A Workbook for Writers

Spotify audio of this blog post can be heard here.

This is my “making of a book” blog post…

2023 by Lara Zielinsky

As the year counts down its last days, I am finalizing the layout for what I hope will be a handy guide to do-it-yourself authors in reviewing and revising the structure of your fiction stories: Self-Editing Guide: A workbook for DIY fiction authors is now aimed for a first-week in January 2023 release.

Thanks to the wonderful writers of The Workshop, my semi-weekly writers workshop online, I have put together a process for self-editing that is modeled on the process I use when I am providing developmental editing services.

Developmental editing is the most expensive service, because it’s the deepest and most collaborative editing process. For that reason, a lot of self-publishing authors either skip this step, or rely on beta readers with free or cheap services, to point out problems and hope they can fix them on their own. Developmental editing is about examining and analyzing, and fixing, the story’s plotting structures:

  • do the characters behave logically
  • does the plot flow logically
  • do all the scenes do something to move the story forward in the best way, etc.

It may result in a need to move scenes around, pull out entire conversations, or delete scenes, as well as add new scenes, new pieces of scenes, or delete/combine supporting character roles to most effectively tell your story.

Back in Feb. 2020 (shockingly long ago, I know), I did a four-week session, talking through the steps with my workshoppers. And they found real value in it. So I started with the slide decks and the recorded sessions where I elaborated with examples to see if I could put together something that writers could follow without me in their ear (though I think an audiobook of this may come later).

It has taken me until now to get it through beta readers (testers, technically, since they actually tested out the steps), an editor, and proofreader. Then, I still swapped out some examples for better examples up to the last minute.

Anyway, pre-orders will be online soon, just in time for authors ready to look back at their NaNoWriMo drafts. Follow this blog or any of my social media accounts for the official announcement.

~ Lara

Published by Lara Zielinsky

I have been writing and publishing for 20 years. I have been an editor of fiction for 15+ years. I am married, live in Florida and work from home full time as an editor.

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