“Finish. The difference between being a writer and being a person of talent is the discipline it takes to apply the seat of your pants to the seat of your chair and finish. Don’t talk about doing it. Do it. Finish.” – E.L. Konigsburg
“When your story is ready for rewrite cut it to the very bone. Get rid of every ounce of excess fat. This is going to hurt; revising a story down to the bare essentials is always a little like murdering children, but it must be done.” – Stephen King 
“The great thing about writing is you never stop learning.” – Dean Koontz
“Don’t forget, and don’t let your reader forget, that the small world in which you have held him for the last hour or two hasn’t ended. Be aware, and make him aware, that tomorrow all of its remaining inhabitants will pick up the broken fragments of their lives, and carry on.” ― Joseph Hansen

Reading Assignments:

Articles 10 – 14 specifically talk about critique/writing groups and how to handle trolls on the internet. You may not find these articles helpful to you at this time, in which case, you do not need to read them.  
1.) Should You Pay For A Copy-Edit? For Other Editorial Help? – by Emma Darwin
2.) The Rumpus Interview With Dean Koontz – by Ben Pfeiffer (At the fourth question down, Dean talks about his unique writing/editing process. The eighth question involves advice to new writers, you might find interesting.)
3.) Editing And The Writing Craft. Tips From An Editor – by Joanna Penn
4.)  Self-Editing Basics: 10 Simple Ways to Edit Your Own Book – by Blake Atwood
5.) Six Easy Tips for Self-Editing Your Fiction – by Kristen Lamb
6.) How I Self-Edit My Novels: 15 Steps From First Draft to Publication – by K.M. Weiland
7.) Self-Editing: The Mundane Side of Writing – by Clara R. Heart
8.) 57 Questions To Ask When Editing Your Novel – by Rachel Poli
9.) Naming Your Novel: Tips on Titling – by Laura L.M.

Critiquing and Critique Groups

You only need to read these articles if you are planning on joining a critique group. Note, that the second article was the first article listed in the genre section. 

1.) The Difference Between Critique Partners and Beta Readers – by Bridgid Gallagher
2.) Writing Groups: How To Write a Constructive Critique – by Mandy Wallace
3.) Thoughts on Writing #12: Good Critique, Bad Critique – by Seanan McGuire
4.) Writing Workshops: The Good, the Bad, the Ugly – by Randy Susan Meyers
5.) How to Deal With Haters, Trolls, and Criticism Online in 3 Steps – by Jorden (Not critique/editing related, but good advice!)

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Writing Assignments:

1.) Here is a short story for you to practice your editing skills with before you start editing your own work: Save My Life. Is there any way you can see to improve it? It’s already very short, but are there any unnecessary words? Or maybe crutch words that can be exchanged for something better?
2.) It’s always a good idea to practice cutting words so that you get used to it. Then, when the time comes that you have to do it for real, you won’t have much anxiety over it. Also, it’s good practice that will follow you into your initial writing, so that you write only what you need to write, and no more. Here is a list of words you most likely don’t need in your novel. Take one of your earlier exercises, or any writing that you’ve done that is roughly 500-1,000 words. Cut it in half. Count the words, make sure you really do cut out half the words. But when you do, also make sure that your story stays intact, the narrative is clear, the sensory impact is still vivid, no replacing specifics with generalities, and not using words like “somehow”. This includes cutting dialogue.
3.) Choose another longish writing assignment you’ve done and, using the advice from the posts above, edit it without major cutting, unless you think it needs it. Did the character’s eyes fly across the restaurant when she saw someone she recognized? Did you use ‘there’ when you meant to use ‘they’re’?

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Class Discussion:

1.) Discuss the articles you read. Where there any that were more helpful than others? List 1-2 things you learned that maybe you hadn’t known or thought of before.

Getting in the Mood:

1.) Free write for 20 minutes. You can write a scene from your novel OR use this Random Word Generator to get inspiration for something completely different. Share your work.

Group Assignments:

1.) Get into groups of 2-3 people and share one of your assignments. Have your group members read over the original and then the edited version, or have someone read them aloud. Compare the two. Is there a significant difference? Does one read better than the other? What changes could still be made to improve the scene? What changes did the author make that improve it? Remember, your group members are helping you to improve your writing. They will catch mistakes and plot holes that you will miss because you’re so close to your writing, as the author.  
2.) Repeat the first group assignment with the second writing assignment, either by staying in the same group, or finding new partners.
3.) Don’t reread your “getting in the mood” scene, but rewrite it from scratch. Then compare the two for clarity and editing. Which one is better? 

Survey:

Once you’ve completed the course, please fill out the course survey before you leave the classroom. Thank you!