Margie Lawson

Make your writing soar


Flying Write

Want to make your writing soar? Do you want to add airplanes and aviation to your writing, but can’t tell the difference between a Cessna 172 and a Boeing 747? Do you want to learn about classic aviation stories and their plots, characters, and settings?

Come join historian and airplane geek Hugh Gordon as he explains how to incorporate the world of airplanes in your writing. You will explore the thrilling history of human flight and how great (and not so great) fiction has emerged from it.

What you will learn:

  • The history of commercial air travel from props to jets
  • How to avoid aviation faux pas in your writing
  • How to use aviation in your writing

Who should take this course:

  • Beginner authors who want to add the romance and excitement of air travel into their writing
  • Intermediate authors who want to make sure they get the details and terminology of aircraft and aviation correct
  • Advanced authors who want historic details about aviation and

Lecture 1: A Short History of Flight

  • Wright Brothers and other pioneers
  • Early Commercial Aviation
  • Military Aviation and Aircraft: P-51s, B-29s, F-14s
  • Constellations and Concordes: The Golden Age of Commercial Air Travel
  • Flying Cattle Cars: Deregulation

Lecture 2: The Pedal is Connected to the Rudder: Getting the Terminology and Concepts of Aviation Right

  • Yaw, Pitch, Roll: Terminology of Flight and Flying
  • “Clipper Two Four you are cleared to land, Runway Three Two Left”: Air Traffic Control Terminology

Lecture 3: Aviation in Fiction

  • Airliner novels like Arthur Hailey’s Airport, Michael Crichton’s Airframe, Ernest K. Gann’s The High and the Mighty
  • Military novels: Flight of the Old Dog by Dale Brown, Flight of the Intruder by Stephen Coontz, Bomber by Len Deighton, Millennium by John Varley (and film)
  • Airliner films like Airport, Die Hard 2 (Novel 58 Minutes), Air Force One, Executive Decision
  • ACTIVITY: Pick one piece of aviation fiction and explain why you like it and why it is accurate (or not)

Lecture 4: Just Plane Wrong: Mistakes in Aviation Pop Culture

  • Lighting a Zippo will not ignite jet fuel
  • Stowing away in a wheel well will most likely kill you
  • That is not a jumbo jet: Or Why a 737 is not a 747
  • ACTIVITY: Make a list of myths in pop cultural representations of aviation

Lecture 5: Writing Your Own Airplane Fiction: Characters

  • Not just a pretty face!: Flight Attendants as safety experts, not objects
  • Thankless job: Air Traffic Controllers
  • Dashing Heroes: Pilots beyond the white male stereotype
  • Passengers: A cross-section of humanity
  • ACTVITY: Character sketches relating to aviation

Lecture 6: Writing Your Own Airplane Fiction: Believable storylines

  • Terrorist incidents based on real events: Entebbe, 9/11, etc.
  • Air crash investigations as detective novels
  • Disaster story/Perilous flight as character study
  • ACTIVITY: Write your own aviation plot


Hugh Gordon

Hugh Gordon has a master’s degree and doctorate in Canadian Military History from the University of Victoria and a bachelor’s degree in History and Classics from Queen’s University. For seven years, he was the History Instructor at Keyano College in Fort McMurray. He has taught courses in History, Classics, and Native Studies. In addition, he has prepared public lectures on the history of Cold War culture and espionage, obscure weapons, air and space travel, concepts of the future, and conspiracy theories. He has been writing fiction since he was in elementary school. He enjoys science fiction, fantasy, steampunk, espionage thrillers, and mysteries. He has been published in Northword Magazine.




There are no reviews yet. Be the first one to write one.

Submit a Review


© 2024 Margie Lawson, all rights reserved.

Shopping cart0
There are no products in the cart!
Continue shopping
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram