Margie Lawson

Make your writing soar

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Category: Writing

April, 2023: Story Structure Safari

In Story Structure Safari, 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.

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April, 2023: Power Up Your Setting

Power up your setting can not only help you overcome but even deepen the other core aspects of your story! No matter how much you love your story, characters, and world, surprisingly, not everyone always feels the love.

Often it is because writers tend to forget what some may consider the ugly duckling of a story’s core elements. SETTING! With so many writing-balls to keep in the air; plot, character, rising tension, action, theme, conflict, motivation—just to name a few—sometimes the where of the story gets a bit lost.

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April, 2023: Revision Boot Camp or Revision Retreat: You Decide

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.

Set GOALS. For the month, the week, the day. And then. . .

REVISE. REVISE. REVISE.

Novel, short stories, query, synopsis. Your choice. Your goals.

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Feb, 2023: The Sizzling, Scintillating Synopsis

The goal of this class through lessons, assignments, and plenty of feedback is for you to come away with a sizzling, scintillating synopsis. A synopsis that will get the attention of an agent, editor, or contest judge and prove you’re a professional and talented story teller.

This class is for anyone who would like a surefire way to plot your novel with all the necessary beats, characters arc, relationship arc, and the added bonus of a finished synopsis.

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Feb, 2023: Magic and Witchcraft

Magic and Witchcraft is wide-ranging with enough detail to give you a ‘taste’ of belief outside religion. The instructor is not a witch nor is she a neo-druid. She is a historian and this course is a history of European magic and witchcraft including beliefs from Greece, Rome, Scandinavia and Scotland. Magic is distinguished from religion in that a magical practitioner usually acts for the benefit of one person whereas a priest acts for the benefit of a group or society.

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Feb, 2023: Surfing through Story Structure and Character Development: An Introductory Class

Beautiful words and exciting scenes aren't enough to propel the reader through a novel. Stories need a plan, a focus, a solid story structure and character development that's well-developed from beginning to end.

In this intro class, you’ll learn how to analyze examples from bestselling novels, movies, or TV shows. We’ll paddle together into the learning waves to uncover the versatility and strength of the basic Four-Part Story Structure and beginning Character Development. As the sun sets, you’ll have a collection of activities and techniques to help you hone your skills and understand what makes a book a bestseller.

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Jan, 2023: Creating a Constellation of Characters to Inhabit Your Story or Series

Lackluster, one-size-fits-all characters aren’t enough to keep readers turning those pages and anticipating future books. You need to create a constellation of characters to inhabit your story, a well-rounded cast of complex, riveting characters—a constellation of supporting characters to showcase the protagonist Star. 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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Jan, 2023: Diving Deep into Developmental Edits

Your words shine and each line glisten. But you’re still getting rejections!

Pantsers and plotters, at some point you’re going to have to step back from the words, the lines, and even the paragraphs, and look at the big picture issues. Diving deep into developmental edits is an intense fourteen lecture course for those writers who have finished at least one draft of a novel. This course is all about seeing your work as an editor, and learning how to analyze what you have on the page, so you can make the big decisions that will take your novel from fine to powerful.

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July, 2023: Dazzling Developmental Edits

10 People. 20 Pages. Deep Developmental Edits. Editing your manuscript to get it ready for an agent or editor requires more than just crossing the T’s and dotting the I’s. That’s where a developmental editor comes in. Developmental editing is the first stage in preparing your manuscript for professional eyes. It helps you to build complex characters, checks that your pacing is not boring the reader, and makes sure you’ve plugged all those pesky plot holes. In Dazzling Developmental edits, you will work one-on-one with a professional editor who will help you learn the difference between a developmental edit and a copy edit, how to accept criticism when it stings, and learn what to expect from your very first developmental edit. During our time together we will developmental edit the first two chapters of your work in progress.

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March, 2023: Dazzling Developmental Edits

10 People. 20 Pages. Deep Developmental Edits. Editing your manuscript to get it ready for an agent or editor requires more than just crossing the T’s and dotting the I’s. That’s where a developmental editor comes in. Developmental editing is the first stage in preparing your manuscript for professional eyes. It helps you to build complex characters, checks that your pacing is not boring the reader, and makes sure you’ve plugged all those pesky plot holes. In Dazzling Developmental edits, you will work one-on-one with a professional editor who will help you learn the difference between a developmental edit and a copy edit, how to accept criticism when it stings, and learn what to expect from your very first developmental edit. During our time together we will developmental edit the first two chapters of your work in progress.

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March, 2023: Just for You Intensive Mentorship

Just For You might be just for you!

With limited enrollment, Just for You Intensive Mentorship weeds out the I’ve-done-this-before noise and focuses on you, your needs, and your writing. With personalized tips, tricks, lectures, guidelines, advice, no topic is off-limits.

Need to develop characters? Write a query? Give a final edit? Want to focus on weaving, cause, effect, MRUs, voice? Is your middle muddled or your ending falling flat? Do you power up the tension or pepper subtext, or do you just need to start right at the beginning?

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Dec, 2022: Two-Week Intensive On Show, Not Tell

How many times have you heard this…and not quite known how to do it? Or gotten this comment back in a critique? This most basic of writing concepts can also be one of the most difficult to master in the beginning. Join New York Times bestselling author Shirley Jump in the two-week Intensive On Show, Not Tell as she leads an interactive workshop that gives you easy, manageable tips that will have you bringing your fiction to life right away. Hands-on homework with feedback helps you actually see the difference between telling and showing and employ the techniques in class.

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Dec, 2022: Biz Smarts for Writers

Are you running your writing like a business?  A better question may be “Should you run your writing like a business?”

The answer is: YES!! 

It’s not hard. Really! But most writers don’t think they need to be a business, mostly because so few of us make appreciable money at it. But it’s possible that utilizing some simple business practices, your writing income may change. And that would be a good thing.

Biz Smarts for Writers will talk about smart, doable, workable items.

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Dec, 2022: Writing Flash Fiction

Have you ever thought of writing flash fiction, but didn’t, because you didn’t know where to start? Writing short can be tricky – you have to make every word count to convey a compelling, complete story in 100-1500 words. Laura will teach you how, helping you decide what to write about, how to develop standout characters in situations that will have readers on the edge of their seats.

You’ll craft a story in class, and we’ll pore over every word to make them shine! But wait, there’s more! You’ll learn advanced wordsmith skills that will help with all your writing, short or long!

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© 2022 Margie Lawson, all rights reserved.

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