In the years since I first began teaching Yellow Highlighter Classes I’ve heard from a lot of writers about what they like best about the classes.
Most people who take the classes appreciate my ability to see things that they do not always see because they, as the author, are too close to the work to see it as a reader would. Many Yellow Highlighter Class participants value my ability to spot things like shallow point of view, missing emotions, missing motivation, and shallow reactions to things that should inspire deeper, stronger reactions.
When we write it is easy to become lost between the characters and what we need the character to do to move the plot forward. This can mean that we have the character jump to illogical conclusions or actions. Many class participants value my ability to see and suggest alternatives for these types of illogical actions.
The difference between a likeable and unlikeable character is sometimes very small. Sometimes it comes down to whether or how a character reacts to something small and seemingly insignificant in their world. In many of these situations a lack of empathy or a lack of reaction can make the character seem selfish, disconnected, and not very likeable. Many past and present class participants have enjoyed my ability to spot and suggest alternative handlings for this type of problem passage.
Some people value the feedback they get on challenging sections of a story, whether that troubling section is the opening, the middle, the dark moment or the happy ever after ending.
Some authors appreciate my ability to sort details which deepen and strengthen a story from those details which slow the pace and weaken the story either because the details aren’t important to the reader’s understanding or because the details themselves are redundant.
Some folks simply enjoy assistance weaving in the layers of detail, emotion, and motivation that move NaNo projects from rough, quickly written works to fully developed projects that are ready for a publisher or for self-publishing.
For some the classes serve as an easy sounding board for weighing whether the character should do x or y at a given point–or for weighing whether the heroine should spill her secret in chapter five or in chapter ten.
For some the classes provide a bit of accountability in that the markups motivate them to keep writing and revising and moving forward with a work in progress…even when the revision is difficult.
Yellow Highlighter Classes are a unique type of class. Unlike other classes that focus on a specific topic with lessons and homework, these classes are all markup. There are no lessons, other than those that are part of the written feedback given as part of the markups themselves.
How Yellow Highlighter Classes Work
In Yellow Highlighter Classes I go over the excerpts participants 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 write notes on the excerpt for the author spelling out where and why I was jarred out of the story, or where I literally saw the character marching when walking might have been more appropriate. I add notes where emotional reactions seem weak or when the characters don’t seem to have a logical reaction to information that they are presented with. The next day the author goes through the written feedback and makes changes. Then they post the revised version of the work and I mark it up again. We do this until we are satisfied with the passage and then we move on to the next passage.
The entire four week workshop is spent working through the scenes that participants post in the way that I described above.
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. Publishers use the classes as a means of editing some of the manuscripts they contract.
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.
The Yellow Highlighter Classes are the most popular classes that I teach. Most of the people that take a Yellow Highlighter Class get enough out of it that they come back for them again and again. Because they are popular and they are time intensive for me to teach there is a limited number of seats offered for each class. The seats typically sell out within 24 hours of the registration opening. If you are interested in a spot in the December Yellow Highlighter Class it is time to register!
The December class will run December 6, 2016 – January 12, 2017.
There will be no classes during the two weeks around Christmas and New Years.
Class will meet three days per week — Tuesday through Thursday
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.
As I said above, these classes tend to sell out quickly. If you are receiving a sold out error it is because there are not enough seats available to fulfil your request. If you have more than one package in your cart reduce the number of packages in your cart and try again.
If you have one package in your cart and are still receiving a sold out error then the class is sold out. If you’ve received a sold out error and would like to be added to the waiting list please leave a comment below and let me know you’d like to be added to the waiting list — please let me know whether you want to be added for this class only or whether you’d like to be added for earlier classes as well.
Though tuition for all classes is non-refundable I do make every effort to offer credits and/or move people into future classes when life intervenes and they can’t participate as planned.
I do maintain a waiting list and am occasionally able to fit people into workshops when others who are registered cannot participate as planned.
If you’d like to receive an email when Yellow Highlighter Class registrations open please subscribe to my writer’s newsletter using the form in the right sidebar. I usually send out about one newsletter per month…usually when Yellow Highlighter Class registration opens.