Editing for World-Building and Setting (Nov 1 – Dec 5, 2023)



$275. Four weeks, instructor-led, intermediate level.

Though writers and editors have borrowed the term “world-building” from the science fiction and fantasy genres, creating a believable story world is important for any author writing fiction in any genre.

This class shows how developmental editors can help authors create story worlds the reader will happily enter into—not just by effectively describing a particular setting but by avoiding common world-building problems (such as info-dumping/overuse of exposition) and ensuring that the “rules” of the story world make sense and that the author doesn’t inadvertently violate them.

The course covers:

  • creating a realistic setting: the principles of world-building
  • effective description and the problem of info-dumping
  • the intersection between setting, plot, and character development
  • historical, seasonal, and clock time
  • micro versus macro settings (and why both matter)
  • overly used and trite settings
  • respecting the parameters of the story world
  • incorporating all senses into a setting
  • 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. It is entirely online and asynchronous (you don’t have to be in any particular place at any particular time) but weekly assignments are due by specific deadlines.

NOTE: This class has a week off for the US Thanksgiving holiday (Monday, Nov 20 through Sunday, Nov 26). No assignments will be assigned or expected during this week.