Intermediate Developmental Editing for Fiction (Oct 2 – Oct 29, 2024)



$300 (Members: $270) | How to become a developmental editor | 4 weeks | Instructor-led | Intermediate

In this class, we’ll cover the more in-depth concerns of developmental editing, diving deeper into issues like perspective and subtext. We’ll cover issues that crop up often: intensive developmental editing, editing more experienced authors who need guidance to take their work to the next level, and working with manuscripts that need a combination of developmental editing and line editing.

We’ll discuss how to solve problems that result from the author’s unwillingness or inability to go beyond the surface. For example, how to edit a writer who thinks “her heart hammered” is an effective way to communicate fear. We’ll dig deep into perspective and world-building (both of which can create show-don’t-tell problems).

We’ll also step back and look at how everything hangs together (or doesn’t) in a novel, dealing with the interplay of motivation, conflict, character development, and narrative arc. We’ll discuss what to do when a piece shows promise but has multiple problems, all of which negatively affect the work. We’ll cover what it means to prioritize developmental problems and how to do it.

Finally, we’ll discuss how to help authors who don’t make obvious beginner errors develop their writing.

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.

Instructor: Shelley Egan

Shelley is a freelance editor who specializes in editing fiction. Her credentials include a bachelor’s degree in English, a master’s degree in education, a publishing certificate from Toronto Metropolitan University, and a Club Ed Certificate in the Developmental Editing of Fiction. She took her first developmental editing course with Jennifer Lawler in 2016.

A former Hansard editor and college/university instructor, Shelley is an enthusiastic lifelong learner who thrives on professional development and continues to take writing and editing courses. She belongs to a group of novice writers who live in Canada, the UK, and Barbados and is an Editors Canada member and volunteer.

This highly popular class is meant for anyone interested in working with novelists to develop their work. The instructor strongly recommends taking the Beginning Developmental Editing for Fiction class before attempting this one, even if you have some developmental editing experience. The two classes (Beginning and Intermediate Developmental Editing) are meant to work together.

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.