Here are the topics in a list of editing workshops. They can be delivered as one off hourly sessions per topic, a selection designed to suit your needs or a two hour session covering every topic.

 

What the topics are about and common faults:

NARRATIVE SUMMARY:

This is about showing rather than telling. Where you tell us all about the situation rather than show us through the action.

 

CHARACTERISATION:

Again show and tell. Where you tell us about a character rather than let us discover for ourselves through what the character does.

 

EXPOSITION: where you tell us what you think we need to know but it comes across as unnatural, or you tell us at the wrong time. 

 

POINT OF VIEW: POV: Where you jump out of one character’s head into another.  We look at the different POV: First Person, Third Person, Omniscient and Second person.

 

PROPORTION: i.e. where you might put in too much description:

The telephone rang. Tom walked across the room and picked it up. “Hello?” he said. Rather than: The phone rang. “Hello?” Tom said.

 

DIALOGUE: Is the dialogue natural for the character

 

DIALOGUE MECHANICS: Things like Speaker Attribution: SA: instead of just using: “You can’t be serious,” Tom said; some novice writers will write: Tom exploded, interjected, fumed, concluded: or worse: “I repeat,” Tom repeated. Or they will write: “You can’t be serious,” Tom said in astonishment. We know he’s astonished.  

 

INTERIOR MONOLOGUE: What goes on in the character’s head, either direct emotion or in the narrative.  Also covering NARRATIVE DISTANCE.

 

BEATS: Bits of action used to split up dialogue or to give the character thinking time.

 

PARAGRAPHS: Breaking up to make the writing flow.

 

REPETITION: Telling us stuff you’ve already showed us.

 

SOPHISTICATION: novice stylistic instruction that makes your writing weak i.e. where you use two actions together, making one of them less important. As Tom pulled off his gloves, he turned to face her. Or: Pulling off his gloves, he turned to face her. Or worse: Walking into the kitchen, Tom slipped out of his jeans.

 

VOICE: Does the narrative fit the voice of the character?

 

GRAMMAR: self explanatory

SUPERFLUOUS WORDS: self explanatory