Substantive Editing for Fiction 101 GROUP COURSE

(5 customer reviews)


Good novels don’t just happen—they endure several revisions before publishing, and the first round of edits is usually the substantive edit.

What is a substantive fiction edit? Sometimes called a macro edit, it’s the “big picture” edit—before the copy editor looks at each punctuation mark and notation, the substantive editor looks at the whole book: characters, pacing, plotlines, point of view, setting, etc., as well as keeping an eye on punctuation, grammar, and more.

In Substantive Fiction Editing 101, we’ll look at the basics of a well-written novel and learn how to help our authors learn and incorporate those techniques. The class includes everything from understanding the Christian fiction market and its genres, learning the elements of an effective substantive edit, and mastering the basics of Christian fiction—showing versus telling, characterization, plot, and formatting.

Out of stock


Instructor: Karin Beery

Format: This is the Group Course format, which includes an online discussion board and instructor feedback. This course will be conducted via

Prerequisite: This is the first course in the Substantive Editing for Fiction Track, which includes 101, 201, 301, and 401, so there are no prerequisites for this course. This course is a prerequisite for the 201, 301, and 401 courses.

Level: Beginner

Base price: $210(members of The Christian PEN receive discounts)

Course length: This course is six lessons; it begins on April 3, 2023 and runs until May 22, 2023.

Registration deadline: April 10, 2023

Course Outline: Click to download

Certificate of Completion: Upon completion of this course, students will earn a course certificate.

(Note: Refunds will not be given for this Group Course after March 31, 2023.)

5 reviews for Substantive Editing for Fiction 101 GROUP COURSE

  1. Anonymous

    Instructions for the lessons were clearly explained. I feel like I have a better understanding of Door #1 and Door #2 from Lesson #5 – Transitional Elements. The difficulty level increased with each lesson. It seemed appropriate. I printed all the handouts, and I’m sure I’ll refer to the file over and over again.

  2. Sherrinda Ketchersid

    Everything was explained well, and I feel like I came away with a better understanding of story structure. I liked being able to see the instructor’s comments on everyone’s homework. That was a lesson in itself. It helped to better understand the concepts and lessons given. It wasn’t difficult, but it wasn’t too easy either. I had to think through many of the lessons, especially toward the end. Karin Beery is very good, as well as kind in her critique.

  3. Debbie Watson

    I took this course because it is an area I have not dealt with in my business in Australia, and one I would like to branch out into. I found the instructor very responsive and helpful.

  4. Peggy Wilson Lawrence

    The instructor is knowledgeable and welcoming to all. There is no judgment in her comments. She encourages interaction among participants. She responds quickly to questions and uses them as a jumping-off point for deeper discussion. The assignments were more time consuming than I expected, but they were necessary to grasping the concepts. As a beginner, I wouldn’t have wanted to lose any of them. 

  5. Jennifer Purcell

    I thought everything was explained clearly. I found the forum the most helpful. Karin (the instructor) did a great job communicating with us and answering questions. Homework was a good challenge, and the material had a lot of great information.

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