Writers read—it’s advice authors are given only slightly less often than “writers write.” Many authors have the second one down cold, or at least know how to work on a routine for showing up regularly so the Muse knows where to find them.
But while we may think we know how to do the first one too—as we devour story after story, unrepentant bookworms that most writers are—reading for enjoyment isn’t the same as reading (or watching) analytically as a writer to understand and learn our craft.
In more than 25 years as a book editor, I’ve seen over and over that the best way an author can improve her editing skills--and her own writing--is by learning to analyze and evaluate other people’s stories, and this course offers specific techniques for developing and deepening your knowledge of story craft that you can practice every day, by doing things you’re already doing—reading books and watching movies and television—but shifting your focus from simple enjoyment to objective analysis.
Just as athletes learn from analyzing video of other games, or musicians learn by studying past performances, or artists by studying the masters, writers develop their craft by studying other storytellers and analyzing how they elicit reaction and engage their audience.
That mental and emotional distance you may struggle to achieve with your own work is far easier to achieve with someone else’s because you aren’t filling in the blanks as you go—presuming things a reader doesn’t actually see on the page because you know your story so well.
With someone else’s story you’re seeing—and evaluating—only what’s there, a crucial skill to develop in editing your own work, as well as in your own writing, spotting things you may have been blind to.
Analyzing other stories teaches you how to gain perspective on yours to figure where it may need strengthening or further developing, and how to make sure those intentions are coming across to the reader.
Let me show you how to deepen your mastery of story craft and become a stronger, more skilled editor and writer—without ever touching the keyboard (or even getting off the couch!).