Margie Lawson

Changing your Writing World

Advanced Craft

You know the feeling – when you start a book and immediately suspend disbelief to fall into the story world. As authors, we know that this isn’t easy to do. It takes more than a good scene. It takes a maestro of craft to pull it off.

This is a writing master class. If you’re past problems with POV, character development and stage direction, this class will help you understand the subtle nuances that can be the difference between a ‘good writer’ and a popular author.

What you’ll learn:

  • Anchor the reader in deep POV
  • Say it once, say it well
  • Triple-duty descriptions
  • Get rid of Same old/same old body language
  • Dialog tags – who needs them?
  • Write tight
  • Tell us what we don’t know
  • Trust your reader
  • Backstory slivers – no dumps here!
  • How to write fully rounded characters

Who should take this course:

  • Writers who understand the basics of Point of View, dialogue, characterization, etc.
  • ‘Journeymen’ – meaning those who have finished a story (be it novel, novella or several short stories) but have not yet published.
  • Any ready to take their writing to the next level

Lesson Plan

Lesson One:

  • Beginnings
  • First lines
  • Did I start in the right place?

Lesson Two:

  • Deep POV
  • Dialogue tags
  • Be the dude
  • Altering time for emotional power
  • Whose scene is it, anyway?

Lesson Three:

  • Backstory done right
  • Make your words do double-duty
  • Where to insert backstory

Lesson Four:

  • Trust your reader
    • Say it once, say it well
    • Tell us what we don’t know
    • Telling then showing
  • All the rest
    • Adverbs
    • Write tight
    • Write fresh
    • Cadence
    • Cliches
    • Description shortcuts

Every lesson comes with reference material; great blogs and articles explaining salient points.

Every lesson has Homework. We'll be posting our beginnings, receiving feedback, and revising.


Laura Drake Headshot

Laura Drake, 2014 RITA Winner for Best First Novel, doesn’t take ‘no’ for an answer. After a total of three novels, and 417 queries, in June of 2011, she scored an agent — Nalini Akolekar of Spencerhill and Associates.

She now has twelve published novels. The first, The Sweet Spot, won the 2014 RWA RITA for Best First Book. When she isn’t writing, she speaks to writers groups and teaches online. She is a founder of Women’s Fiction Writers Association as well as the Award-Winning, Writers in the Storm Blog. Laura is a multi-Margie immersion grad. She credits Margie with taking her from ‘good’ to ‘sold’!

Laura realized a lifelong dream of becoming a Texan and is currently working on her accent. She gave up the corporate CFO gig to write full time. She’s a wife, grandmother, and motorcycle chick in the remaining waking hours.




Writers in the Storm



What a great first LWA class

5.0 rating
July 31, 2020

Laura waded among us as we honed our first sentences, our POVs, our pacing, moving in and out of backstory (if it's needed), tight writing and more. I'm grateful for her teaching, her edits and for the affirmations and critiques from other participants. A great community and so much encouragement offered.

Lisa Bodenheim

Laura Drake's Advanced Craft class was what I needed when I needed it.

5.0 rating
July 30, 2020

Laura is an engaging instructor, insightful, and knowledgeable. She's accessible and interacts daily with participants. Feedback from Laura was invaluable for making my writing stronger and feedback to and from classmates was equally valuable. Without a doubt, I will take more of Laura Drake's classes.

Annee Brizo

Right class at the right time

5.0 rating
July 30, 2020

This class served as a great reminder of all the little things I should know but consistently forget. Nice structure, with great feedback. (Now I just have to apply all this to the whole dang manuscript!!)

Rebecca Hodge

Solving the first paragraph problem

5.0 rating
July 30, 2020

Loved the Advanced Craft Workshop. Your instruction and the interaction with the other students provided me with the insight I needed to kick my manuscript off with the power I was looking for.

Terrie Reed

Right-sized, insightful, actionable, and spot-on!

5.0 rating
July 30, 2020

I'm so grateful to Laura for the masterful way she selected key elements to focus on, rather than trying to cover too much or to promote a particular template. Each lesson focused on vital, precise, and practical elements that could be explored in our own work. Her suggestions were clear and so, so helpful, but always left space. I felt respected, supported, and inspired. And I've signed up for her next course!

Barbara Linn Probst

Submit a Review


Ready to fly your writing dreams?

Lawson Writer's Academy has the classes you need to take your writing career to the next level!

© 2020 Margie Lawson, all rights reserved.

linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram