a springboard that catapults you into a successful next draft!

Jamie, thank you for the knowledge you bestowed on me during my first draft. You also gave me a killer critique for my revision. The manuscript that got sold reflects your amazing instincts. Thank you so much.

Melody Maysonet, author of 2016 Eric Hoffer Award-winning novel A WORK OF ART (Merit Press)

The developmental editing process

To provide your critique, I read your manuscript with care and respond with a comprehensive editorial letter and a margin-noted copy of your manuscript that answer questions like these:

  • How can I make my work more viable in the marketplace?
  • How do I prioritize the necessary edits?
  • How effective are my . . .
    • structure and plot?
    • concept and theme?
    • voice and pacing?

My editorial letter and margin notes, together with our in-depth, follow-up phone or Skype consultation, will constitute a road map—a clear, comprehensive plan—to guide you as you take your book-in-progress to the next level.

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Let’s see if we’re a good fit to get your writing project done!

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Raves for editing and critique

Jamie Morris is one of the most insightful critiquers I have ever worked with. Time and again, I have observed her finding the deeper themes and motifs in a manuscript and seeing unique ways for the writer to enhance and enrich a book’s structure. She not only sees the bigger picture of a manuscript, she sees the deeper picture, and that can make all the difference for a writer.
Joyce Sweeney, Delacorte Press Prize-winning author of CENTER LINE

Jamie has been a freelance editor for Blue Angel Publishing since 2015. She has proven to be very reliable and professional—an absolute pleasure to deal with. She is very thorough, with a keen eye for detail, and is 100% committed to fulfilling the specific requirements for each job to our satisfaction and that of our authors, whose work she edits. She’s open and responsive to feedback, and consistently completes jobs within the agreed time frame. We recommend her editing services. Tanya Graham, author, editor, Blue Angel Publishing

Jamie was able to find a glimmer of me that was buried underneath years of intellectual learning. Every time I spoke in public, I told jokes, shared openly and easily; every time I sat at my computer, I started writing term papers, reports, facts. I was so bogged down in proving myself as an intellectual person I couldn’t write freely! Jamie helped me find my natural writing voice. She made little notes: “This sounds like Wah!” And “Good voice!” It made all the difference. My project was an awakening—of wisdom and writing style. Jamie Morris helped me take my project from “boring, way too much information” to “interesting, refreshing, fun.” Wah!, HEALING: A Vibrational Exchange (Wah! Music)

Hi, Jamie. It’s been a while since you did a comprehensive analysis of THE URBAN LEGION for me. Since then I’ve done a number of revisions, inspired by your advice …  It’s way better, and is now officially published. You’re mentioned in the acknowledgments. Thanks for all the help!
—Dave Agans, author ofTHE URBAN LEGION (B. Mirthy & Sons) and DEBUGGING (AMACOM)

Get your happy dance on, Jamie! I got an agent!!! I’m so excited. Get ready to grace my acknowledgement page!!! You were so integral in helping me with my character arcs in FORETOLD—and with the underlying theme! Our ideas totally merged, and magic happened!
—Melissa Abrehamsen, FORETOLD (represented by Siobhan McBride of Serendipity Literary Agency)

Hi Jamie. Thought I’d let you know that DRAWN AND BURIED won [Mystery Writers of America’s] Freddie Award this weekend at Sleuthfest. Pretty excited. Your help was instrumental in getting this thing into shape. Thanks!
Dana Summers, political cartoonist

Jamie, I am so excited to be able to work with you again! You bring out the best in my writing and help me to define and discern my own voice. What a gift you are!
Melinda Laus, grief counselor, Courageous Mourning

I looked at [my novel] just now and compared it to that first version I sent to you, and there’s just no comparison. With your help, I was able to hone my characters’ personalities and motivations and, in the process, completely (and successfully) overhaul my plot line. You provided tons of encouragement, copious amounts of brainstorming, and kind words every step of the way. THANK YOU.
—Cindy Knoebel

Jamie is a pleasure to work with. An awesome editor, Jamie has a talent at being able to tap into the core message and present it in a way that truly speaks to the audience. She is highly professional and truly cares about doing a great job for her clients.

Hello, Jamie! I just wanted to let you know that one of the stories that you edited [and critiqued] for me, “Graceland,” won third place in the 2014 Seven Hills Literary Contest and will appear in the 2014 SEVEN HILLS REVIEW. Thank you …. I am looking forward to working with you again in the near future!
Lee Williams

Typically, a full-length play takes a couple of years to write and refine, but Jamie’s workshop motivated me to finish a draft in just five months! Jamie’s coaching was dead on …. Whether you are looking for inspiration, motivation, or professional-level feedback, I’d highly recommend it.
Jack McGrath, three-time winner of the Annual Florida Playwrights Competition (The play cited above, EROS IN VERACRUZ, won the 21st Annual Florida Playwrights Competition.)

I have had the pleasure of working with Jamie as both a coach and an editor. She has helped me find and clarify my voice. Her insights into making my work consistent, coherent, and clear have already made the book a much stronger offering.

Jamie has also helped me find balance and success. Before working with her, I had an all-or-nothing approach that wasn’t helping me reach the finish line. By keeping my work grounded and my aspirations practical, I have been able to keep the work flowing.

Thanks Jamie!
Andrew McGregor, owner, The Hermit’s Lamp; creator, TAROT WAITING TO HAPPEN; author, SIMPLY LEARN TAROT

With sharp focus and thoughtful, constructive comments, Jamie gives—most generously—guidance which reflects her depth of experience.
Peggy Miller, poet, Senior Editor of THE COMSTOCK REVIEW, author of WHAT THE BLOOD KNOWS  and  STONE BEING

Jamie’s insightful critique is worth the price of admission. I keep a page with her notes on my bulletin board to this day.
Troy Stoops, author of DIVIDING EARTH

Jamie’s guidance provides fuel to keep my writing moving forward. Whether I’m just beginning a new project, trying to dig my way out of a messy middle, or adding the finishing touches, her input has been invaluable. She has a unique talent—almost a sixth sense, really—that enables her to immediately understand the heart of a piece and respond with constructive, motivational critique.
Julie Compton, author of TELL NO LIES and RESCUING OLIVIA (Macmillan), and the TNL sequel, KEEP NO SECRETS (Fresh Fork Publishing)

Jamie is an incredibly detailed editor. I have worked with her almost continuously for six years, and her skills, ideas, and unfailing enthusiasm have helped me complete five novels in several genres.
Mary K Swanson, technical writer, editor

Jamie’s feedback and suggestions on my e-course were absolutely invaluable. She was clear, concise, and compassionate in her critique, and she had a good understanding of what I was trying to achieve. The tweaks she suggested gave my course that professional, polished feel. I would work with Jamie again in a heartbeat.
Kate Fisher, The Daily Tarot Girl

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