— Testimonials —

This is perhaps the best lesson so far in the course. The information is critical to good writing, it is presented clearly, there are concrete examples, and solid suggestions on how to locate and correct problems.

Richard Davidson

Very Interesting and informative. Much harder than I expected yet I feel I got a lot out of Lesson one…thanks…

Jim Mackrell

Thanks for giving me specific questions to evaluate my main characters’ arc.

Brenda Jackson

I am blown away by your tips on techniques that help deepen the POV!


Action tags are a whole new concept for my writing.
Thank you Nina. Now I see them in all I read, and how they help pace and the sense of being in the scene. Great lesson.


I thought I had a solid understanding of POV but I see I have to watch myself. Slip ups are easy.
Deepening POV is hugely helpful – the final exercise an eyeopener. Thanks.


Wonderfully clear about minor characters and how to make them more or less visible. Makes such sense!


What I found most useful were the various examples which show how reordering sentences make scenes stronger/weaker combined with an explanation of *why* those small changes have such a large effect. This helped clarify various concepts that I’ve only intuitively (and inexpertly) grasped before.

The formal break down of the elements of a scene continues to be what is helping me most. Having terminology, a concise language, to formulate what I’ve tried to grasp instinctively helps me think of my writing in new ways. I feel this will let me examine my individual scenes with a more critical eye, which will let me restructure my story so it is more compelling to readers.

“But please remember: You can write an awesome book without ever thinking about theme.”

Knock me over with a feather! That is the most freeing statement I’ve ever read! Thank you…

Lisa Davidson

I found lesson 1 incredibly useful. I’d never broken my novel down before but when I did the homework I saw at a glance from that small section of 500 words just how much stimulus and response mattered. Thank you very much. I’m looking forward to getting a lot out of the course.

Great info. Appreciate it.

Jake Lee

Thank you for this wonderful course. I have struggled with editing for years. I thought I had a good grasp of what was needed, but this has made it so much clearer, and I am (almost)looking forward to getting stuck into revising another novel.

What you have done is similar to turning a good basic cook into a 5* chef! You have provided the tools to add texture, spiciness, flavour, colour and visual treats to our writing. Thank you.

Caro Ayres

I have a better understanding of stimulus and response now. It never occurred to me to look so closely line by line for them, but I can see how it will be beneficial. I can already tell this course is going to help me examine my own work more critically. Thanks.

Josh Thornbrugh

I wanted to observe that Lesson 12 truly broadened my perspective on ‘Showing.” I only thought of it in limiting terms of action and verbs, not senses and feelings.

Elizabeth Davidson

This editing course is darn near perfect. The text is crystal-clear, the interactive components engaging, and the ‘hints’ scattered throughout invaluable. I’m relatively new to fiction writing as opposed to academic, and I’m thrilled to have found such rock-solid support as I explore my craft.



So far this course has been awesome. Thanks Nina. I feel much better about approaching Draft 5 armed with what you have given in the last 13 lectures!


Thanks – I’m enjoying the course very much.

Loving the course. What made me sign up just when NaNoWriMo was starting, I’ll never know! But I’m having fun learning just the same. In fact, this will be an interesting experiment with alternating back and forth between right brain and left brain. BTW,the book recommendations were surprising and wonderful. I’m a huge fan of Mr. Swain already (I thought I was the only one who’d heard of him) and have just become, thanks to you, a new fan of Mr. Bickman.

Carl Plumer

This lesson was fantastic. It is exactly what some of my issues with my novel have been – or at least that’s what my agent told me to work on. Until now I didn’t really get it. But I think I finally do! Or I hope so anyway!


This was a grand slam of online learning. Terrific material.

Thanks for the great lesson.

Alan Pace

I just love these lessons. Each one reminds me of things I’ve learned, but need to keep in mind when I’m writing and revising. Thanks.

Brenda Davis

I found this week’s lesson interesting and brought up some things that I’d never considered before joining the course. I’ve found myself looking more deeply at best selling fiction as well as my own work, all thanks to your advice.

Deborah Best

The examples really helped me understand the concept of what makes up a sequel, and the “how to fix pacing problems” section was particularly helpful!

In addition to the concepts themselves, which I found very insightful, the color coded examples helped clarify what was meant by the new terms, and how sequels work together with scenes.

This was a particularly important lesson for me. I have re-written one chapter numerous times to achieve the perfect scene goal, conflict, and hook. The chapter applies to the POV remaining a mystery and not revealing the identity. It was a struggle but this lesson made me apply more thought and nail it.

Toye Brown

The examples are helpful, as always, but the MOST helpful part was the part tying repetition problems to scene stimulus and response, and how that can be fixed! When I read that part, I almost fell off my chair because it was such an epiphany!

This chapter is my favorite so far. The explanations are clear and easy to understand for probably the most complex part of story-telling. Thank you for this well thought out guide for evaluating both the story goal and character arc.


I’m going to tell my friends … about your course. It is amazingly helpful in both teaching and getting me back to the page. Thank you!

Karen Phillips

Certain spots in my novel have just not sounded right to me and finally I know why. Several sections in my novel use two or more topics in a single introspection. After editing them, they have a much tighter, focused appeal and flow smoother. Thanks so much!

Anthony Papa