November Line Editing Workshop

students_group_work-300pxWe just finished this month’s nonfiction workshop, and everyone had a blast. It’s an online, group effort to tighten, brighten, and bring out the rhythm and music in any manuscript, be it web content, nonfiction book, a novel, back-cover material, an article, a white paper, or any other literary work.

Join us for November starting on the 3rd, and submit your material for the group to line edit. Info and registration:

Don’t Forget to Line Edit!


“Too wordy.”

“Paragraphs too long.”

“Sentences too long.”

These are the kinds of things I hear from agents and publishers at writers conferences and behind authors’ backs.

“Can’t figure out what it says.”

“Style/tone is too flat.”


No, you don’t need to rewrite or go back to school for more creative-writing or composition techniques.

You need to line edit.

Line editing is the vital but often overlooked pass that adds music, drive, energy, and rhythm to a finished manuscript.

It’s an intermediate edit, between your last rewrite and sending the manuscript to a copy editor. Line editing is all about internal-paragraph Slinky Flow.

  • It challenges every passive-voice line for power, invisibility, and convertibility.
  • It revises static and awkward phrasings.
  • It punches up the drives, smoothes out the pacing, and adds impact to the words already on the page.
  • It brings out the hidden rhythm and music in your writing.

Psst! Don’t Tell Anyone, but-

…you already have the editing skills you need to make this happen —  you just never thought to apply them! So here’s a fast tutorial for doing this essential tweak:

  1. Convert passive voice to active prose unless it’s powerful, invisible, or unavoidable.
  2. Eliminate static phrasings and extraneous articles whenever possible.
  3. Use one set of descriptors per incident. This may mean having to choose which is the most vibrant or effective modifer, but good writing is, after all, about making decisions.
  4. Break up long paragraph blocks for easier reading and visual esthetics.
  5. Brighten or “punch” important points with the judicious use of stand-alone non-sentences. I can’t emphasize this enough. Avoid diluting the impact of your ideas by burying it in excessive verbiage–like I just did!
  6. Let every speaker have their own paragraph.
  7. Reduce extraneous editorial wherever possible by “showing” or demonstrating what you want to say–but not so much that it obscures your point, confuses the reader, or disrupts the pacing.

Try it. It’s fun, it’s easy, and it’ll boost your book’s appeal to both the industry and your reading audience.

Line editing can flip a “Nice Read” into “Wow! What a page turner!”

FYI, I’m holding two 4-week line-editing workshops this October, one for nonfiction and one for fiction. Check them out at

Happy editing!


GCT Certificate

Apparently, the universe is tapping me on the shoulder to hold one more private class before I take Ghostwriter Certification Training into CSULB.

This past week, as the department head and I worked out the particulars of expanding GCT into a 2-semester program at a cost approximately 4 times its current rate, I’ve received a number of calls asking about an immediate class. So….

I will teach one last 15-week class on Saturday mornings from 9 AM to Noon PDT starting Nov 3 and running through Feb 9 at the current low price of $1080 plus $130 books.

For a list of topics covered, go to

To read what grads say about the class, go to

To register—and I do mean NOW–go to or call

Due to scheduling concerns, I can only make this offer for an extremely limited time. If the class doesn’t fill immediately, it will be cancelled. Ergo, if you’re interested, please register now!

10 Basics in 9 Days

I’ve finally done it: scheduled the ultimate fiction workshop for novelists who need that extra punch to get their manuscripts taken seriously.

We’ll deal with those fundamentals that make up a novel — premise, plot, characters, construction — but from a perspective I pretty much guarantee you’ve never considered before. Want to know what’s great about your novel? I’ll teach you how to figure it out. Can’t figure out what’s keeping it from landing an agent or publisher? I’ll reveal the secret truths that turn insiders away from otherwise wonderful manuscripts.

Basic concepts, totally new ways of approaching them. You’ll never look at writing the same way again!

Check out my other blog at or go directly to for class details and registration. If all goes according to plan, students will receive a free copy of my latest ebook, Ghostwriters Guide to Successful Fiction.

Look forward to seeing you in class!