Registration Opens Friday September 11, 2015
Class Runs March 1 – 24, 2016

Changes Ahead image

Registration is now open for March Yellow Highlighter Class – but there are changes ahead. Check them out!

The yellow highlighter markups that Laurie does as part of many of her workshops have earned a reputation for helping authors put into practical application the things they’ve learned from lecture/lesson parts of other classes.

Yellow Highlighter Workshops were developed for students who’ve already taken other workshops but who still have a problem scene or scenes that they’d like to work on with the guidance of an experienced editor.

This class doesn’t include lessons. The lessons have been stripped out to make time for each student to post excerpts from a work or works in progress. The entire four week workshop will be spent working through the problem scenes that participants post.

On Day 1 participants post an excerpt which Laurie goes over and marks up. On Day 2 the participant posts any recommended revisions or posts a new excerpt as directed on Day 1. We follow this process generally working our way through the manuscript.

Many authors have used this process to ready their manuscripts for contests, submission, or self-publishing. Black Velvet Seductions uses the classes as a means of editing contracted manuscripts prior to publication.

As part of the markup Laurie provides suggestions and instruction on how to deal with the problems presented in the scenes participants post.  She will also offer continued support as the authors work through the revise, markup, revise, markup cycle that Laurie’s students have come to expect within her workshops.

Since feedback is given in a group setting each student benefits not only from the mark-up of their own project but also from the mark-ups provided to all the other members of the class.

If you’ve taken other workshops but are eager to try something a bit more hands on and a bit more focused on the problem points in YOUR manuscript, this workshop may be just what you are looking for.

Changes Ahead For Yellow Highlighter Classes

I am going to try something new for the March class and you do need to be aware of the change though I think it will be a good change for most of us. There are many reasons for trying the change but the thing that got me started thinking about it was it being brought to my attention that some authors, especially those who are editing one manuscript in class and trying to write another outside of class, are finding it difficult to balance the two projects. One of the ways that I would try to balance the two projects would be to work on edits on class days and to work on the new book on non-class days. But were it me doing it, I’d want more non-class days together…but I’d want to accomplish that without giving up any word count in editing. YES, I do like to have my cake and eat it too! 🙂

That got me thinking about how to accomplish that…and whether it would even be feasible. What I came up with was to move to a 3 day a week schedule…condensing the current wordcount into three days. That would give authors trying to work on new material a string of four days in which to do it.

As I thought about this it became clear there would be other benefits as well. It would allow people to travel over the weekends on either a Friday or a Monday or on both without missing any class days. For those who have kids it would allow a day after the kids return to school to get back into the swing before a post is due. It would allow a day to get ready when there are special weekend plans…like company visiting…birthday parties to plan…etc over a weekend. For those who work away from home and find Fridays especially busy not having a post due on Friday would potentially reduce some stress. Many holidays fall on the weekend or are observed over the weekend. So in some instances the three day schedule would allow us to go on without needing to make plans for alternate schedules over the holidays.

I personally like the idea. I like the idea of working with a bit longer excerpts as I think that would be beneficial as longer excerpts allow for less breaks in the flow of the story. There have been many times when I have wished for a few more words in an excerpt to show me where a thought, action, or piece of dialogue was leading. While I’m sure I will still have this experience from time to time I may have it less. Moving to a three day class schedule also works for me on a personal level. In the past I’ve allowed a one or two week gap between classes most months to allow me time to catch up things that fall behind when I have a full teaching schedule. With the three day a week class schedule I would probably schedule fewer off weeks which would allow for a smoother flow between classes. Classes would probably start closer to the first and end closer to the last day of the month. A few months (like March) which have an extra week in them we might schedule off or use for some other kind of a class.

In short, I think the change has enough potential benefits to warrant trying it. If it works as well as I think it will and as I hope it does it can become a permanent change. If it doesn’t work and we don’t like it we can always go back to the four day a week schedule.

For authors it has the added benefit of getting a few more words during the month for the same cost. Here’s the break down:

Old 500 words a day package  equaled 8000 words for the month
New 700 words a day package equals 8400 words for the month–meaning authors get 400 words for free.

Old (2) 500 words a day packages equaled 16,000 words for the month
New (2) 700 words per day packages equals 16,800 words for the month an increase of 800 words free

Old (3) 500 words a day packages equaled 24,000 words for the month
New (3) 700 words per day packages equal 25,200 words for the month an increase of 1200 words free

The March Class will meet three days per week – Tuesday through Thursday. March 1-24, 2016

Each package purchased allows the participant to post 700 words per day for markup–participants who want to post 1400 words per day should purchase 2 packages. Those who want to post 2100 words per day should purchase 3 packages…and so on.




Please note that workshop tuition is considered non-refundable. That said, I do make every effort to work with people–moving them to later classes–issuing credits–etc. when life intervenes and they are not able to participate as planned.


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