Crimes and Criminals and the Writers Who Love Them

Crimes and Criminals and the Writers Who Love Them

Online Classes

January 2016: Self-Editing (a course in 13 lessons plus homework)

“There is no great writing, only great rewriting.” ~ Justice Louis D. Brandeis

Instructor: Jim Jackson

Maximum Class Size: 25

Price: $50 ($40 for current members of the Low Country Chapter of Sisters in Crime). You can sign-up at the bottom of this page.

Class Description: Why not begin 2016 with a workshop that will help you learn to efficiently and productively rewrite your WIP? In this workshop you’ll learn to start large and work small. Through exercises, you’ll assess whether your WIP’s plot functions as it should. You’ll consider whether you have the right scenes to carry the plot. You’ll learn to evaluate your characters, combine or eliminate bit parts, and present their multi-faceted personalities.

Next you’ll consider individual scenes to make sure they have depth and are compelling. We’ll address the special rewriting needs of the opening scene and book’s ending. Finally we’ll explore techniques for polishing your manuscript. While some discussion revolves around mystery-related considerations such as red herrings, this workshop will benefit anyone, regardless of genre, who has completed, but not finalized, their manuscript.

Class Venue: Lessons are presented within a private Yahoo group. Lessons are available in PDF or .rtf formats. Students post homework in the Yahoo group. The instructor will post responses to all homework assignments. After the class is completed, the Yahoo group will be disbanded and all messages permanently erased.

What others have said about the class:

Thanks for offering such wonderful lessons, and for giving everyone a lot of attention and sage advice. I learned so much--I look forward to the chance to take classes with you in the future.

The class re-ignited my interest in my WIP, plus trying to view it objectively. I would certainly take another class like yours again.

This was a wonderful class. Well-organized, full of great specifics, and thought-provoking.

Thank you, Jim. I took this course hoping to be a bit better as a critique partner, but quickly found this was really a HOW to Write RIGHT or at least to your BEST, course. WOW! 

Instructor Bio: Jim Jackson spent his career explaining complicated financial strategies in understandable English. He finds rewriting considerably more enjoyable than producing a first draft, and he considers teaching more fun than writing. Despite those preferences he is the successful author of three Seamus McCree Novels (plus one with a 2016 release date) and One Trick at a Time: How to start winning at bridge, an acclaimed bridge book for intermediate players. Visit his website at

 Lesson Topics

January 1
Introductions all around
January 2
First Steps – Read Through
January 4
Point of View Considerations
January 6
Opening Your Novel
January 8
Self-Editing Structure
January 11
Scene by Scene
January 13
Ebb and Flow
January 14
Deepening Characters
January 18
January 20
Making the Details Count
January 22
Scene Pacing
January 25
Closing Your Novel
January 27
Checking the Nits
January 29
Last Thoughts and Stuff I Didn’t Find a Place For

Note: The January 29th lesson will not have a homework assignment <smile>

Online Class: Self Editing with Jim Jackson

1 comment:

  1. I'm a fan of Jim Jackson's Seamus McCree series as well as his stellar advice on writing. So with that in mind, I recruited him to teach Self-editing last January 2015 for the Kiss of Death Chapter. Not only was Mr. Jackson's self-editing one of the most well attended craft workshops of the year, it is one that students say they would love to take again when going through the next manuscript. Jim is a hands-on, generous instructor. Attendees would be well served in their writing careers to benefit from his expertise.