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Tips & Techniques for Successful Self-editing
Workshop Description
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Literary agent Dan Conaway, Writer’s House, said this about the coaching I do on my blog and in my book, Mastering the Craft of Compelling Storytelling:

  • “Learn the critical art of ruthless and rigorous self-editing from a man who understands it better than most. His practical, sensible advice really can help you become a better writer.”

In these lively days of self-publishing, thorough, painstaking self-editing has become more necessary than ever, especially if you cannot afford to hire an editor. In this workshop, I approach self-editing from both sides of the coin, as an author and an editor. The workshop can sharpen and strengthen both fiction and memoir narratives.


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The workshop content is based on my book, Mastering the Craft of Compelling Storytelling, which arises from years of editing and writing book-length fiction.

Topics and foci include:

Wordcraft: beginning with a discussion of “writing for effect” and the writer’s goal in creating a narrative, we dig into the words you use, identifying and correcting weak, wasteful, and wrong words or usage that weaken and slow a narrative.

Technique: dealing with common flaws in manuscripts, including

  • demystifying showing versus telling, and when to do both
  • the need for transitions
  • the need for setting the scene
  • getting rid of the flab of overwriting
  • identifying the two types of filters that distance the reader from the story experience;
  • conclusion words that cheat the reader out of seeing the story accurately
  • the good and the bad of adverbs
  • avoiding dialogue techniques that cry “amateur”
  • using dialogue “beats” to enhance storytelling
  • delivering the “sound” of dialogue
  • the key issue of motivation, the causality that must underlie what happens in the story and creates credibility in the reader’s mind

Packed with examples and exercises, writers will learn:

  • how to identify and correct weak language
  • how to spot and strengthen weak technique
  • how to create and maintain a crisp narrative flow and pace

© Ray Rhamey 2017   ray (at) rayrhamey (dot) com 206.291.8758  Ashland, Oregon