Diving into Development: Introduction to the Developmental Editing of Fiction with Jennifer Lawler

When: Saturday, November 5 and Sunday, November 6, 2022, 10:00 am to 1:00 pm PT
Where: Online via Zoom

“Diving into Development” will discuss the basics of developmental editing and how it is performed by freelance editors. We’ll look at how to spot common developmental problems in fiction, using the fundamentals of storytelling (from a Western perspective) as the lens through which we evaluate fiction manuscripts.

The seminar will cover the following:

  • how narrative drive is typically achieved through goal–motivation–conflict
  • types of story structures/plots
  • how to edit for character development
  • the importance of genre in editing fiction

At the conclusion of the seminar, you will be able to identify the differences between developmental editing, copy editing, line editing, critique/evaluation, and coaching. You will understand the basic methods of developmental editing (writing effective editorial queries and thorough but not overwhelming revision letters). You will understand how to set expectations in a developmental edit, including differences in working with independent authors and publisher clients. You will also have a basic idea of how to find developmental editing clients.

Participants will need an Internet connection and access to Microsoft Word or Google Docs in order to read the provided supplemental materials (a sample edited manuscript and revision letter). No previous editorial experience is required, although it will be helpful.

Jennifer Lawler is the founder of Club Ed (www.ClubEdFreelancers.com), an online education company for developmental editors. If you’re an aspiring, new, or established book editor or story coach, she can probably help you learn how to do the work better and more profitably. Through Club Ed, she offers developmental editing classes, a freelance editor support group, and a slightly bony shoulder to cry on.

Jennifer has worked as an editor for more than 20 years. She learned how to edit in the trenches of traditional publishing with its intense deadlines, pitiless competition, and crushing bureaucracy. To that, she added a PhD in English literature with a specialization in medieval literature. Jennifer’s past editorial clients have included Simon & Schuster, Girl Friday Productions, Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, Barnes and Noble Custom Publishing, and others, along with many independent authors.

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