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Fiction copy editors not only look for misspellings and punctuation errors, but edit for voice and technique. This four-week class will explore:
- the differences between fiction and nonfiction editing
- where copyediting ends and developmental editing begins
- common manuscript errors, as well as style issues particular to fiction
- what to include on style sheets
- the mechanics of dialogue and interior monologue
- narration flaws
- authorial voice
- biased or excluding language and how to provide feedback to writers
- copyright concerns
- breaking into fiction editing
- working with indie authors or new writers
You will have a short piece of fiction to edit each week. The instructor will give individual feedback. This course assumes that students have had some training or experience in the basics of copyediting.
To take this course, you will need:
- Microsoft Word (you will need to be comfortable working with Track Changes)
- Access to at least one print or online dictionary, preferably Merriam-Webster
- The Chicago Manual of Style, 17th edition
- Self-editing for Fiction Writers, 2nd edition, by Renni Browne and Dave King
Instructor Crystal Shelley is a licensed clinical social worker and the owner of Rabbit with a Red Pen, where she provides editing and authenticity reading services to fiction authors. She unites her love of language and her passion for social justice by advocating for conscious language use and inclusive representation in her editorial work. She serves on the Executive Committee of ACES: The Society for Editing.