This four-week, instructor-led class 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.
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 are meant to work together.
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 an author who doesn’t make obvious beginner errors develop her 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.