Margie Lawson

Make your writing soar


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, giving, receiving feedback, and revising.


Laura Drake Headshot

Laura Drake is a New York and self-published published author of Women's Fiction and Romance.

Her romance series, Sweet on a Cowboy, is set in the world of professional bull riding.  Her debut, The Sweet Spot, was a double-finalist, then won the 2014 Romance Writers of America® RITA® award. She’s since published 11 more books and is under contract for two more. She is a founding member of Women’s Fiction Writers Assn, Writers in the Storm blog, as well as a member of Western Writers of America and Women Writing the West.

Laura is a city girl who never grew out of her tomboy ways, or a serious cowboy crush. She gave up the corporate CFO gig to write full time. She realized a lifelong dream of becoming a Texan and is currently working on her accent. She's a wife, grandmother, and motorcycle chick in the remaining waking hours.




Writers in the Storm




Right class at the right time

Rated 5.0 out of 5
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!!)

Avatar for Rebecca Hodge
Rebecca Hodge

Solving the first paragraph problem

Rated 5.0 out of 5
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.

Avatar for Terrie Reed
Terrie Reed

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

Rated 5.0 out of 5
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!

Avatar for Barbara Linn Probst
Barbara Linn Probst

Advanced Craft Class by Laura Drake Was Exactly What I Needed

Rated 5.0 out of 5
March 2, 2020

My stories lacked the punch I wanted them to have. As soon as I saw it I knew I needed to take this class. I wasn't disappointed and I was impressed. Laura Drake knew where to take the class at each step of the way. Timely and to the point individualized feedback was more than I expected.

The very first lesson helped me identify a critical change I wanted to make in my style of writing. Learning from a successful published author made a large difference in my enjoyment of the class. It also helped me realize why I would read her books but set down others that were in the same genre.

I would recommend Laura's class to anyone wanting to make a difference in their writing. Right now, I am considering using the new methods and taking the class again in about 6 months. Because of the personalized feedback and the interactions with class members, it will be a whole new class.

Avatar for Laura E. Hansen
Laura E. Hansen

Powerful material and feedback

Rated 4.0 out of 5
March 2, 2020

Laura packs a lot into a couple short weeks. The class required quite a bit of time and effort, but it was well worth it. The concepts we learned, and especially the feedback I got from Laura and my classmates, opened my eyes to several big ways to make my writing fresher, more powerful, and much more efficient. I saw huge improvements in my own writing and that of my classmates, sometimes in a matter of days. I wasn't sure at first how helpful this class would be, but I'm so glad I did it--it delivered even more than I hoped.

Avatar for Meredith Walters
Meredith Walters

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