Substantive Editing for Fiction 101 Group Course


Registration is now closed; the course is at capacity. This course will be offered again–check back for updates. 

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 marks and notations, 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.

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 Google groups.

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: $179 (members of The Christian PEN receive discounts)

Course length: This course is 6 lessons; it begins on March 4, 2019, and runs until April 22, 2019.

Registration deadline: March 11, 2019

Course Outline: Substantive Editing for Fiction 101_Course Outline

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



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