Editing Science Fiction and Fantasy (self-paced)



$79. How to edit science fiction and fantasy. This self-paced,  four-lesson class discusses the basics of the developmental editing of science fiction and fantasy novels.

The class covers:

  • basic conventions of the genre (reader expectations)—what to do when authors violate these and how to tell when they have
  • why the “what if?” matters and how to encourage the author to ask (and answer) it
  • what we mean by “speculative fiction”’; differences among various subgenres (contemporary fantasy, historical fantasy, space opera, time travel, urban fantasy, dystopian, and more)
  • refining a “kitchen sink” story to focus on an overall central conflict and goal
  • guiding authors who are overly reliant on common tropes (prophecy, chosen one, special sword)
  • working with characters, including helping the author create a believable protagonist and avoid uninspired, cliched characters; dealing with too many viewpoint characters
  • helping authors break free of predictable plots (peasant who becomes king; farm boy who saves the solar system)
  • showing the author how to create a consistent story world and to define its parameters for readers
  • providing guidance for authors who are letting the world-building overshadow the story
  • ensuring believability/plausibility in speculative stories
  • how to help authors avoid dating their stories (as technology changes quickly)
  • problems (and solutions) in editing SFF series
  • and more!

The class is meant for editors who have either some experience editing fiction or who have taken a general developmental editing of fiction class. Each lesson includes an assignment for you to do to practice your editing skills, with an answer key you can use to review your work.