Developmental Editor Notes Sample # 1

When words get too wordy...

There are countless ways to describe the wonder of your book's world. But when you focus too much on the beauty of your words, your plot and characters drown in the sea of your descriptions.

NOTE: These samples are only sections of a longer editorial evaluation, and most identifiers (such as character names) have been changed.
Overall, I believe you’ve got all the elements to craft this into a powerful, well-written novel that’s also clear, concise and compelling. You just need to take shears to the abundance of flora-like imagery and prune it back so the true buds can blossom. You should also plow under the vast field of themes, that at times reads as thick as mud, and uncover the deepest roots of your plot and characters. Let both grow like the forest you describe so wonderfully, while relegating theme and imagery back to the flowered bushes that enhance the beauty of the woods, but doesn’t choke it out.

(Note how the overabundance of floral writing above clouds the clarity of what I'm saying. Imagery can be compelling, especially in setting scenes or describing characters, but you bog your story down when you surround your action and dialogue with excessive descriptors.)
...You simply have to do the work to tie your scenes all together so that a solid through-line makes each event relevant to the arc of the plot and the arc of our protagonist. In essence, because I don’t know what XXX’s basic and driving need is, I cannot see how any of these random events connect to form a plot. 

Does XXX need to open up to allow love into his life? Does he need to embrace his intellect and go back to school? Does he need to make peace with his father? Does he need to rediscover his soul and leave the army? We need his goal, his obstacles to that goal, and the deficiencies in his character preventing him from achieving that goal clearly defined to motivate the reader to want to continue on the journey with the character.