Margie Lawson

Make your writing soar


Category: Writing

Apr, 2024: How to Speak Legalese: Deciphering Literary Contracts

In this course we will dive into the dizzying world of literary contracts. You’ll learn what is typically in a literary contract, such as an author-agent agreement or a publishing contract, and what the most common clauses really mean.

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Apr, 2024: Killing It With Conflict

Welcome to Killing It With Conflict

In this one-month interactive course, we’ll not only tackle conflict on many levels, but we'll give writers a chance to develop conflict in their own stories.

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Apr, 2024: Revision Boot Camp or Revision Retreat

You decide. Revision Boot Camp or Revision Retreat.

Whichever you choose, be ready for daily support, accountability, check-ins, revision lessons, plenty of camaraderie, inspiration, and productivity. No more writer’s solitary confinement.

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April, 2024: Story Structure Safari

In this 30-day course, you will explore the story structure elements, transformational character arcs, and plot that make up powerful, bestselling stories. You will learn how to analyze examples, from bestselling novels, movies, or TV shows, for each story element or concept. A variety of activities and techniques help you hone your skills and infuse these elements and concepts into your own story. You’ll receive feedback from the instructor, and often from other classmates, to aid in your understanding of the concepts as you apply them to your story.

Story Structure Safari’s goal is to help you dig deep into the heart of your story and focus on how to consistently meet or exceed your reader’s expectations.

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Jun, 2024: Writing Body Language and Dialogue Cues Like a Psychologist

Learn how to write body language and dialogue cues from a kinesics specialist.  Writers will learn how to write fresh:

  • Body Language Basics:  facial messages, lips, eyes, chin, full facial expression, flicker-face, gestures, posture, hierarchical zones . . .
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Jun, 2024: Power Up Your Setting

Power up your setting can not only help you overcome but even deepen the other core aspects of your story!

In this one-month interactive course, we’ll

  • Develop a story world
  • Give clues to society, culture, and structure
  • Ground the reader and character in place
  • Make place mean more than just a place to be
  • Use setting to reveal the point of view character
  • Use setting to reveal non-point-of-view character
  • Reveal the emotional state of a character
  • Use subtext/metaphor to make the settings have a deeper meaning
  • Advance plot

And the key is bringing your setting to life! And we can do it!

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June, 2024: Creating a Constellation of Characters to Inhabit Your Story or Series

You will practice analyzing examples, from bestselling novels, movies or TV shows for cast and character study.

Plenty of instructor feedback and a variety of activities and techniques will help you hone your skills and infuse these elements and concepts into your own story or series.

Constellation’s class goal is to help you dig deep and create the most meaningful character cast to capture the heart of your readers and have them begging for another story with your Stars. So, get out your stargazing snacks, your virtual binoculars, and your creation telescope to assemble an outstanding cast for your story.

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June, 2024: Creating Anthologies

Anthologies are the "hot" item lately, giving authors a chance to collaborate and create amazing themed books. The writing side is usually pretty easy for an author, but what about all the details? A partnership can be a real problem if the business side isn't addressed.

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June, 2024: Plot Your Reliable Story Compass

This course will give you the skills to:

  • Identify the themes you want to explore and your opinions surrounding them.
  • Move from a big idea to the details of a well-thought-out plot.
  • Develop meaningful characters with strong desires and motivations that will drive the story.
  • Harness the power of a story summary to stay laser-focused on the right aspects of the plot.
  • Check that the story hits key structural marks with built-in conflict.
  • Use subplots and secondary characters to support the main through-line.
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May, 2024: From Blah to Beats: Giving Your Chapters a Pulse

In this four week class an abundance of learning opportunities will promote discussion and give you plenty of opportunity to learn from each other. Submitting work will allow you to put the theory to work and benefit from classmates’ feedback. And as a multi-Margie grad with a masters in writing from Vermont College, I’ll also be digging deep to help you pull out your best work.

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May, 2024: Connecting the Dots: Conspiracy Theories in History and Writing

Come join historian Hugh Gordon as he shows which conspiracies can be proven, and others that remain in the shadows. You will learn about government plots and other beliefs that stretch the imagination. Learn how to make your reader uncover a truth that can fit with any conspiracy in history.

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May, 2024: Deep Editing, Rhetorical Devices, and More

Deep Editing, Rhetorical Devices, and More is for the writer who wants to psychologically impact the subconscious of the reader. For the writer who wants to learn fresh editing techniques. For the writer who wants to edit for hook-the-reader power.

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May, 2024: Intro to Screenwriting

Do you have an idea for the next big movie, but you don't know where to start?

If you're interested in learning the art of how to write a screenplay, you're in the right place.

Wally and Betty will teach YOU what they wish someone had taught them before they ever sat down to write their first screenplays!

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May, 2024: Make Endings Pop Deep Editing Style

You know chapter endings and the end of your book are critical. Strong chapter endings entice your reader to keep reading. And a strong ending for your novel entices your reader to buy your other books.

  • Don’t settle for nice.
  • Don’t settle for predictable.
  • Don’t settle for less than Wow!
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May, 2024: Virtues, Vices, and Plots!

Characters are like people. Each of us has "good" traits, like courage and resilience and intelligence, but we also have traits that get us into trouble like foolhardiness, stubbornness, and too smart for our own good. Same with our characters. We create strong traits, on both sides of the spectrum, and watch as our characters stumble through the story.

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May, 2024:The Fiction Writer’s Future

The Fiction Writer's Future! Stay ahead of the curve. Join Kathleen Baldwin for a frank discussion about shifts in publishing, the AI intrusion, how readers are changing, what to expect in the future, and how to reach and keep YOUR readers in this changing marketplace.

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© 2024 Margie Lawson, all rights reserved.

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