If you have experience in fiction developmental editing (or if you’ve taken Developmental Editing of Fiction: Beginning), this four-week class will take your skills to the next level.
Week 1: In our first week, we’ll expand on the fundamentals of developmental editing, including structure, beats, pacing, and character development. In this week’s assignment, we’ll evaluate opening chapters to a manuscript with a focus on hooking the reader or literary agent.
Week 2: We’ll discuss authors’ expectations and expand on character development. In this week’s assignment, we’ll reevaluate the opening chapters from week one and create queries that offer authors options and explain the reasoning for the suggested change. Our queries will focus on the character’s goals, motivations, and conflict.
Week 3: We’ll discuss respecting an author’s authority and voice. Students will focus on helping the author understand and develop strong scenes. In this week’s assignment, we’ll read sample chapters and make edits that help the author develop strong scenes and deepen a character’s point of view, all the while respecting the author’s voice.
Week 4: We’ll talk about how to manage developmental edits for authors at various levels of ability. In the final assignment, students will bring together everything they have learned from beginning and intermediate developmental editing and prepare a developmental editing package (editorial letter, edits, and queries) for sample chapters.
Please note that this class is not for brand-new editors—if you are new to developmental editing, you’ll need to take Developmental Editing of Fiction: Beginning first.
Val M. Mathews is a big-hearted, fun-loving editor at the Wild Rose Press, a small traditional publishing house in New York, and an editorial consultant for CRAFT Literary, a well-established online literary magazine. She also teaches courses in editing for Queen’s University in Ontario, Canada. Val earned an MA in Professional Writing from Kennesaw State University and a BFA from the University of Georgia. Fun fact about Val: She’s been an FAA-certified flight instructor for over 25 years, and in the past, she flew Lear jets for a living.