Frankenstein’s Lab: Editing Class

Frankenstein’s Lab is Josh Grapes’s patent-pending Editing Workshop.

a note from Josh:

You’ve probably heard the aphorism, “Writing is re-writing,” but no matter how many times you hear it, we rarely talk about what that’s supposed to look like. As a result, the editing process is shrouded in mystery and fear. We become hypercritical of our own work, second-guessing every word, slicing whole paragraphs, regretting our cuts in the middle of the night and desperately trying to reconstruct what we’ve lost. Even worse, sometimes we can entrust our work with a bad editor. Out of either malice or ignorance, destructive feedback can set us back for months or even years – I’ve worked with many a writer who suffered terrible blows to their confidence and work ethic as a result of this problem. But if we don’t know what editing is supposed to be, it’s difficult to protect yourself from destructive feedback while still being open to more constructive advice.

This class is more than a workshop – that’s why it’s called a lab. In many a workshop, the point is to leave with a single finished product. In a lab, the point is to gain a deeper understanding of the work itself. Product will be inevitable, but the skills you’ll learn and the ear you’ll develop are far more valuable. In this class, you’ll learn the difference between editing and critique, how to give and receive constructive feedback, how to edit your own work in an objective way, how to protect your work from destructive feedback, and maybe even how to create a cold fusion reactor. In the process, I hope to inspire a greater appreciation for your own strengths as a writer.

Each class, you’ll bring in about 2 pages of work (double-spaced, around 700 words). You can bring in excerpts from an existing project, or write something new—I’ll even send about 30 prompts to choose from if you’re in need of creative fodder. Each person will have about half an hour of time focused on their work. You’ll read your piece aloud, and we’ll take notes as you read. Then we’ll discuss possible edits as a group, with yours truly guiding the discussion and serving as a safety net. I won’t let anyone get hurt or attacked in my editing class. As we talk about possible edits, we’ll also talk about the editing process itself.

Now, for the nitty-gritty, in bullet-points for ease of digestion.

  • There will be two separate sessions of the class, one on Friday, and one on Saturday. You can choose whichever class works better for your schedule.
  • Each session will run from 11:00 AM to about 2:00 or 3:00 PM.
  • The cost of the class is $425 for 7 weeks.
  • The class usually meets at the Method Writing Offices on 6535 Wilshire Blvd., but until further notice, all classes will be held via the ZOOM platform.

Upcoming Schedule

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