What is content editing and when do you need it?

A content edit (sometimes referred to as a developmental or substantive edit) can help you untangle problematic plots, enliven characters who just won’t leap off the page, or brighten up settings that are stubbornly dim or dull. 

For nonfiction, a content edit can help you strengthen your argument, uncover buried themes, or bring order and clarity to your ideas.


Sometimes a content editor is like a sound engineer, showing you how to tweak elements of your story so that suddenly everything sings in harmony. Sometimes a content editor is like a structural engineer, showing you the weaknesses in your foundation and how to repair them so that your story is strong. 

You should seek out a content edit for your book if you feel stuck, if you know there is something missing but you can’t figure out what it is, if you have gotten confusing advice from your beta readers, or if you want a professional reader to analyze your book and teach you how to make it even better than it already is.

Learn more about the Blue Garret’s editing principles.