Evolution of a Novel



$90 (Members: $81) | How the novel revision process works | 4 lessons | Self-paced | Intermediate

For writers, editors, book coaches, and critique partners interested in learning about the revision process.

Follow along as an author shows how her vision for a novel changes from the original draft to the final published version. Identify what you, as a developmental editor, coach, or critique partner, could do to help support an author during a similar process.

In four lessons, you’ll read three different drafts of the same novel and, based on the author’s commentary, consider what recommendations you might have made to the author to move the ms closer to the author’s vision for it.

The third lesson also includes the feedback of an experienced developmental editor, so that you can see how an editor might have approached the project. Then, you’ll have a chance to read the final, published version of the novel.

Even if you are not a developmental editor, the class will show you how to think about ways to re-envision a novel—not just deleting or adding a few scenes or strengthening a character motivation but completely rewriting in order to produce a work that more closely meets the author’s vision. In other words, if you’re an author yourself, the class will be of interest to you. But it is also intended for anyone who works with novelists (developmental editors, book coaches, critique partners).

This class requires a fair amount of time for reading and critical thinking but you will not have traditional editing or writing assignments to complete. The manuscript used is The Wanderer (early drafts were originally titled Western Wind), a medieval fantasy that began life as a romance.

The class is entirely online and asynchronous (you don’t have to be in any particular place at any particular time to participate).