A structural edit looks at the big picture of a manuscript, helping to shape the work to improve its organization and content. In fiction, this includes watching for continuity errors in plot, story and characterization. In non-fiction, this includes organizing the flow of ideas and identifying what can be fleshed out and what may be missing.

In general, a structural edit includes, but is not limited to:

  • Reorganizing the material to create coherent structure and flow

  • Expanding or reducing the material

  • Identifying missing or repetitive information

  • Managing headings and sections

  • Reorganizing information into different formats such as tables, charts or lists

  • Arranging placement of visual elements

A structural edit will not address specific issues with grammar and spelling, but will look at the manuscript's overall language, tone and word usage.

The foundation for a structural edit

My publisher selected Amanda to review my manuscript as the structural editor. For me it was a learning experience and a pleasure from the start. Her critique of the narrative was spot on, her syntax concise and her level of openness a boon to the creative process. I’m indebted to her for the highly polished veneer of the finished product.

Paul Mackin, Betrayal of Judas

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