Editing for Character Development (Sep 11 – Oct 8, 2024)



$300 (Members: $270) | How to edit for character development | 4 weeks | Instructor-led | Intermediate

In a well-written novel, the characters – especially the main character – will seem like real people who engage the reader’s attention if not the reader’s empathy. Authors often need our help in figuring out what to do about flat characters or unengaging protagonists.

The character must face obstacles to their story goals. Often, but not always, the character must also face the chance, even the need, to change over the course of the story. This character arc is hard to get right.

This class will help you help the author. We’ll cover:

  • What goes into creating a rounded character
  • Common tools authors can use to create rounded characters, such as character sketches
  • The intersection between character, plot, and setting
  • Creating effective character goals and motivations (which impact conflict)
  • How dialogue and action create character
  • Using perspective and point-of-view to shape character
  • What to do when the character doesn’t change
  • Making the character’s impact on the story world part of the character arc
  • and more!

Each week includes a new lesson and a new assignment to be submitted for the instructor’s feedback along with online discussions about developmental issues.

Intermediate classes are intended for those with some developmental editing experience or who have taken the Beginning + Intermediate DE for Fiction classes or the self-paced DE 1 through 6 classes.

The class is entirely online and asynchronous (you don’t have to be in any particular place at any particular time to participate) but weekly assignments are due by specific deadlines.