NY Book Editors Presents: Editing Your Book






    NY Book Editors Presents: Self-Editing Your Book

    Once the author’s draft is complete and it’s time to self-edit, the disparity between what’s on the page and what the author thought was on the page can be daunting. This class will take on three of the biggest challenges of a self-edit:

    • On Resuscitating Characters (Even in Memoir)
    • How to Liposuction Structural Fat
    • Put Your Reader in Danger of an Overfull Bladder: How to Master Suspense and Tension


    By way of introducing the first topic, on character, each editor will be introduced as a minor character should be, through one memorable characteristic that singles them out.  

    On Resuscitating Characters (Even in Memoir)

    Characters come first, they’re the primary reason a reader cares about a book. Some of the hard work of an edit comes from developing limp, first-draft characters. Each editor will discuss the last character they encountered that needed heavy developmental work, and how they were transformed. We’ll continue the conversation by discussing the elements of a great protagonist and antagonist, and how to build them in during an edit. This section applies to memoir as well. Time permitting, we’ll discuss how to edit for voice.

    How to Liposuction Structural Fat

    It’s challenging for authors to make cuts to their work, even when they know it would benefit the plot and pacing. We’ll discuss how to focus on the strongest plot points, recognize and remove redundant information, and distill a narrative’s side plots. This section will reveal the most common tools in an editor’s belt to streamline a story.

    Put Your Reader in Danger of an Overfull Bladder: How to Master Suspense and Tension

    Suspense is an essential component of plot. It has many forms and can last for long periods, always keeping the reader in a state of anxious uncertainty. Tension, on the other hand, is more intense, it produces anxiety in the reader, and unlike suspense, it must ebb. The editors will discuss the most effective ways of creating and maintaining both suspense and tension, as well as the interplay between the two. Examples from previous projects will illustrate the discussed methods.

    Target Audience

    This class will speak to intermediate novelists and memoirists who understand writing and plot fundamentals.


    Moderator – Natasa Lekic

    Editor – Patrick Price

    Editor - Emily Murdock Baker

    Editor - Meaghan Wagner

    Editor – Nathan Bransford