Edit with me! A lesson in world-building 🌎
Where I help a speculative fiction author world-build effectively
Welcome to the inaugural “edit with me” post! I’m so excited to launch this new series to help you become a stronger storyteller.
Back in July, I asked you all what type of content you would like to see in a premium newsletter, and the answer was clear: editing examples!
In this series for paid subscribers, I’m going to explore editorial “case studies” that dig into specific story issues through tangible examples. The idea is for it to feel like we’re sitting down over a coffee chatting about a particular story issue I’ve encountered and solutions I proposed — insights you can then apply to your own WIP!
These case studies will all be hypothetical, but are inspired by experiences from the hundreds of manuscripts I’ve edited across my career (a special shout-out to my wonderful clients reading this, you’re the best!). The examples won’t come from any particular manuscript, but will instead combine themes and takeaways from different collaborations, reflecting issues I most commonly see in drafts. I’ll give you all the specific context you need to know about the story to follow along and understand the particular editorial issue we’re exploring.
What will you get from these posts?
Think of each of these newsletters as a mini, value-packed writing/revising lesson on a particular story element. This is a brand-new form of content that I’m so excited to try out, so you’ll see some experimentation as we figure out together how I can best present these tips. I’m also eager to hear from you, so please leave a comment or reply letting me know what you think!
As always, my YouTube video library and my Chapter Break interview series will remain totally free, but paid subscribers will receive this deeper-dive content, as well as full, exclusive access to all my archives. With a paid subscription, you will also be helping me sustain my content creation into the future, which I deeply appreciate because I want to keep it up!
Thanks for reading Chapter Break! Subscribe for free to receive insightful interviews, or join our paid community for in-depth tips to strengthen your WIP.
What kind of edits will we explore?
As you likely know, I’m a developmental book editor, meaning I look at all the bones of a story and figure out which ones might be fractured and need mending. My editing process involves reviewing the manuscript holistically and narrowing in on the key areas for improvement that will substantially elevate the story.
To continue with the medical metaphor, I’m triaging the story’s weak spots and identifying possible treatment options. Once we heal (revise) those elements of the story, it comes out on the other side stronger.
These editorial case studies are going to involve feedback I’ve shared with authors at this stage of the process.
Our first editorial lesson: world-building
In today’s developmental editing breakdown, I help a near-future speculative author flesh out details of their novel’s world so the reader becomes fully immersed in the characters’ unique environment. We’ll explore questions like:
Why is world-building important?
Does world-building only occur at the beginning of your manuscript?
How does world-building tie into character development?
Ready to tackle world-building? Let’s edit together!