Although the self-editing process varies for each writer and each manuscript, understanding the basic structure and tools of self-editing helps writers create stronger, more polished manuscripts. Knowledge of the universal editing process serves as a foundation for writers to develop their own personal editing style and to adjust the process for each project.
This presentation will discuss the basic levels of editing, including developmental editing, line editing, and proofreading. I will explain why we begin the editing process with high-level elements before working our way down. I will cover topics including structure and pacing, character development, voice, and adherence to style guides. The presentation will explain the purpose of line editing and explore methods for improving the clarity, concision, and consistency of prose.
I will also talk about related aspects, such as allowing a manuscript to rest and utilizing beta readers. The presentation will cover roadblocks and pitfalls writers commonly experience during the editing process, and we will discuss how to productively combat such problems. During the presentation, I will share common issues I see during each stage while editing professionally. For example, notes during developmental edits often include beginning in the wrong place, unclear stakes, and poorly developed minor characters; common line editing corrections address passive constructions, wordiness, and head hopping. Each attendee will leave with a blueprint for designing their personal editing process and an understanding of key elements to look for at each stage of self-editing.
Querying process: from start to signed
The process of querying literary agents is based on trial and error for many writers. This workshop will help attendees simplify the process and avoid common mistakes. We will discuss how to write an effective query letter that gets agents’ attention, resources and methods for researching literary agents, and how to navigate the submission process in a professional way.
We will begin by discussing the anatomy of a query letter and breaking down the query-writing process into manageable steps. At each step, we will discuss common mistakes and methods for identifying and including the strongest aspects of a manuscript. I will explain tactics and exercises writers can use while drafting their query letter.
We will then move onto the research phase of the querying process. Writers will learn about crucial characteristics to consider when selecting agents to query. We will explore various resources for locating and learning about literary agents. We will also compare professional online behavior with unacceptable behavior and discuss how this may impact an agent’s perception of a writer.
Writers will learn how to submit query letters to literary agents. We will explore formatting requirements, how to submit additional materials, common faux pas, and procedures for responding to partial and full requests. We will discuss questions to ask during “the call” and considerations that can impact a writer’s decision to accept or decline an offer of representation.
Attendees will learn how to write a query letter that highlights the strongest aspects of their manuscript. Writers will leave the workshop with confidence in their ability to find and select literary agents who would be a good fit for their manuscript and professional goals. Attendees will be able to navigate the querying process without making common mistakes.
how to work with a freelance editor
Working with a freelance editor for the first time can be stressful, and many writers aren't sure how to protect themselves while taking the next step to elevate the quality of their work. In this presentation, I will take participants through the process of finding, hiring, and working with a freelance editor. I will explain how writers can take full advantage of professional editing to improve both their manuscript and their skills.
This presentation will explain the role of freelance editors and why their services are crucial, especially for authors who are self-publishing. Writers will learn how to find a reputable editor who fits their unique needs and the questions they should ask before hiring a freelancer. We will discuss qualities editors look for in prospective clients to help writers cultivate an author-editor relationship founded on mutual respect. The presentation will cover terminology related to freelance editing, and variations on this terminology. We will also discuss the different types of editing services professionals offer and how to determine which type or types of editing a manuscript needs. We will dive into aspects of the editing process many don't talk about, including how editors set rates, what type of contract to expect, and reasons editors turn away prospective clients. During an interactive presentation, we will address common fears and reservations of writers undergoing the editing process for the first time, and I will help attendees understand how to separate normal emotions from those that indicate an issue. Writers will learn how to get the most out of their editing experience and what to expect after the editing process is complete.
The presentation will help attendees develop realistic expectations so they can effectively tackle all stages of the editing process. Writers will leave with useful, difficult-to-find information and the ability to confidently hire the editor who is best suited to work with their manuscript and within their constraints.
baiting the hook: developmental editing for first chapters
The first chapter of a manuscript often requires the most attention from developmental editors. Many writers fall into similar traps when beginning their stories, including starting too soon, failing to orient the reader, and overcorrecting when attempting to begin in medias res.
This session will cover issues that commonly appear in first chapters, along with elements that should be present in the first ten pages of a manuscript. Editors will learn how to identify underdeveloped aspects and structural problems in the first chapter.
The session will cover topics including:
Why prologues are problematic
What it means to begin with action and in medias res
How to introduce conflict quickly
The presentation will also explore methods for relaying feedback to clients clearly and objectively, in a manner that helps writers understand why the changes are important to implement.