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Online Class: Book Editing with Nicole Helget

February 4 February 25

Editing The Whole Book: Narrative Arc & Structure with Nicole Helget
Online class: 4 weeks
Synchronous: Online class meetings take place Saturday mornings, 9am – Noon EST
Class begins: Saturday, Feb 4
Pay What You Can: $50 to $250

This class is intended for fiction or nonfiction writers who have all or most of their book written and now need guidance in revising their book’s structure/story arc. If you’re in the deep stages of a book-length story with at least one major plot line that runs through the entire book, this is the class for you.

In this 4-week class, students will learn the mechanics behind structuring a narrative arc across a single project. 

  • Week 1 is devoted to the mechanics of the book’s beginning :
    • world-building , character introductions, and the establishment of the conflicts 
  • Week 2 is devoted to the mechanics of the book’s middle :
    • increasing tension complicating characters and interactions, moving the story between refuge settings and action settings, and leading the story through an abyss and climax while deepening characterization
  • Week 3 is devoted to the mechanics of the book’s ending:
    •  addressing the fallout from the climax, tuning character physical, emotion, and intellectual transformations, making sense of character relationships, using setting to reflect the changes, incorporating unexpected twists or surprise, and closing out the book
  • Week 4 is devoted to applying a line edit on your entire book, creating relationships between the ends and beginnings of chapters, and other tightening craft exercises that improve the quality of the writing and help it stand out from the slush pile. We’ll also discuss publishing and querying agents. 

Nicole Helget (she/her) is the author of The Summer of Ordinary Ways (Borealis Press/Minnesota Historical Society), The Turtle Catcher (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), Stillwater (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), Horse Camp (Egmont), Wonder at the Edge of the World (Little, Brown and Company), The End of the Wild (Little, Brown and Company), and the forthcoming essay collection, Love on the Wintry Prairie (University of Minnesota Press). She is a New York Times Editor’s Pick and People Magazine’s Critic’s Choice writer. She has dozens of starred reviews and writing grants for her work in nonfiction and fiction, especially about climate change and water quality. She has written dozens of children’s nonfiction picture books, published under various pen names. She also ghostwrites books for clients. She is the editor-in-chief of Minneopa Valley Press, an independent publishing company devoted to diverse voices from rural America launched in 2018 by Helget and her partners. She is a longtime teacher, editor, and manuscript consultant. She lives in southern Minnesota with her children and husband and dogs.

$50 – $250 Pay What You Can (sliding scale donation)

Adirondack Center For Writing


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