Orlando Editing Seminar

I’ll be teaching my Systematic Editing class again in Orlando June 16.
(If you attended the Tampa seminar, this is the same one.)

A Method for Revising Your Book Like a Pro

Orlando: June 16, 2018, at Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church, 1655 Peel Ave., Orlando 32806
Cost: $45, includes lunch

REGISTER NOW!

The doors will open at 8:30 a.m. for registration, coffee, and Second Breakfast. Teaching starts at 9 a.m. We’ll break at noon for lunch, which is included. I’ll wrap up the teaching by 4 p.m., after which we can have Q&A time and socialize.

Checklist

Illustration © Natalia Merzlyakova • Fotolia

Writers know that great writing requires rewriting, editing, and polishing a manuscript to perfection. But writing and editing are two different skills, and writers are seldom taught how to edit. So writers edit by reading books over and over, fixing mistakes as we see them until there are no more mistakes to find. But it is possible—and very common—to get stuck in an infinite loop of revision, because one never knows when one is finished. I struggled with this as a writer, but when I trained to be an editor, I learned a systematic method of editing that allows editors to work through a manuscript efficiently and with sure knowledge about when the job is done.

Attendees will receive an advance copy of my upcoming editing book, which is based on the Edit Like a Pro: Elements of Fiction series. (If supplies run out, copies may have to be delivered after the event.)

For more details and to register, visit the Central Florida ACFW website.

This class is hosted by the Central Florida chapter of American Christian Fiction Writers, but people of all faith backgrounds or lack thereof are welcome.

Tampa: How to Edit Your Novel Systematically

UPDATE: We had a great time at the Tampa workshop. If you were unable to make that event, I’ll be teaching the same workshop again in Orlando June 16.

A Method for Revising Your Book Like a Pro

Tampa: April 14, 2018, at 1901 S. Village Avenue, Tampa FL 33612

Writers know that great writing requires rewriting, editing, and polishing a manuscript to perfection. But writing and editing are two different skills, and writers are seldom taught how to edit. So writers approach editing haphazardly. We think editing means reading our books over and over, fixing mistakes as we see them until there are no more mistakes to find. But it is possible—and very common—to get stuck in an infinite loop of revision, because one never knows when one is finished.

I struggled with this as a writer, but when I trained to be an editor, I learned a systematic method of editing that allows editors to work through a manuscript efficiently and with sure knowledge about when the job is done.

Edit checklist

In this full-day class, I’ll teach you the rigorous process professional editors use to evaluate and edit novels. You’ll learn how to build a book map to analyze (and if necessary fix) your novel’s structure. Then you’ll get tools for planning your editing in a methodical way so you can tackle issues in the correct order, avoid analysis paralysis, and—most importantly—know when you have finished. We’ll cover 10 elements of fiction:

  • Character
  • Point of View
  • Plot
  • Structure
  • Pacing
  • Setting
  • Description
  • Dialog
  • Voice
  • Mechanics

Every attendee will receive an advance copy of my upcoming editing book, which is based on the Edit Like a Pro: Elements of Fiction series.

The doors will open at 8:30 a.m. for registration, coffee, and Second Breakfast. Teaching starts at 9 a.m. We’ll break at noon for lunch, which is included. I’ll wrap up the teaching by 4 p.m., after which we can have Q&A time and socialize.

Enter your name and email address below if you’d like to be notified of future seminars, including the June 16 event in Orlando.

 

2 Seminars: How to Edit Your Novel Systematically

A Method for Revising Your Book Like a Pro

Tampa: April 14, 2018, at 1901 S. Village Avenue, Tampa FL 33612
Orlando: June 16, 2018, at Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church, 1655 Peel Ave, Orlando 32806 (Hosted by the Central Florida chapter of American Christian Fiction Writers)

Writers know that great writing requires rewriting, editing, and polishing a manuscript to perfection. But writing and editing are two different skills, and writers are seldom taught how to edit. So writers approach editing haphazardly. We think editing means reading our books over and over, fixing mistakes as we see them until there are no more mistakes to find. But it is possible—and very common—to get stuck in an infinite loop of revision, because one never knows when one is finished.

I struggled with this as a writer, but when I trained to be an editor, I learned a systematic method of editing that allows editors to work through a manuscript efficiently and with sure knowledge about when the job is done.

Edit checklist

In this full-day class, I’ll teach you the rigorous process professional editors use to evaluate and edit novels. You’ll learn how to build a book map to analyze (and if necessary fix) your novel’s structure. Then you’ll get tools for planning your editing in a methodical way so you can tackle issues in the correct order, avoid analysis paralysis, and—most importantly—know when you have finished. We’ll cover 10 elements of fiction:

  • Character
  • Point of View
  • Plot
  • Structure
  • Pacing
  • Setting
  • Description
  • Dialog
  • Voice
  • Mechanics

Every attendee will receive an advance copy of my upcoming editing book, which is based on the Edit Like a Pro: Elements of Fiction series.

At each workshop the doors will open at 8:30 a.m. for registration, coffee, and Second Breakfast. Teaching starts at 9 a.m. We’ll break at noon for lunch, which is included. I’ll wrap up the teaching by 4 p.m., after which we can have Q&A time and socialize.

Register Below for your choice of seminar

Tampa Orlando
Cost: $45 Cost: $45
Only 18 seats remaining! ACFW members receive $20 off Orlando event only

 

Dictionaries Don’t Know Everything

One duty of a copyeditor is to check spelling, including whether a term should be solid, hyphenated, or open. Some terms are open, that is, they are written as two words, e.g., living room. If you search for livingroom (closed) at Merriam-Webster, you’ll be redirected to the page for living room (open). Continue reading

Q&A: 3 Reasons to Attend Writers Conferences

question answer

© JJAVA • Fotolia.com

Q: I’m working on a book, but it’s not finished yet. Should I attend a writers conference anyway, or should I wait until my book is finished and I’m ready to pitch agents and editors?

A: Don’t wait. There are many benefits to attending writers conferences beyond pitching.

Classes

Writing conferences offer great teaching on a variety of writing techniques, as well as about the business aspects of a writing career. So yes, you should absolutely attend a writers conference while your manuscript is still in progress, because you will learn things you can immediately apply to your work. Continue reading

Q&A: What’s the deal with spaces after a period?

Q: I saw a post online that said only people over the age of forty put two spaces after a period. But I’m under thirty, and my college professors said to use two. I’m confused. Which is correct?

A: Both are correct in different circumstances.

question answer

© JJAVA • Fotolia.com

As with so much else that publishing professionals get needlessly worked up about, this is a style choice, not a matter of right or wrong.

Three of the most popular style books currently in use, The Chicago Manual of Style, The Associated Press Stylebook, and The MLA Handbook (Modern Language Association), all call for one space after what we call terminal punctuation—that is, whatever marks the end of a sentence, whether it’s a period, question mark, or exclamation point. Continue reading

The Prophet’s Chronicle Storyworld

One of the things fiction allows us to do is examine hypothetical situations that don’t exist in the real world. A novel is a large-scale thought experiment. This is true of any fiction, but doubly true in speculative fiction. The whole point of science fiction and fantasy is to explore worlds that don’t actually exist.

The storyworld in which my first novel, Alara’s Call, and the other books in the series are set is modeled after nineteenth-century Europe, with all the small countries close together and interrelated royal families and court intrigues. But for all its differences, Europe was long united by a single dominant faith, and most countries had similar governing systems. In my stories, I want to examine several contrasts. This meant I had to set up the storyworld in ways that differ from Europe. Continue reading

Fiction Q&A: Styling Royal and Noble Titles

Q: When referring to a king or lord, when do you capitalize—if at all—for sire and your majesty and such? For example:

All we can do now is wait and pray that you and your healers can help my sister, your majesty.

I’m so confused. Thanks for your help.

question answer

© JJAVA • Fotolia.com

A: Titles are tricky, because it depends how you’re using them.

Generally speaking, the title will be capitalized if it’s being used with or in place of the person’s name. So in your example, Your Majesty would be capitalized. That’s what we call “direct address.” But if you and I are talking about the king, “king” isn’t capitalized because we’re using the word to talk about him, not as a name when talking to him. Continue reading

Q&A: Do I Need Italics for Flashbacks?

question answer

© JJAVA • Fotolia.com

Q: I used italics in a scene with a flashback, but my critique partner said I should never use italics. Here’s the part I put in italics:

He sat in the cold hospital waiting room, feeling numb. This was just like when Mom died. We did all we could, the doctor had said. 

I thought characters’ memories were supposed to be italicized. Now I’m confused. What’s the right way to do this?

A: Confusion is understandable, for a several reasons.

First, you’re not the only one who’s confused. Your critique partner is—I’ll be generous and say “overstating the case.” Whenever someone gives you a never in regards to writing, your inner warning klaxon should go off. Writing is an art, and cannot be governed by rules involving always or never. Continue reading