Cover image for Developmental editing : a handbook for freelancers, authors, and publishers
Developmental editing : a handbook for freelancers, authors, and publishers
Norton, Scott.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Chicago, Ill. : University of Chicago Press ; Bristol : University Presses Marketing [distributor], 2011.

Physical Description:
xiii, 238 pages ; 23 cm.
General Note:
Originally published: 2009.
Concept : shaping the proposal--Content : assessing potential--Thesis : finding the hook-- Narrative : tailoring the timeline--Exposition : deploying the argument-- Plan : drafting a blueprint-- Rhythm : setting the pace--Transitions : filling in the blanks--Style :training the voice--Display: dressing up the text.
Format :


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PN162 .N67 2011 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

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Editing is a tricky business. It requires analytical flair and creative panache, the patience of a saint and the vision of a writer. Transforming a manuscript into a book that edifies, inspires, and sells? That's the job of the developmental editor, whose desk is the first stop for many manuscripts on the road to bookdom--a route ably mapped out in the pages of Developmental Editing .

Author Scott Norton has worked with a diverse range of authors, editors, and publishers, and his handbook provides an approach to developmental editing that is logical, collaborative, humorous, and realistic. He starts with the core tasks of shaping the proposal, finding the hook, and building the narrative or argument, and then turns to the hard work of executing the plan and establishing a style.

Developmental Editing includes detailed case studies featuring a variety of nonfiction books--election-year polemic, popular science, memoir, travel guide--and authors ranging from first-timer to veteran, journalist to scholar. Handy sidebars offer advice on how to become a developmental editor, create effective illustration programs, and adapt sophisticated fiction techniques (such as point of view, suspense, plotting, character, and setting) to nonfiction writing.

Norton's book also provides freelance copyeditors with a way to earn higher fees while introducing more creativity into their work lives. It gives acquisitions, marketing, and production staff a vocabulary for diagnosing a manuscript's flaws and techniques for transforming it into a bestseller. And perhaps most importantly, Developmental Editing equips authors with the concrete tools they need to reach their audiences.

Author Notes

Scott Norton is director of editing, design, and production at the University of California Press.

Table of Contents

Prefacep. ix
Introductionp. 1
What Developmental Editing Isp. 1
Whom This Book Is Forp. 2
What This Book Coversp. 3
Some Ground Rulesp. 5
1 Concept: Shaping the Proposalp. 9
Author Profile: The Veteranp. 10
Client Profile: The Agentp. 11
Assignment: The Proposal with Too Many Conceptsp. 12
Locate the Conceptp. 14
Profile the Audiencep. 18
Evaluate Market Potentialp. 20
Bring the Vision into Focusp. 22
2 Content: Assessing Potentialp. 27
Author Profile: The First-Timerp. 28
Client Profile: The Big Trade Housep. 29
Assignment: The Tome with Too Many Subjectsp. 30
Size Up the Authorp. 31
Size Up the Publisherp. 33
Size Up the DEp. 35
Create a Content Summaryp. 39
Find the Main Subjectp. 42
3 Thesis: Finding the Hookp. 48
Author Profile: The Coauthorsp. 48
Client Profile: The Small Trade Housep. 50
Assignment: The Study with Too Many Thesesp. 51
Cull Theses from Topicsp. 52
Beware of the Rehashp. 55
Choose the Main Thesisp. 58
Create a Working Titlep. 62
4 Narrative: Tailoring the Timelinep. 68
Author Profile: The Historianp. 68
Client Profile: The Copublisherp. 70
Assignment: The Sprawling Sagap. 71
Untangle Timelines from Argumentsp. 72
Find the Main Timelinesp. 74
Brainstorm Timeline Strategiesp. 76
Compose the New Timelinep. 80
Finetune the Timelinep. 81
Restore Bits of Argumentp. 85
5 Exposition: Deploying the Argumentp. 91
Author Profile: The Theoristp. 92
Client Profile: The University Pressp. 93
Assignment: The Theory with Too Many Tangentsp. 94
Untangle Arguments from Timelinesp. 95
Find the Main Argumentsp. 98
Brainstorm Argument Strategiesp. 101
Compose the New Argumentp. 103
Finetune the Argumentp. 105
Restore Bits of Timelinep. 107
6 Plan: Drafting a Blueprintp. 112
Write Up the Planp. 113
Compose Chapter Thesesp. 119
Intervene Strategicallyp. 122
7 Rhythm: Setting the Pacep. 123
Author Profile: The Sole Authorityp. 123
Client Profile: The Regional Housep. 125
Assignment: The Local History Turned Personalp. 126
Rearrange the Furniturep. 127
Draft New Passagesp. 130
Balance Chapter Weightsp. 132
Edit for Pacep. 135
8 Transitions: Filling in the Blanksp. 142
AuthorProfile: The Dead Authorp. 142
Client Profile: The Self-Publisherp. 144
Assignment: The Memoir with Lapsesp. 145
Create Opening Transitionsp. 146
Create Closing Transitionsp. 149
Draw Conclusionsp. 151
Place Those Conclusionsp. 154
9 Style: Training the Voicep. 158
Author Profile: The Journalistp. 159
Client Profile: The Book Packagerp. 160
Assignment: The Story with Too Many Voicesp. 162
Set the Tonep. 164
Parse the Rhetoricp. 167
Master Abstractionp. 175
Gauge the Ironiesp. 178
Harmonize the Voicesp. 182
10 Display: Dressing Up the Textp. 187
Author Profile: The Author-for-Hirep. 188
Client Profile: The Trade Reference Housep. 189
Assignment: The Guidebook with Poor Signagep. 191
Consider Subheadsp. 192
Consider Epigraphsp. 197
Draft an Art Planp. 201
Illustrate Conceptsp. 204
Visualize Datap. 207
Test-Drive Mapsp. 212
Add Lagniappep. 215
Afterwordp. 221
Further Readingp. 223
Acknowledgmentsp. 229
Indexp. 231