What is structural editing?

When you write anything beyond a few pages, it can be hard to see what's going on in your work. You're too close to it.

Structural editing is the great untangler. If your ideas are not yet coherent, they will be after a structural edit.

A structural edit (also known as substantive edit) will identify and analyse broad story elements in your memoir, business book, novel, short story, essay, poetry or short-story collection.

In business and non-fiction writing, structural editors look at broader issues, such as organisation of information, missing elements and clarity of argument. In fiction and creative non-fiction, structural editors appraise and advise on writing craft, such as character, plot, setting and scenes. We always note the strengths, while focusing on areas of improvement to enhance the story. We ask questions about believability, connections and consistencies.

A substantive edit is useful early in the drafting process. It's no use crafting lovely sentences and creating fabulous characters only to discover that they just don't seem to fit!