Margie Lawson

Make your writing soar


Master Emotive Storytelling and showing

Previously titled Master Emotive Storytelling

How to combine showing action with effective telling

The Master Emotive Storytelling and Showing workshop is for fiction writers who want to decipher the contradictions in the old ‘show don’t tell’ mantra so they can avoid author intrusion and maximize evocative actions and sensory details.

Both showing and telling are valid tools. Showing creates drama and movement while telling conveys information succinctly and poetically. I will help you find a balance between action and brevity that will captivate readers.

Active showing is one of the fastest ways to improve your writing and get your stories noticed. You’ll have emotive prose in no time!

What you will learn

This workshop will give you the skills to:

  • Understand the difference between showing and telling.
  • Discover when to show, and when it’s okay to tell.
  • Explore how action can tell the story and engage the reader emotionally.
  • Identify and banish information dumps.
  • Infuse your story with relevant details and emotive actions.
  • Use secondary characters and the antagonist to show.

Who should take this course?

This workshop is for aspiring fiction writers from absolute beginners to experienced authors, who want to polish their craft and make sure they are adding the maximum emotional punch to their stories.

Sandy Vaile is passionate about making sure participants fully understand concepts, so there will be plenty of opportunities to apply what you’ve learnt to your own work, examples, colourful handouts and free resources.


Week 1

  • What does ‘show don’t tell’ mean?
  • Successful telling
  • Make a decision whether to show or tell

Week 2

  • Avoiding information dumps
  • Successful showing
  • Be specific with details

Week 3

  • How to reveal the layers of your character
  • The showing superpower of dialogue

Week 4

  • Make the most of secondary characters
  • Fresh descriptions
  • Putting it all together

What students are saying about Sandy’s workshops

"Helpful, practical and inspirational, Sandy's workshop took my writing to the next level."

"I loved Sandy's dedication to giving the best feedback possible. It's made a huge difference to me already."

“I credit this teacher with a quantum shift in my writing. I can literally see the difference!"

​“I liked the friendly nature of the learning experience.”

Sandy Vaile’s teaching is clear, concise and encouraging.”


Sandy Vaile

Sandy Vaile is a motorbike-riding daredevil who isn’t content with a story unless there are a courageous heroine and a dead body. She writes romantic-suspense for Simon & Schuster US and empowers modern writers to produce novels they can be proud of (and that get noticed by agents and publishers).

Sandy is an experienced course presenter with a decade of experience in the industry, and prides herself on providing a nurturing learning environment that enables participants to truly absorb the material and apply it to their own work.

In her spare time, Sandy composes procedures for high-risk industrial processes, judges writing competitions, runs The Fearless Novelist Facebook group, and offers coaching and critiquing services.

Also connect with Sandy on Facebook and YouTube.




Time well spent

May 6, 2024

Show, Don't Tell is so important to writing great fiction, but it's not always easy to understand how to do it well. This course does that. Sandy takes writers into their characters and teaches authors how to write from the inside out and get emotions on the page. With several short videos and many examples, Sandy leads a class with kindness and encouragement and shares her knowledge in an easy-to-navigate classroom. With each lesson, students are encouraged to share excerpts of their own work for a detailed critique. I highly recommend this class.

Donna Reed

Sandy is an excellent teacher

April 26, 2024

The Course I did with Sandy was excellent. The Course Notes were clear and concise.

Colleen Goth

StoryTelling done right

March 1, 2023

In this course you learn when to show and when to tell in a way that still shows. The examples and feedback are invaluable. Highly recommend.

Megan Ganesh

Fantastic Workshop

June 24, 2021

Sandy does a great job putting the messages we have heard over and over again (show don't tell) into a straightforward, truly understandable context. The assignments are meaty enough to help one grow as a writer while not taking too much time. I also particularly like the format in which the assignment is given at the beginning of each week with plenty of time before the deadline. The best part about Sandy's workshops is her super feedback. She positive and constructive always giving great gems of advice. Take her workshop! You won't regret it.

Dana Meiter

Clear and concise

May 30, 2021

Sandy's clear description and methods of teaching for relating the craft of emotive story telling were easy to follow and understand. Her clear direction on 'how to' made even clearer with the examples and assignments set. I was amazed how easy it was to put her teaching into practice and improve the emotion in my story to make it a much better/more satisfying read overall.

Nancy Cunningham

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© 2024 Margie Lawson, all rights reserved.

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