Developmental Editing

Developmental Editing



You’ve completed a draft.

You’ve celebrated, caught up on your sleep, and reintroduced yourself to your family and friends . . .

Before you begin the work of revision,


Are you looking for another set of eyes?


Developmental editing. also called structural editing, is “big-picture” editing.

When I read your manuscript, I won’t be line editing; I’ll be looking at the structure of the work, your use of setting, the complexity of your characters, your use of language (your voice and tone, the consistency of your style), and at the strength of the connection you’ve created with your audience.

I will prepare detailed, written feedback that will highlight the strengths of your work and point out areas in need of further exploration or development. For example, maybe your novel actually begins with the third chapter (with the first two chapters being background material that you will weave into later chapters); maybe one of your characters is one-dimensional, for example a stock bad guy who needs to be more fully developed. Maybe your style is inconsistent or your voice isn’t coming through as powerfully as it could, causing the story (fiction or non) to sag in spots.

This is your work, not mine.


I will never try to take over your work, to dictate what you should do. I’m a writer myself, and I respect that your work belongs to you. I don’t believe in formulas, in paint-by-number writing. I will encourage you to take risks, to stretch just slightly beyond your comfort level, so you can create powerful, beautiful, compelling work.

My Fee: $100/hour

Not sure? That makes total sense. Let’s talk.


Click Here to schedule a free, no obligation, 30-minute consultation to discuss your work, your vision, and your needs.


Here are testimonials from three of the authors I’ve worked with as a developmental editor.

After struggling for years with various versions of Push Not the River, I worked on the manuscript with Pam Sourelis and within a short period of time things began to fall into place. Pam has an eye and an ear for the written word par excellence. I didn’t always agree with the master at first, but in the end I found out she was always spot on. For an editor with a fantastic mix of insight, foresight, and down-to-earth good sense, a writer could not do better. Push Not the River was at last picked up and by one of the big leaguers, St. Martin’s Press. When they requested a sequel, Pam again helped me ready the manuscript for Against a Crimson Sky.

James Conroyd Martin
Author of The Poland Trilogy
and IPPY Gold Medal Winner,
The Boy Who Wanted Wings

Pamela Sourelis is an extraordinary editor and a wonderful human being. I’ve had the pleasure and the privilege to work with Pam on several books, and it has always been a beautiful experience for me watching her take my writing to new levels. Pam’s light-handed editing style preserves my writing style perfectly but gives it the focus and clarity it would otherwise lack. She is the perfect advocate of both author and reader.

Patrick Pfeiffer
Performer and Teaching Artist
Bestselling Author

Pam helped me write a book! I had no idea what I was doing when I started writing. I knew that I had a story to tell but I underestimated the size of the project, and I was unaware of the all of the steps that would go into refining my work. Pam guided me through the entire process. She knew when there should be more revisions, when I needed beta readers, even when I should step away from the project and work on supplementary writing exercises. She knew the next step when I didn’t.

Pam helped me find my voice! When I started writing, I knew that my written tone was completely different from my spoken one. I had a tough time writing to my audience in my authentic voice. I had a really tough time writing a story that was relatable. Pam gave me the exercises that I needed to loosen up and find my voice.

With all of the help and guidance that Pam gave me, she never told me the answer. Often I knew that she had a solution to the challenge that I was facing in my writing at that moment, but she never told me what to do. She always guided me to my own solution, my own answer. And then, once my project was finished, Pam took my writing education one step farther: She had become so familiar with my writing and my grammatical challenges that she was able to tell me what rules I routinely break. Pam taught me to be a better writer.

Constance Watkins
Author of Remote First: A Manager’s Guide to Building Remote Culture


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