Editing Fiction

Course Content

  1. What's different about editing fiction
  2. Categories of fiction
  3. Using timelines, or other plot grids
  4. Recording relationships and other characterisation
  5. Marking up dialogue
  6. Using a style sheet
  7. 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?

Editing Fiction has five units. Across the units there are exercises, model answers, and quizzes for self-assessment. 


How to enrol

To enrol, you need to click on the Add to Cart button on this page. You will be asked to register (if you have not already done so). You will, at that point, be asked to pay by credit/debit card.

Important note: You will have access to the course for eight months from the date of your enrolment.

Refunds: Fees for e-Learning Modules are non-refundable, as immediate access is available to all the relevant course material.

What is included?

Course Materials

Full access to the PTC's online learning platform where you will find all the materials you need to complete the course. Where relevant, downloadable materials are provided so you can practise your new skills as many times as you need to feel confident that you have mastered them.


Upon successfully completing the course you will receive a completion certificate from PTC.

Who is it for?

This module is for editors who have completed initial training and are looking to go more in depth to this specific topic, but who are not yet very experienced.

About the author


caroline knightCaroline Knight began her career in publishing at Penguin Books in 1989, when she joined Editorial 2, the department dedicated to copy-editing. She has been a PTC tutor since 1996 and a freelancer since 2010.

Caroline became managing editor of Allen Lane The Penguin Press in 1995 before moving to Weidenfeld & Nicolson Illustrated in 1997. She lived in Greece, working freelance and tutoring at the PTC, from 2000 to 2003, when she became managing editorial director at William Heinemann, an imprint of the Random House group. Five years later, she moved to Atlantic Books, where she stayed until 2010 when she moved to rural Kent and rejoined the freelance community.

Among others, she has worked with Alastair Campbell, Vince Cable, David Willetts, Margaret Drabble and the late Herman Leonard, as well as a wide variety of others less famous. She enjoys editing both fiction and non-fiction, with a particular leaning towards history and politics.



Brenda Stones' current portfolio combines lecturing, training, editing and writing.

She devises modules and lectures for the Publishing Studies MA at City University. Brenda runs many training courses for the Publishing Training Centre, often customised for in-company use. She edits at every level, from self-publishing to academic texts. She wrote twenty home-learning titles for WHS own-brand, and also primary school textbooks for the Bangladesh government.

This range of freelance work derives from years of full-time publishing, starting as graduate trainee at Cambridge University Press and finishing as Publishing Director at Oxford University Press, including smaller trade and independent presses in between.

UCT logo


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



Study Time

Three to five hours with eight months access to the module.

Related Courses

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

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