Deep Dive into Self Editing

Announcing a Deep Self-Editing Workshop Series

Did you completed your NaNoWriMo challenge of a 50,000 word manuscript?


You're Amazing

No, really. Only 12-18% of participants in NaNoWriMo manage to win the challenge. You are among the persistent few and I, for one, salute you.


Maybe you didn't take on the NaNoWriMo challenge but you have a manuscript that is a complete first draft ...


nearly complete first draft.

That's still amazing. It takes persistence, and you are among the minority of the 81% of people who say they want to write a book or script someday.

The first draft tells you, the writer, the story. The next few drafts are about making the story palatable for a reader. That process is called Revision.

Cline Library and Flagstaff Writers Connection are teaming up to help you with the Revision process.

Join other local writers in a 6 month journey to systematically scrub your manuscript or script and get it ready for critique and then agent review. Workshops will be held about every 2 weeks on the weekends. The sessions will include a lecture, question and answer session, step wise exercises to buff your manuscript, and buddy exercises so you can meet other writers and form writer/critique alliances. All lectures and handouts will be published to the internet afterwards, so if you miss a lecture you won't miss out on any of the steps.

Let Your Manuscript Cool

Now that you completed this monumental amount of work, what do you do?

Nothing. Well, nothing with this first draft manuscript. Let is sit and cool off for 2-4 weeks. I mean it! Lock it up if you have to. Don't touch your manuscript or look at it for at least 2 weeks (4 weeks is better.) If you do that, I'll show you something magical at our first workshop.

Well maybe doing nothing is a too hard after kicking butt in word count for days on end. You don't have to completely sit on your hands. Brainstorm your NEXT manuscript. Have you seen our Brainstorming tab above? Or just start writing a new manuscript. Pantsers, you know who you are, I'm talking to you. Don't let those good writing habits you just developed go to waste.


1/26/19: Pre-Editing: The Cloud, Story Drivers, Story Structures, First Read Through, Series/Motiff
Attend this lecture from the internet through Google Hangouts. You will need high speed internet, a mic and a camera. The mic and camera on a smartphone work fine. Download the Google Hangout app before the meeting.

Downloads                                Cloud Apps
How to Use Google Slides             Scrivener                   
Presentation                               Google Drive
Presentation Script                    MS One Note
Plot Meets Character                 Amazon Drive
Book Report                              iCloud
Print MS                                    Carbonite
Plot Points                       
Plot Points by Driver                Sugar Sync
Star Wars Comparison              EverNote
(A Work in progress)

Books for Narrative Arc
Save the Cat by Blake Snyder
Structuring Your Story by William C. Martell
Blockbuster Plots by Martha Alderson
Writing the Blockbuster by Albert Zuckerman
Story Engineering by Larry Brooks
The Anatomy of Story by John Truby
The Moral Premise by Stanley D. Williams
 Worksheet for Dan O’Bannon’s Conflict analysis
The Hero with a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell (The original)
The Writer’s Journey by Christopher Vogler
Perfecting Plot by William Bernhardt (Briefer and more to the point.)
From Girl to Goddess by Valerie Estelle Frankel (If you’re working with a female lead character)

Books for Character Arc
The Plot Whisperer by Martha Anderson--This is a great book for beginners.
Write Your Novel from the Middle by James Scott Bell--I really like this one. I recommend if for everyone.
The Story Equation by Susan May Warren--Really helped me to see Character Arc structure.
The Snowflake Method by Randy Ingermanson--Easy way tof plot your novel before you write.
The Midpoint by Mary Lynn Mercer--Uses Sequences instead of Acts.

Books for Thematic Arc
Story by Robert McKee--Useful information about Value Progression.
Story Grid by Shawn Coyne
Blueprint Your Bestseller and  Book Architecture by Stuart Horowitz--My Favorite.
Dramatica by Melanie Anne Phillips--This is NOT a beginner’s book.
The Moral Premise by Stanley D. Williams

Handout comparing some of the structural elements

2/9/19: "Series": Working with Series, Series Grid, Key Scenes, Theme, Story as a Whole, Scrivener

2/16/19: Cutting: Word Count, Timekeeper, Values, Acts, Scenes, Beat Sheet, Synopsis,
Nail Down you Premise
Major Series on Grid
Timekeeper Series
Cut Scenes
Cut Characters
Cut Locations
Grid Scenes in order to make a Beat Sheet

3/2/19: Scenes: Scene vs. Sequel, Scene Eval, Character Driven, Plot Points, First and Last Page.

Scene Rewrite Worksheet for all Scenes
Analyze 3 Published Openings
Analyze the Opening of your Fav 5
Analyze your Opening
Worst Ending Worksheet
Foreshadowing of Fav 5 Endings
Exchange you Opener with a partner
Exchange Teaser and Logline with partner

Color Analysis of 3 Openers: Blue=Dialogue
Pink=Body Reaction
Yellow=Exposition, Thought, Backstory

4/20/19: Point of View and Causality

5/18/19: Finish POV

6/15/19: Causality/MRU--See end of POV Script

6/22/19Tension, Conflict, Emotion, Visceral Response

7/27/19Tension, Conflict, Emotion, Visceral Response

10/5/19: Finish Setting and start Action and Body Language




(This scene has great acting but also extreme nudity and adult language.)

10/12/19: Thought, Exposition, Backstory, Color Analysis

Internalization, Backstory, & Exposition
Find a Beta-Reader for your Manuscript

10/26/19: Voice: Rhetorical Devices, Backloading, Simile, Metaphor, Cliche & Final Buffing: Word Searches, Grammar,  Critique Exchange

1/11/20: The Publishing Process, Left Overs, Troubleshooting, Last Chance Critique Exchange

All sessions will be 10 am to 12 pm at the NAU Cline Library, 1st floor Room 131. Parking is free on weekends in the back of the library off of Riordan Rd, behind Dunkin Donuts.
Cline Library and Parking


  1. One of the participants from the lecture on 1/26/19 recommended the book The Moral Premise for structuring the Thematic Driven story. Thank you for the suggestion.!! You're right. I had forgotten all about that book. So I added it to both the Thematic Driven story list and the Screenplay oriented Narrative Driven list.

    1. Stumbled upon this while working on my presentation today:

  2. I was asked last presentation for a sample of a series grid. The one I'm working on is huge and complicated. I pared it down to 4 series and just a few scenes so you could get a taste of how it is flowing and how I keep track of my series. HERE is the link. Hope this helps. Feel free to ask any questions.

    1. I like that version of the chart. I'll need to figure it out and it makes a lot of sense. Thanks for the link.

    2. Thank you for sharing! It is helpful to see an example.

  3. I've changed the format of the Contact List so only those who gave me permission to publish their emails can see the contacts. You should be getting a Google invitation to see and comment on the list. If you didn't get the email, let me know at

  4. For anyone looking to learn more about loglines, I did extensive research on the subject a while back, and wrote about what I learned on my blog. The research was geared toward a particular contest (for which I volunteered to help other writers polish their loglines), but I think I covered the topic pretty thoroughly, so the discussion should (hopefully!) be helpful for writing loglines in any context.

    The link to the first blog post is here:
    The second one is here:
    And here's one on using a logline to aid in constructing a query:

    1. I appreciate you sharing. The in-depth look helps me as well as your examples. Thanks!

    2. Yes! Thanks so much for making this available to everyone!

    3. You're welcome! And glad to hear you found them helpful. :)

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. Hi all,
    We had a great meeting today with some new people. I had a lot of fun at the meeting so thank you.

    I'm hoping to hear from Karen Spencer. Karen, the email you left on the sign up sheet doesn't have the "@" symbol. Could you email me at so I can include you in the mailing list.


  7. Check out our latest project: The Critique Circle. Don't forget to vote on the next Critique Circle meeting time by 4/26/19 at 4 pm. Vote at Doodle.

  8. Cherrie, as I promised here are the books. "Write Your Novel in a Month" by Jeff Gerke. In it he uses Victories rather than chapters. In the one on character, he goes into the Meyers-Briggs Personality (temperament) system. He recommends "Please Understand Me" by David Keirsey which has all the information on each of the sixteen personality types...the good and the bad, starting with the core personality.
    I'll not get into detail, but the "Write Your Novel in a Month" is worth the price for the advise on how to build a unique character where you know how they will react in various situations and relationships from work, to home to social situation. He goes over love languages and how misunderstandings happen. He also wrote a book called "Plot Versus Character" which I don't have, but he does go over the layers of characters and gives you a lot to consider for all your main characters in the one book. The other is in depth and would augment the other book if you want to gt really deep into character.

    1. Thank you so much for these suggestions Barbara!

  9. You made such an interesting piece to read, giving every subject enlightenment for us to gain knowledge. Thanks for sharing the such information with us to read this... editor for hire,

    1. Thank you so much for the compliment. I'm glad it was helpful for you.

  10. I promised I'd share this resource. If you want a synonym finder (thesaurus) which is very, very complete you need to get this one in hard copy (Mine is paperback and cost $20.) J.I. Rodale's "Synonym Finder" covers all the words you might need to quit repeating or want something more descriptive. There are more than a million synonyms in the book. As one reviewer said, "I'm willing to champion, defend, patronize, espouse, stand up for, recommend, sing the praises of, tout and hype, the book.