June/July Newsletter

In This Issue:June/July, 2009   

     Pre-Flight Check In:  Drawing AUGUST 1st:  Two Chances to Win $450 Prizes!

     Flight Review:  June and July Events

     Flight Plan:  August and September Events 

     Add Power and Take Off with a DEEP EDITING ANALYSIS featuring Jeffery Deaver!


                1.  Deep Editing Analysis Contest

                               WINNER:  JENNIFER GATES!

                2.  Name Margie’s Blog Contest

     Flight Deviation:  Blog-arama!

               1.  Guest Blogging

               2.  How-to Author Interview Series Blog

     Mileage Points – Upgrade:  Booking Master Classes, Retreats, Conferences

     Smooth Landing!

Pre-Flight Check In:

    Drawing AUGUST 1st:   Two Chances to Win $450 Prizes!

    Please consider donating $50 for ALS research through my cousin’s ALS fundraiser page.  You will have two chances to win prizes valued at $450 each.    

My cousin has Lou Gehrig’s disease.   Here we are at our family reunion in North Carolina in early July.  Dennis is my hero. 

I am determined to help Dennis achieve his fundraising goal for ALS research.  His goal:  $100,000.

    I will help him reach his goal.  Supporting him — I am indomitable. 

    Indomitable.  You’ve got to love the way those five syllables carry power.

    Indomitable.  Incapable of being overcome.  Never say die.

    That second definition gives me a visceral response . . . and the courage to request your support.   Please join me. 

   I am enticing you with BIG PRIZES!  You may win:

          1.  A 75 page Triple Pass Deep Edit — $450 value!

          2.  Registration for a three-day Immersion Master Class:  Deep Editing Power — $450 value!

        To date — three people have donated. Their names are imprinted in my brain forever — and also on a list on the ALS page on my web site.  MARGIE’S AMAZING PEOPLE list. 

       Dennis will draw the names of the two winners on August 1st.  Winners have their choice of the two prizes.  Click Here for details and a link to my cousin’s fundraiser page.     

     Dennis has raised $7,300 to date.  He knows it is too late to make a difference for him.  But he is striving to make a difference for the 80,000 people diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease in the next ten years.  One of those 80,000 could be someone you love.

     Consider making a $50 donation. It is tax deductable. Make your heart do the happy dance. Make my heart do the happy dance too.  

     Those who know me, know I am usually focused on all fun, all laughs, all loving the happy life.  Thank you for listening and supporting me when I am serious too. 

Remember the August 1st deadline.  🙂


Flight Review

June and July Events!

June:  Fabulous times reconnecting with writers in Boise and Newark.  Fun to be invited back to present a second full day Master Class for both groups!

July:  Loved my big east coast trip in the Lancair.  Loved the Cousin Reunion in North Carolina. Loved visiting family and friends all the way up the coast to Maine.  Loved flying back down the coast to Washington DC for five friend-filled days at RWA National. 

Photo at RWA’s Literacy Signing:  Tracy Mastaler (holding Dianna Love’s Phantom in the Night), I’m in the center, Dianna Love in the red shirt.  Three happy blondes!


One of my flights in the DC area was with PW’s Blog Queen, Barbara Vey (blonde with hand on the stick).  Tom, my favorite pilot and favorite husband, encouraged Barbara to fly the plane from the right seat for a few minutes.  He flew us over Annapolis and Chesapeake Bay and landed in Cambridge, Maryland.

We reclaimed our land legs.  For Barbara, make that land-stomach, :-)) and we rode in a pink limo with Ted-Terrific.  When it was time to fly back to Gaithersberg, MD, Barbara joined me in the back so Nancy Naigle (big smile!) could fly the plane. Nancy won this flight on Brenda Novak’s Diabetes Auction.

Kudos to Thrill Seekers Barbara and Nancy! 

This was the first small plane flight for both ladies.  Our four-seater is an experimental plane built by my husband.

Tom has two MBA’s.  One MBA is a graduate  degree.  The other MBA stands for Master Builder of Airplanes. 

Barbara Vey

Nancy Naigle

Flight Plan

    Upcoming Events!

     Three Immersion Master Classes:

     Location:  Margie’s mountain top home, west of Denver.  Participants stay at the lodge near her home.  Enrollment limited to seven.   

                    August 20 – 24, 2 slots open                                                              

                   September 13 – 17, Full

                   September 20 – 24, Full

     Three Writing Conferences:

             The Colorado Gold Conference:  September 11, 12, 13

                       Workshops:  1.  Tick, Tock, Kill:  The Psychology of the Criminal Mind

                                              2.  The EDITS System:  The Good, the Bad, and What’s Missing

             The American Christian Fiction Writing Conference:  September 17, 18, 19, 20

                     Workshops:  1.  Writing Body Language Like a Psychologist

                                            2.  How You Say It:  Powering Up iwth Dialogue Cues

             Florida Writers Association Conference:  October 23, 24, 25

                      Workshop:  Deep Editing Power:  Creating Page Turners

     Two Full Day Master Classes:

            Oct. 22, Florida Writers Assoc. Pre-Conf. Master Class, Empowering Characters’ Emotions

            Nov. 9,  North Texas RWA Conference, Empowering Characters’ Emotions    

    On Line Classes:

            October:  Parts 1 and 2:  Digging Deep Into the EDITS System

            If you have taken Empowering Characters’ Emotions and Deep Editing, you are ready to dig deeper, get clarity, and add more psychological power. 

Add Power and Take Off with a Deep Editing Analysis!

DEEP EDITING ANALYSIS —– Featuring Jeffery Deaver:

ROADSIDE CROSSES — A Kathryn Dance Novel

 Jeffery Deaver, a former journalist, folk singer, and attorney, writes psychological thrillers that ride the crest of the international bestseller list.  His books are translated into 25 languages, sold in 150 countries, win awards around the world.  His trophy shelf holds:

— the Steel Dagger and Short Story Dagger from the British Crime Writers’ Association

— three Ellery Queen Reader’s Awards for Best Short Story of the Year

— the British Thumping Good Read Award

— a Grand Prix from the Japanese Adventure Fiction Association

— six nominations for Edgar Awards

— an Anthony Award

— a Gumshoe Award

Deaver is known for his Lincoln Rhyme series as well for movies based on his books.  A MAIDEN’S GRAVE starred James Garner and Marlee Matlin, and THE BONE COLLECTOR starred Denzel Washington and Angelina Jolie.

His 2009 release, ROADSIDE CROSSES, features special agent Kathryn Dance, a kinesics specialist.  It is loaded with insights on interpreting body language.

These examples are from my Kindle.  No page numbers.  

Example:  Kinesics with Interpretations

When the subject of the attacker’s identity had arisen, Dance observed that the girl’s body language changed from her baseline.  She shifted her hips uneasily and a foot bobbed.  Arms and hands are fairly easy for liars to contol but we’re much less aware of the rest of our body especially toes and feet.

Dance also noted other changes:  in the pitch of the girl’s voice, fingers flipping her hair and ‘blocking gestures,’ touching her mouth and nose.  Tammy also offered unnecessary digressions, she rambled and she made overgeneralized statements "Everybody knows about it," typical of someone who’s lying.


Deaver amplified both paragraphs to the third level in my Powering Up Emotions system, the EMPOWERED level.  The first paragraph has four Emotional Hits:  BL changed from baseline, hips shifted, foot bobbed. He also gave the reader a one sentence tutorial on using body language to spot liars.

The second paragraph has nine Emotional Hits: vocal pitch, hair flips, label–blocking gestures, touching nose, touching mouth, label–digressions, rambled, overgeneralized statements, and shared a sample  statement.  I counted the two labels (blocking gestures, digressions) because they added depth.  He did not have to include the labels, but they added interest and amplified concepts. 

Why pay attention to the number of Emotional Hits?  It’s good info.  Writers can assess how much they spotlighted a certain dynamic.

Do I expect writers to count Emotional Hits throughout their WIP?  No.  But I expect them to do a loose  comparative analysis.  It pays to know relative levels of emphasis for critical points.

Three Examples:  Dialogue Cues — It’s a Margie-term for how the dialogue is delivered.  Dialogue cues share volume, rate, quality, pitch, and tone . . . as well as lots of other goodies I cover in WRITING BODY LANGUAGE AND DIALOGUE CUES LIKE A PSYCHOLOGIST.  

1.  Dance was surprised to hear panic in his voice.  She’d detected anger, pettiness, arrogance earlier, but never this sound.

Analysis:  This Dialogue Cue is telling and simple and effective.  Deaver slipped in some character zingers in the last line.  Is this a character he wants the reader to like?  

2.  Royce poured sympathy in his voice, and tried to recall the last time he’d really felt bad.  Probably when he missed his daughter’s appendectomy because he was in bed with his mistress.

Analysis:  WOW!  That Dialogue Cue carried a surprising backload whameroo.  Notice — it’s a Dialogue Cue from a POV character.  We all know why Royce tried to think of a time he’d really felt bad.  He’s practicing Method Acting.  He wants to be perceived as sympathetic when he is not.

3.  Brodsky slipped immediately into the tone you hear when police take the stand at trial.  Emotionally flat, precise.

Analysis:  I counted four Emotional Hits in that Dialogue Cue:  tone like police use, qualifed and amplified by adding it is the tone they use when testifying in court, emotionally flat, precise.  Specificity counts.  🙂   So much more interesting than reading —  ‘. . . he said in a flat voice.’  or  ‘. . . he said without emotion.’   Plus — Deaver’s Dialogue Cues offer a fresh read and boost cadence.  The cadence propels the reader through the story. 

Example:  Incongruent Body Language

Superficially the young agent seemed fine, his body language unchanged from the professional, upright posture he wore like a rented tux. But his eyes told a different story, revealing the words looping through his mind at the moment:  I just killed a man.  I just killed a man.

Analysis:  Read the paragraph above out loud. 

I’m waiting.  😉

What did you notice?  Deaver’s use of cadence.  Powerful.  Effective.  Compelling.

Deaver also used specificity, a simile, contrast, and he used eyes to infer what this agent was probably thinking.  He did not describe the agent’s eyes.  He chose to add interest with an assumption.  An assumption that carried power.

Example:  Visceral Resonses — PINK!

A second sound. Sitting at the desk in her room, Kelley felt a shivering so sudden and intense that her skin stung.  Her fingers were frozen, pausing above the computer keyboard.  Look, she told herself. Then: No, don’t.


Then another snap outside.  Was it closer?

A churning now gripped her in the belly, like the time she’d tried that liquid fast then gone back to solid foods.

Analysis:  Two fresh descriptions of visceral responses:  skin stung, churning gripped her in belly.  Plus — a fresh character-themed simile. 

Deaver added humor with that simile.  The hit of humor created a brain-lash effect.  It diluted the power of the fear-based visceral response.  Exactly what Deaver wanted to accomplish.  He planted fear in the reader’s mind, then pulled back the power.  He took the reader in a different direction, but left them wondering.  Was someone out there?  Was Kelley in danger?  Deaver escalated the creepoid factor. 

One Last Example:  A Quick Visceral Response

Dance felt a painful chill rattling through her, ice along her spine.

Analysis:  If you know my EDITS System, you know that line is PINK.  PINK represents a strong involuntary physical response to a strong emotional stimulus.  Kathryn Dance, the POV character, is experiencing a visceral response. 

Deaver amplified it a skosh.  It is beyond a BASIC, at my second level of Powering Up Emotion, the COMPLEX level. 

If he kept it BASIC and wrote it trite,trite, trite, it would have read: 

Dance felt an icy finger trace up her spine.

Hmm . . . Have you read that line, or variations, a gazillion times?

Deaver’s line includes qualifiers — painful — and it rattled through her.  Rattling — fun word, implying that the chill made her rattle or tremble.  The last phrase, ice along her spine, is a metaphor that amplifies the visceral response. 

Some of you may be wondering about Deaver using FILTER WORDS.  Dance FELT . . .  He used a filter word in a previous example too.  It is up to the author.  When possible, I nix filter words.  But sometimes a  line needs the filter word to enhance flow.  Flow always rules.

For me, Jeffery Deaver’s creativity rules. And his story-telling rules.  And his writing craft rules.  According to the international bestseller list and millions of readers, his books rule too.  

If you have taken my DEEP EDITING course, I hope you recognized the rhetorical devices and Deep Editing techniques I used in this Deep Editing Analysis. 

If you love a challenge, read my analysis again and find the rhetorical devices. 

Or not.   😉

I’ll list them, but it is up to you to find them. 

You know me — I make you work.  And learn.

Rhetorical Devices:  Aysndeton.  Pallellism.  Rhetorical  Questions.  Polysyndeton.  Onomatopoeia.  Amplification. Conduplicatio (3 times).  Anadiplosis (twice).  Epizeuxis.  Hyperbole. Epistrophe.

Deep Editing Techniques:  Backloading.  Shared what wasn’t happening.  Inferred. Power words.  Sentence frags.  Cadence.  Cadence.  Cadence!

I hope you enjoyed crawling around in Jeffery Deaver’s brain with me.  It’s an intriguing place to visit, dark and twisty and full of power.

My August newsletter will feature the queen of writing emotion, Lisa Gardner — and a Deep Editing Analysis of her latest release, THE NEIGHBOR.  An analysis  guaranteed to treat and teach.

Want to learn how to add more psychological depth to your writing?

   I have four editing-focused on-line courses I teach each year. 

Lecture Packets ($22) are available for each of my courses.  Place your PayPal order through my new web site, and the automated system will send the Lecture Packet within minutes.                


       Contests:  Deep Editing Analysis Winner — and Name Margie’s Blog Contest  

       The DEA Contest WINNER is Jennifer Gates!  

       Congratulations Jennifer!  Thanks for sharing the powerful examples from Dan Brown.

       Jennifer WINS a Lecture Packet from one of my six courses:

     1.  Empowering Characters’ Emotions

     2.  Deep Editing:  The EDITS System, Rhetorical Devices, and More

     3.  Digging Deep into the EDITS System — Parts 1 and 2

     4.  Writing Body Language and Dialogue Cues Like a Psychologist

     5.  Powering Up Body Language in Real Life: Projecting a Professional Persona When Pitching and Presenting                                                                                                                                                  
     6.  Defeat Self-defeating Behaviors       

    To enter the DEA Contest, e-mail me with fresh examples from published authors.

     Name Margie’s Blog Contest!     

I invited my uber-talented critique buddies to select the name of my blog.  They will vote on the finalists and the winner. My critique siblings include Jeanne Stein, Mario Acevedo, Warren Hammond, Tom Lawson, Tamra Monahan, and Terry Wright.        

Drop by my blog and post your extreme blog titles. The witty, the wild, the whacky.  

Four finalists will each win a Lecture Packet.  The WINNER is awarded two Lecture Packets and a 20 page Triple Pass Deep Edit.      

    Deadline to Post Entries:  September 8th, 5PM Mountain Time

   The names of the Finalists and Winner will be posted on my blog on September 9th.      

Flight Deviation

Blog-arama!  Guest Blogging . . . and my How-to Author Interview Series!

Guest Blogging:

Interested in a Guest Blogger who turns blogging opps into teaching opps?  Every time I guest blog I give away knowledge — and I give away Lecture Packets.  I enjoy blog crowds.  Contact me if you would like me to guest blog.

How-to Author Interview Series:

Last January I started a series of monthly interviews with authors of how-to books for writers.  My how-to author series has been hosted by the brilliant and gracious Five Scribes Bloggers:  Donnell Bell, K.L. Grady, Audra Harders, Lesli Sartor, and Theresa Rizzo.  Kudos to Donnell Bell for posting the interviews to the blog each month.  I appreciate her time, her artistry, and her computer savvy.

The How-to Author Interview for July will be hosted by Five Scribes.  Starting in August the interview series will be offered through my new web site.

On Wednesday, July 29th drop by the Five Scribes Blog and meet Chris Roerden.  Chris has two how-to books:  Don’t Murder Your Manuscript, and Don’t Sabotage Your Submission.  Both books are gems. 

Don’t Murder Your Manuscript won an Agatha Award.  Impressive!

You could win DON’T SABOTAGE YOUR SUBMISSION, or a Lecture Packet!  For every 25 people who post a question or comment, I’ll give away another Lecture Packet. 

D.P. Lyle, MD, is featured on my How-to Author Series on my web site, Wednesday, August 26th.  Doug Lyle has four fascinating resource books for writers on forensics.

Mileage Points – Upgrade

Booking Master Classes, Retreats, Conferences

At this time I have six events booked for 2010.  If you think your group would be interested in having me present a full day Master Class, a Weekend Master Class, a half-day or more at a retreat, or be a special guest presenter at your conference, please contact me. 

Smooth Landing

I am new to Twitter.  I’d love to connect in tweetland.  I’m easy to find:  @margielawson

I’ll use Twitter to announce contests, on-line courses, presentations . . . and share an occasional emotional hit. 

Thank you all for being here.

I wish a galaxy of good things for you.  Friends and family and fitness and fun and fresh writing.   😉

All smiles . . . . . . . Margie