Yellow Highlighter Classes are designed to offer authors at every level hands on help perfecting and strengthening their manuscripts. Unlike other classes, Yellow Highlighter Classes are hands on and work with each participant’s own manuscript, strengthening the manuscripts weak points and fixing problem points.
Unlike subject focused classes, like how to write emotion, or how to write sexual tension, where you take a class, learn what you can and move to the next class, Yellow Highlighter classes start where you are and you grow through each post, each markup.
Rather than being focused around a given topic (like emotion, plotting, sexual tension, and so on) the classes are focused on giving feedback on actual works in progress that participants post. The feedback isn’t specific to just one area, like emotion, sexual tension or plot points. Instead, the markup highlights weaknesses of many types and offers suggestions for strengthening problem areas. A single markup may address a point of view problem–the need for a beat of silence to break up a line of dialogue–suggestions to strengthen emotional and sexual tension–suggestions to strengthen character motivation–an order problem–miscellaneous verb tense issues–and sentence structuring changes to make the sentence stronger or the flow smoother.
In classes, participants post a 700 word excerpt each day of class and receive a thorough markup of the excerpt each day that class meets. The markups that are given provide the same kind of feedback that I provide to authors that I am editing for publishers prior to publication. In fact, you may see authors who are editing their manuscripts for publication in the class as there are usually authors working on edits for Black Velvet Seductions in the classes.
It being time to register for the January 2017 Yellow Highlighter Class and the fact that I spent time last week organizing my teaching schedule for OIRW for 2017 points up how quickly this year is passing, how soon Christmas will be here, and how quickly January of 2017 will be here.
It also provides for a sense of looking back and thinking about previous Yellow Highlighter Classes and what people who’ve taken them have had to say about them. I think rather than summarizing what people currently taking the classes and what past students have said about them, I’ll post some of my students’ words of praise for the classes.
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.
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.
What Yellow Highlighter Classes offer you will depend greatly on what kind of writer you are and what your writing strengths and weaknesses are.
It’s shaping up to be a very busy spring and summer. I’m teaching a great lineup of classes for for the Outreach International Romance Writing Chapter of RWA (OIRWA). The spring/summer schedule will kick off with Infusing The Romance With Emotional And Sexual Tension in May. Developing A Vocabulary For Writing Love Scenes will follow in June. In July we’ll turn toward writing emotion with Intensifying Emotion. Then in August we’ll delve deep into the world of creating emotional experiences with Developing A Vocabulary For Writing Emotion.
What Yellow Highlighter Classes offer you will depend greatly on what kind of writer you are and what your writing strengths and weaknesses are. For some people they are a chance to have material professionally content edited throughout, during, or after the creation process. For others they are a chance to have a professional content editor provide feedback on challenging sections of a story. For others they are a chance to have help weaving in the layers of detail, emotion, and motivation that move NaNo projects from rough, quickly written works to full fledged ready for a publisher work. For some they are an in depth, hands on, writing class where they practice hands on the things they’ve learned in other classes. For others the classes provide a bit of accountability in that the weekly markups motivate them to keep writing and revising and moving forward with a work in progress.
Yellow Highlighter Classes are different things to different people. For some people they are a chance to have material professionally content edited throughout, during, or after the creation process. For some they are like an in depth, hands on, writing class where they practice hands on the things they’ve learned in other classes. For others Yellow Highlighter Classes are like having an editor hold their hand during the writing process. For some the classes are motivational in that the weekly markups motivate them to keep writing and revising and moving forward with a work in progress.
students have told me that the classes are like writing with an editor holding their hand…that it helps to alleviate the feeling of aloneness that can sometimes creep into the writing process. Some find that it makes them feel more confident as there is someone to help them tackle the manuscript’s problem points. Others find that posting excerpts each day provides motivation and structure and that they get more done when they are in class than they do in the periods when we are on a break. Some find the classes helpful in moving a manuscript from NaNo rough to publisher ready.
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.