Workshopping is a term from writing groups in which the group all reads a submitted work, talks about it, and gives the author constructive feedback on what he or she can do better.
Workshopping has some of the elements of editing, but not all. Editing kind of encompasses a wider range. There are three kinds of editing:
- Developmental — Help the writer think about the vision, storyline, characters from a high-level perspective. Aiding in the ‘vision’ of the work.
- Proofreading — Help the writer with sentence structure, word choice, paragraph splits, chapter ends/beginnings, etc…..Aiding in the ‘quality’ of the work.
- Copyediting — Help the writer with spelling, grammar, tense usage, etc…. Aiding in the ‘readiness’ of the work
What I need most is Developmental—which is quite similar to Workshopping. This isn’t to say the other kinds of editing aren’t valuable, it just might be a waste of time to do heavy proofreading or copy editing since much of the text will change. If you are interested in those two other kinds of editing, let me know! We can talk about helping down the line.
Okay, so how to help workshop? Well it’s a bit complicated since I’m on the road, but I’m confident we can make it work.
Here are the steps I’ve set up.
- See the links below — this is what I’m currently seeking feedback on (it’ll change!)
- Pick one or all — I would suggest either downloading the docs for yourself or making a copy (instructions on that below)
- Read what you’d like — it can be two pages. Seriously. If you don’t read the whole thing, I want to know! And I’d love to know why too—if it feels like a toil to read, then something should change!
- Fill out this survey when you’re done
- This will help me centralize all feedback.
- Be sure to include the code # you see on the doc so I know what version you read.
- And if you’d like to submit anonymously, that’s fine. Though I really do value constructive feedback and if I have a question about something you’ve left as feedback, I won’t be able to follow-up. I want to this succeed, your harshest critic will only help.
A few more notes:
- If you want to read/edit more, keep checking that site. As I self-edit some chapters I’ll add them for workshopping.
- If you have more feedback on top of the form, email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) and we can chat over that and/or arrange a FaceTime/coffee session (on me!) to go over what you think.
- There are going to be grammar/spelling/tense errors in this, I know that already. But if you really want to change them, easiest way to help is making your own copy of the document
- To do this, go to the Google Doc link, go to ‘File’ and click ‘Make A Copy’.
- Name the new doc whatever you’d like
- Click the big blue ‘Share’ button in the top right and put my email in the box and click done.
- If you want to edit errors, you can use the ‘Comment’ feature on Google docs OR just put your changes in a different font. Just make sure to let me know you’ve done this!
- To make a comment, highlight any text and go ‘Insert’ in the menu and find ‘Comment’ (Mac users can also push Command + Option + M)
Here are the active chapters I’m seeking feedback on:
Chapter 3: 5,750 words, estimated reading time: 20 minutes
Chapter 12: 11,600 words, estimated reading time: 35 minutes
Last note: Please be honest (and brutal)—remember feedback is a gift.
AND, If it helps, just know that I don’t think the novel is good (yet). Lots of work to be done to get it to a place I’m happy with, so you can really help me with that!
Thank you so much for whatever you can contribute. I feel incredibly blessed to have people around me that have offered to help. It means the world.