Margie Lawson

Make your writing soar


8-Week Author

If you’ve always dreamed of writing a book, stuck in the middle of the one you are working on, or looking for some structure and support for your current novel, this class is for you. Designed to take you from idea to finished book, The 8-Week Author will cover all major components of a book, including:

  • Goal, Motivation and Conflict—the beginning building blocks of compelling plots
  • Internal Character Development—create memorable characters that readers love
  • Scene and Sequel—use this technique to create hooks, twists, and rising stakes
  • Backstory and Pacing—keep your plot moving, which keeps readers turning the pages
  • Point of View—how to write it, chose the write point of view for a scene, and maximize its power
  • Show, Not Tell—knowing when and how to show vs. tell, and how to use both effectively in narrative and dialogue.
  • Revising and Tightening—how to take the raw manuscript and make it more powerful and more memorable

The goal of this class is to help authors, regardless of their experience level, to build a strong, compelling novel from start to finish. You’ll learn new techniques and tricks for getting the most out of every page, while also honing your skills in plotting and character development.

What You Will Learn

All the basic building blocks that create a solid foundation for a compelling novel. You will not only learn structure but also character development, and techniques to bring the most out of your novel, regardless of genre.

Who Should Take This Class

Any author—whether new or experienced—who wants help in planning and executing a compelling novel should take this class. If you’re struggling with a technique like Scene and Sequel or Backstory, this class will help you master those skills and apply them to the overall novel structure.

Course Overview

Lesson One:

The basics of plot building: Goal, Motivation and Conflict, both external and internal.

Lesson Two:

Character development: creating powerful protagonists and antagonists who readers love and hate, but most of all, remember.

Lesson Three:

Scene and Sequel: understand these basics that create rising stakes, tension in the plot, and build the character’s internal arc.

Lesson Four:

Backstory and Pacing: learn how and when to introduce backstory, how to pace your novel correctly, and techniques for speeding up or slowing down the plot.

Lesson Five:

Point of View: using that character development to power up the point of view in every scene.

Lesson Six:

Show, Not Tell: This critical technique is what makes books memorable, emotional, and relatable. Mastering this is the novelist’s best technique.

Lesson Seven:

Revising and Tightening: Once the book is done, knowing what to cut and what to keep can make a big difference in the flow of your novel.

Lesson Eight:

Q&A and After the Book is Done: Making your publishing decision, deciding on whether to write a series, knowing where to target your book, etc. All the “other” questions about what to do once the book is done.


Shirley Jump

Shirley Jump is an award-winning, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Amazon, and USA Today bestselling author who has published more than 80 books in 24 countries. As an editor, she has edited more than 100 books in a variety of genres. She specializes in helping her clients turn the jigsaw puzzle of their idea into a book that not only stands out in a crowded marketplace but is also engaging and unforgettable.

Check out the BUZZ about Shirley Jump’s novels:

“Sweet is the word for this anthology from four top Kensington writers…Jump’s office romance gives the collection a kick, with fiery writing.” — Publishers Weekly

4 1/2 Stars, “With Jump’s trademark comedic touch, readers are treated to a well-crafted story about what it means to come home to face yourself and your past. The main characters are sympathetic and intelligent, and the narrative is constantly smooth and compelling.” — Romantic Times Book Reviews




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