Spinning Straw Into Gold: Self Study

Revising and Editing Your Novel


The first draft's finished, but it's not the shining gem it was in your head. Maybe the characters are flat, maybe the setting is a cipher, maybe the plot has all the structure of pudding. The book you envisioned is in there somewhere, but you just can't seem to find it. Sound familiar? 

For most of us, that first draft is a promising mess; you can see glimmers of the book you wanted, but how to make it shine? Whether your draft is too thin or too fat, has structural flaws or tepid language, this course will help you strengthen story structure, deepen characters, sharpen dialogue, heighten tension, tighten and polish your prose, and just plain make your book better.

You'll learn to:

  • Find and fix structural flaws
  • Improve pacing
  • Deepen character
  • Heighten tension
  • Avoid common mistakes
  • Make more effective use of word choice and sentence structure
  • And much more

To keep this course affordable, this is the self-study version. But just because it's self-study doesn't mean you're adrift with no support. If you get stuck or have questions, just send me an email at jaden@jadenterrell.com, and I'll get back to you as soon as I can.

If you prefer more individualized instruction and more hands-on shepherding, you might prefer the premium version of this course. 

Course Curriculum

Module 1: Welcome and Overview

Module 2: First Steps

Module 3: The Big Picture: Plot and Pacing

Module 4: The Big Picture: Character Development

Module 5: Correcting Structural Problems

Module 6: Correcting Character Problems 

Module 7: Point of View

Module 8: Finding the True Beginning

Module 9: The Mathematics of Revision (Adding, Subtracting, Multiplying, and Dividing Scenes)

Module 10: Scene by Scene

Module 11: The Power of Language

Module 12: Tighten and Polish

Module 13: Manuscript Formatting

Module 14: Trusted Readers

Module 15: Final Steps

Jaden Terrell
Jaden Terrell

About the instructor

Jaden Terrell is a Shamus Award finalist and the author of the internationally published, Nashville-based Jared McKean private detective mysteries. She writes a series of author interviews for the International Thriller Writers' The Big Thrill online Magazine and is also a contributor to the Killer Nashville Noir anthology and to Now Write! Mysteries, a collection of writing exercises published by Tarcher/Penguin for writers of crime fiction. 

Terrell is a recipient of several awards for service to the crime writing community, including the 2017 Killer Nashville Builder Award and two awards for service to the Southeast Chapter of Mystery Writers of America (SEMWA): the 2009 Magnolia Award and the 2017 Silver Quill Award. 

A former special education teacher with thirty years of experience as a teacher and trainer, Terrell is a writing coach and consultant who also teaches workshops on the craft and business of writing fiction. Contact her at: http://www.jadenterrell.com.

Ready to make your book the best it can be?

Reserve your spot now!

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