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Developmental Guidance

Professional and insightful developmental guidance to help bring out the best in your manuscript.

Great books take work

... because sometimes it's hard to see the forest through the trees. ​​

  • Clear, structured feedback

  • Effective revision recommendations

  • Creative brainstorming around sticky issues

Whether you're stuck in the writing process or you've completed your first draft, developmental work is what takes your project to the next level. Together, we'll take an intensive look at your book's "big picture" elements to guide you forward with maximum insight and impact.

Ink Blotter offers two ways for us to work together:


Structure & impact

Conceptual clarity

Style, pacing & tone

Accessibility & engagement

What is developmental guidance for?


Story & characterization

Plot & world-building

Themes & structure

Style, prose & pacing

Image by John-Mark Smith

Developmental Editing

Developmental editing is an intensive process designed to make your book as effective and engaging as it can be.

What you get:

  • A highly detailed manuscript review letter providing clear feedback on key structural elements, as well as chapter-by-chapter analysis and recommendations. 

  • Margin notes including suggestions and commentary.

  • A 1-hr virtual consulting session to discuss your feedback and questions.


  • $0.04 – $0.07 per word 

  • Scaled pricing for subsequent rounds of review and editing

Developmenal editing
Manuscript Reviews

“Thank you truly for this careful, thoughtful, and smart reading! You are an incredible editor and it’s rare to have someone who is so far out of field get it so completely. All I can say is: wow, and thank you again!”

—Professor Jane Garrity, University of Colorado, Boulder

Image by Nick Morrison

The Deep Dive

(Full Manuscript Review)


You've finished your drafting process (yay!) and want to make sure your book is the best version of itself it can possibly be, the IMA process offers comprehensive developmental guidance.

What you get:

  • Two or three lively, detailed, 90-minute interactive development sessions (virtual or in-person) to discuss your manuscript. (Session number depends on manuscript length.)

  • An additional read through of up to 10 double-spaced pages between sessions.

  • Session recordings to help you through the revision process. 


  • Starting at $8 per page (pages must be double space, 12-pt font, 1-inch margins, Times New Roman or equivalent)

  • 100-page minimum, 400-page maximum

Interactive Manuscript Reviews

Interactive Manuscript Reviews (IMRs) are an Ink Blotter speciality.


The Deep Dive             The Quick Check             The Hook

Designed to guide substantive revision work for people who process feedback best through interaction, IMRs provide clear, detailed recommendations so that you can see your manuscript with fresh eyes.


The goal? An effective and efficient revision process to help your manuscript become the best version of itself. 

Deep Dive

The Quick Check
(A 30-Page Review)

The first 30 pages of your manuscript set the tone.


Understanding what's working and what's not is the key to moving forward, whether you're stuck midway in your writing process or finished with your first full draft. 

What you get:

  • An intensive, interactive, 60-minute session (virtual or in-person) to discuss your first 30 pages.

  • Session recording to help you through the revision process.

  • Margin commentary to identify key takeaways.


  • $55

  • Pages must be double space, 12-pt font, 1-inch margins, Times New Roman or equivalent.

Section Reviews

Creating Your Hook

(Your First 15 Pages)

The first few pages of a book are your opportunity to "hook" your audience. They pique your reader's curiosity and ensure that they stay with you, page after page.


This interactive review of your first 15 pages makes sure that you introduce a book that your reader can't wait to get more of.


If you are ready to receive detailed feedback on your first 15 pages, this intensive coaching review is for you.

What you get:

  • One 75-minute interactive coaching session

  • Session recording to help you through the revision process.


  • $250 

  • Pages must be double space, 12-pt font, 1-inch margins, Times New Roman or equivalent.

15pg Review

"Every writer needs light to guide them, to show them what they don't see but must in order to get the most out of their manuscript. Elena Abbott is the best kind of light imaginable—she illuminates strengths and improvement areas with clarity, good humor, and the perfect blend of kindness and firm resolve that uplifts the writing process instead of tearing it down in the name of 'critique.' Elena helped me see key areas that needed improvement and clarification, all while showing me how to build on the strengths of my particular writing style. Elena felt like a collaborative force, a partner in the process, and even a fan of my work. She gave me the boost and the information I needed to take my writing—and my confidence—to the next level."

JD Wyneken, Author, Historian

Crafting is a process.

Having an ally in your corner can make all the difference.

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