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Custom Line-Editing
As an editor, I am detail-oriented—some have said "visionary"—in my capacity to locate the strengths of a narrative.

I provide extensive written notes with an emphasis on stylistics and narrative line. Or I can evaluate your manuscript on a more focused basis: for structure or consistency of voice, for instance.

Personalized follow-up-in person, in writing, or by phone-is included.

  • Fiction and How to Make It
  • Advanced Fiction Workshops
  • Custom Classes

Each session of the introductory "Fiction and How to Make It" Workshop features a short lecture on the craft of fiction production, small-group discussion of participants' manuscripts, and shared responses to homework (writing exercises and practise in "reading like a writer"). Tips for getting started, locating ripe material in everyday living, establishing a daily practise/territory for creativity, and preparing for publication are an ongoing part of our discussions.
Limited to ten students.

"Advanced Fiction Workshops" are designed for experienced writers: to help them build on their technical strengths, gain new perspectives on work, and develop intuitive methods for assessing the needs of a story or novel. The core of the workshop is a weekly discussion of two student stories in draft. As in any good graduate or post-graduate workshop, I supply technical lectures and reading/writing exercises wherever needed. Meetings are supplemented by support outside of class.
Limited to ten students.

Organized around reading and skills-building in fiction/creative nonfiction production, Classes range from two-hour sessions to multi-week courses. Topics include "Story is the Glove, Character is the Hand: A Look at Character-Driven Fiction," "Meet the Short-Short: Writing Very Brief Fiction," "How to Tell a Good Lie: Approaches to Fictional Truth," and "Fiction Tips for Memoir Writers." These are reading and experiential writing classes; I lecture, and provide writing exercises designed to get participants' motivation and ideas hopping.

  • Classes can be scheduled for evening or daylight hours
  • Interested groups are encouraged to suggest a topic
  • I teach writers — not styles

Personal Coaching
Whether launching a project or getting a manuscript back in gear, writers find individual attention indispensable. This is intensive 1:1 training. We develop a schedule; I provide technical support in person and/or through written commentary, helping you structure a scene, build a skill, identify a new direction for a plot, or sequence a story manuscript for submission-whatever form of assistance you seek.

Your project determines our focus, though my job is to bring added focus to your process.

I can work with you face-to-face, or long distance. I live in Madison, Wisconsin. Half of my clients live somewhere else!

Lissa McLaughlin        Madison, WI