Developmental Editing of Fiction: Intermediate, February 15–March 15 (4 weeks) SP23


February 15, 2023

Registration is closed for this class

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SKU: 237969


"Developmental editors make the author's vision their vision." —Val Mathews, instructor
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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 1 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. 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 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.


Students need to have experience with developmental editing or complete “Developmental Editing of Fiction: Beginning” before taking this course.

Val M. Mathews teaches courses in editing for the University of California Berkeley Extension, Queen’s University in Ontario, Canada, and the Editorial Freelancers Association in New York City. She also works as an editorial consultant for CRAFT Literary and Masters Review, two well-established online literary magazines, and has worked as an editor for traditional publishers. 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.

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