Edjumacation in Our Craft

Last year I took an outstanding course taught by Merry Bondon revising, editing, and critiquing (I got to name the class too: “Zen and the Art of Manuscript Maintenance). The first two classes were full of wonderful tidbits on how to take your drafts from Zero to Hero. From that, I got scene and character worksheets, editing and garbage words lists, story structure and world building layouts. It was outstanding and made the process of revising the rest of my manuscript that much easier. That part of the class was well worth the money spent on it.

And looky, she's got a book all about the craft of writing

BUT that wasn’t the best part of the class. For the remaining four weeks of class we became a dedicated critique group of the first twenty to twenty-five pages of our manuscripts. This part of the class was PRICELESS!

I cannot express how grateful I was for this active feedback from real live readers. Having others not in my head look at my story let me see what I needed to change and what I needed to keep. Also they saw things I hadn’t even realized I’d put in. It was interesting to hear them actively describe the sexual tension I built so well between two characters, when I hadn’t realized there was any sexual tension there at all. My husband is doing this class also with Merry Bond this semester for his work. If you can take a class like this, or find a critique group, DO IT. Your work will be so much better for it.

This semester I am doing another class with Merry. I am taking her class on publishing. As she is a successfully published author, I want to know the tricks and trades of the industry. She is exceptional as a teacher in this as she spends her off time updating on the ever changing world of publishing. In fact, last week she came in with reports of changes that had happened just that week.

This has been greatly eye opening. The world of publishing is changing so rapidly that it’s making authors’ agents’  and even the publishers’ heads spin. Without a class like this, I don’t think I could understand everything nor keep up.

Taking these classes is making me a better author, just as writing classes can make me a better writer. So, thank you, Merry Bond, for your work in creating these different classes, as well as your writing classes. The local writing community appreciates your time and effort. If you are out there, go out and take these type classes. They are worth your time!

P.S. Check out her books as well. You can find them on her site. Click click!


About Courtney Sloan

A New Orleans native, Courtney Sloan relocated to the hills of Central Maryland after Hurricane Katrina. There she lives with her husband and fellow author, J.P. Sloan, their son and their crazy German Shepherd pup. Adding to her writing life, Courtney is also a professor at the local college and enjoys learning a world of new ideas from her students as she teaches them about writing and communicating. Courtney’s New Orleans upbringing has left her with a love for the macabre and a flare for the next to normal. She writes speculative fiction with a variety of horror and sass mixed in for flavor. She loves taking the world of politics that haunts us now, and adding the supernatural to create a gumbo of thrills to keep you up at night. A self-proclaimed lover of way too many fandoms, Courtney also loves crafting. From blankets to jams to stories, it’s always better homemade. View all posts by Courtney Sloan

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