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Course Manual Content — Copyediting Fiction

What the Course Covers

Approaching the Manuscript

  • A Sense of the Edit Needed
  • A Few Mechanics of Editing

Preserving the Author’s Voice

  • Elements of Voice
  • Leeway in Grammar, Usage, Punctuation, Spelling
  • Voice Consistent with the Conventions of the Genre



  • Consistency
  • Similarities
  • Overdescription
  • Speech Patterns
  • Terms of Address

Editing Additional Elements

  • Character Distinctions
  • Paragraphing
  • Identifying the Speaker
  • Avoiding “Said” Repetitions
  • Verisimilitude
  • Grammar in Dialogue
  • Dialect
  • Characters’ Thoughts
  • Odd Punctuation

Assignment One

Plot Inconsistencies

  • Time Periods
  • Places
  • Events
  • Characters Present in a Scene
  • Descriptions of Characters

Excess Verbiage

  • Criteria

Rearranging Sentences

  • Scattered Description
  • Interrupted Dialogue or Narrative
  • Unplanned Violations of Chronology

Assignment Two

Breaks in Text


  • When to Query
  • How to Query

The Style Sheet for Fiction

Finding Work

  • From Publishers
  • From Agents
  • From Literary Journals
  • From Authors and Self-Publishers
  • Marketing Your Skills and Networking

Assignment Three — Send-in Exercise

Back to course detail



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