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An editor's guide to editing fiction

Updated and expanded 1You may be at the stage of having edited short passages at work, for publicity or marketing purposes. Or you may want to try your hand at editing longer pieces of writing, to help further your career. Or perhaps you just fancy earning some extra income by editing scripts, freelance at home, and want to take the first step towards that goal.

This module will show you what’s different about editing fiction, and give you the chance to try your hand at it, to help decide whether fiction editing is the right path for you.

Course content

  1. What's different about editing fiction
  2. Categories of fiction
  3. Different stages of editing
  4. Using timelines and other plot grids
  5. Recording relationships and characterisation
  6. Marking up dialogue
  7. Using a style sheet
  8. Framing author queries

e-Learning modules are optimised for desktop and laptop devices and not tablets and smartphones.

Learning outcomes

At the end of this module you will:

Have a clear understanding of how to approach issues such as 

  • copy-editing dialogue
  • checking continuity of plot
  • creating and using a family (or other relationship) tree
  • framing author queries

How does the course work?

An editor's guide to editing fiction has eight units. Across the units there are eight exercises and model answers.  


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This e-Learning Module was developed with the support of the Unwin Charitable Trust.



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Five to seven hours with eight months access to the module.

PTC e-Learning Modules are concentrated, online courses that focus on specialist topics relevant to publishing working life. They are designed to build on a foundation of existing skills and experience.