Margie Lawson

Changing your Writing World


Warlords, Druids & Dragons

Where is the road to a New York Times bestseller? Let me point you in the right direction—write a fantasy! Different sources of fantasy have inspired a torrent of novels and films. I’m sure you’re familiar with Rowling’s Harry Potter novels or G.R.R. Martin’s Game of Thrones. Or perhaps you’ve read Guy Gavriel Kay’s The […]

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To Trope or Not To Trope?

Let’s be honest, y’all. Tropes have a bad reputation among fiction writers. I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard the word “trope” leveled at something like a weakness. “Oh, but she’s just writing to trope…” we hear, like putting tropes into your work is a bad thing. But let’s look at this from […]

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How Withholding Too Much Information Kills Story Tension

Regardless of the length or genre of a story, creating tension is essential to holding readers' attentions. But what is the best way to add more tension to a story?  Often I see aspiring authors withholding information in an effort to be vague and cryptic, which only serves to frustrate readers instead of engage them. […]

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Anatomy of Trope

Everyone says, "write to trope," or "put tropes in your book," but what does that even mean? In this two-week tropes masterclass, Becca Syme (MATL) will teach the psychology of tropes, the way to deconstruct and construct them, and the way to include (or enhance) them in your fiction. This masterclass includes written lectures, writing […]

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The Words of Historical Fiction

There are so many moving parts when writing historical fiction. Not only are there the normal things—like character development and story structure—but there is all the historical research needed in order to put the reader firmly in a different time and place. What is often forgotten? The words themselves.  The use of language in historical […]

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4 Things to Understand Before Signing that Literary Agent Agreement

The day has finally arrived! After slogging through manuscripts, enduring the seemingly unending cycle of query and rejection, you did it—your dream agent has tendered an offer of representation. Celebrate! There are plenty of articles and blog posts out there that tell you what kinds of questions to ask your agent to determine if you […]

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What Does Your Book Research Look Like?

Most authors must do some book research to write a believable, compelling story. Historical authors might look up old newspaper articles, visit museums, or collect antique books from secondhand bookstores. Paranormal and fantasy authors may read up on mythology and magic or seek eyewitness‖ accounts of alien, ghost, or paranormal creature sightings. Romance suspense authors […]

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Vanessa Riley featured in New York Times Book Review

Vanessa's Island Queen is featured in the New York Times! Check it out! ISLAND QUEEN is a historical fiction novel based on the compelling life of Dorothy "Doll" Kirwan Thomas who rose from slavery to become the wealthiest woman landowner in the early 1800's Caribbean.  Take a breath. Let those facts sink in.  From slavery […]

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Kennedy Ryan Series Optioned for TV

Variety has announced that two of Kennedy Ryan's series have been optioned for TV. All the King's Men and Hoops are being developed for two limited series! Kennedy says: we are still in the early stages of developing the two series, HOOPS and All the King's Men. We're assembling a creative team comprised of the right director, […]

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Some Dos and Don'ts for Pitches and Blurbs

You know what a pitch is, you know what a blurb is, you know they’re important. Here are a few helpful dos and don’ts to make writing each of them a little easier. Character names A pitch usually doesn’t have the room to use the fabulous names of your main characters. The character’s role or […]

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Laura Drake has news!

She just sold two Women's Fiction stories to Story Plant! The first, The Road to Me, will release March, 2022.

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“Been There, Done That”

 As I sat in the workshop I had paid hundreds of dollars for, one of my fellow attendees raised his hand and asked the famous instructor how many screenplays they had written. The instructor answered, “Oh, I’ve never written a screenplay…but if I wanted to, I could.” My jaw dropped. I wanted to shout out, […]

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8 Signs You’d Excel at Ghostwriting

Many writers find themselves spooked when considering ghostwriting as a freelancing path. Writers struggle to make informed decisions about ghostwriting because the publishing industry largely keeps the practice hidden. When I took my first ghostwriting job twelve years ago, there were no books or podcasts or courses on ghostwriting. I stumbled through crazy scenarios to […]

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Writing Action Scenes

Do you want to kick your book’s impact into high gear? Grab your reader’s attention and never let it go? Create a pace for your story that thrills your reader to the end and has them one-clicking the next book? Create great action scenes! This two-week course, applicable to writers at any stage in their […]

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12 Things to do Before You Publish Your Book

No matter your route to publication, traditional publisher or self-publishing, there are a lot of large and small tasks that must be accomplished before you hit publish on a book. This is not a complete list, it’s a quickie cheat sheet to give you an idea of the size, scope, and timelines required to publish […]

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Write Away the Writer's Block

Most writers have suffered from some form of writer’s block in their careers. In this two-week class we are going to work through ways to combat writer's block and get ourselves unstuck. Because sometimes getting unstuck requires a little help from your friends! Join us to work through that blockage, one word, one sentence, one […]

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Crazy Easy Digital Organization Skills for Authors

Writers have to keep track of so much information! Overflowing inboxes, lost maps, and what color were my hero's eyes anyway? Enter the modern age with digital tools to help organize everything from scraps of paper, future story ideas, world-building details, or the best reviews you've ever received! What we'll cover How to reach Inbox […]

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Writing Flash Fiction

Have you ever thought of writing flash fiction, but didn’t, because you didn’t know where to start? Writing short can be tricky – you have to make every word count to convey a compelling, complete story in 100-1500 words. Laura will teach you how, helping you decide what to write about, how to develop standout […]

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Master Story Point of View

Recognize and write the POV that suits your story Choose and use the right Point of View to showcase the emotional drama and intrigue in your story. Industry professionals are quickly put off by head-hopping borne of poor POV mastery, or POV that doesn’t make the most of the story structure.  The voice of the […]

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The Stakes Have Never Been Higher

Travel bans, social distancing, lost hugs, work, communication. Hospitals overflow, and, first-liners are overwhelmed and overworked. High fevers. Intubation. Death. If we did not know better, the last couple of years could be the stuff of a big-screen blockbuster. A movie some may not believe. But all too real, we worry. We struggle. We celebrate […]

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