Yellow Highlighter Classes are the most popular classes that I teach. I started teaching them a couple of years ago because the part of my classes where I went over excerpts from works in progress were so popular with my students. It is one thing to take a class and to be told what deep point of view is, or to be told how to make dialogue stronger. It is another thing to actually put into practice the things that are learned somewhat theoretically in a lesson based class. The yellow highlighter section of my classes allowed students to actually practice the techniques we talked about in class in a practical way using their own works in progress and to get feedback on the aspects they were doing well and those which still needed work.
The Yellow Highlighter Classes take this one step further as The Yellow Highlighter Classes are entirely hands on. There are no lessons as such. The lessons have been stripped out to make room for hands on practice and feedback.
In Yellow Highlighter Classes I go over the excerpts students post in the same manner that I go over material that I edit for publishers. I look for ways to make the work stronger. I look for areas where we can make the dialogue stronger, where we can intensify the chemistry, sexual tension and emotional tension between the characters. I look at issues related to point of view and depth of point of view making sure that the point of view is adequately deep in the important turning point scenes. I look for plot missteps, weak middles, endings that for one reason or another don’t deliver everything they could. In short, I look for all the structural things that could cause a publisher to decline a project. I also keep an eye out for verb tense issues, misspellings, problem punctuation but I don’t bill myself as a proofreader or grammarian. I am more of a story doctor and look at story elements and the elements of writing that combined create strong stories.
I have strong ties with Black Velvet Seductions and often request suitable manuscripts on behalf of Black Velvet Seductions but several of my Yellow Highlighter alumni have been offered and accepted contracts from other publishers as well. Some have won or finaled in writing contests. A few have self published the manuscripts they edited in class.
As I said above, 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 I go over and mark 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 some of the manuscripts they contract.
As part of the markup I provide suggestions and instruction on how to deal with the problems presented in the scenes participants post.
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.
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.
There are 12 class days during the session. So purchasing one package of 700 words per day will move you through 8,400 words during the month. Most participants follow a process of post, revise, and repost on at least some sections of their manuscript so they finalize less than the full 8,400 words. Manuscripts that are already highly polished move quickly and those that need more work move more slowly.
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.