Margie Lawson

Make your writing soar


Aug, 2023: Your First Five Pages, Reader Glue


In Your First Five Pages, Reader Glue, you get input from the instructor; you will walk away with a solid, compelling, well-polished start to your novel.


August 7th - 25th

We all know what it’s like to pick up a book and be sucked into the fictional world. You sense that you can trust the author and suspend disbelief to go on a journey. But how do your favorite authors do that? In this class you will have lessons and homework. You will get input from the instructor as well as other students. You will be expected to give feedback to others, as well. You will walk away with a solid, compelling, well-polished start to your novel.

What you’ll learn:

  • Why character is more important than plot
  • The difference between starting with conflict vs starting with crisis
  • When you need a prologue, and when you don’t
  • What makes a great first sentence
  • How to find your inciting incident
  • The important factors of a good beginning
  • Tools learned here will advance your craft of writing

Who should take this course:

  • Writers who have written a beginning
  • Submitting writers who want their beginning to shine
  • Contest entrants
  • Writers wanting to improve their craft

Lesson Plan

LESSON ONE: Where to Begin?

  • It's about the character
  • Anchor the Reader
  • Types of beginnings
  • Pros and Cons of Prologues
  • First lines, and what makes a good one.

LESSON TWO:   Backstory

  • Why Does it have such a bad rep?
  • rules
  • Compelling vs blah
  • Making backstory do double-duty

LESSON THREE:  All the Rest

  • What makes a compelling beginning?
  • How to Hook a Reader
  • Details
  • Be the Dude
  • Trust your Reader
  • Craft Tips

BONUS CONTENT:  Opening checklist
Every lesson comes with reference material; great blogs and articles explaining salient points.Every lesson has Homework. We'll be posting our beginnings, receiving feedback, and revising.
You should walk away with a shiny, compelling, perfect beginning!


Laura Drake Headshot

Laura Drake is a New York and self-published published author of Women's Fiction and Romance.

Her romance series, Sweet on a Cowboy, is set in the world of professional bull riding.  Her debut, The Sweet Spot, was a double-finalist, then won the 2014 Romance Writers of America® RITA® award. She’s since published 11 more books and is under contract for two more. She is a founding member of Women’s Fiction Writers Assn, Writers in the Storm blog, as well as a member of Western Writers of America and Women Writing the West.

Laura is a city girl who never grew out of her tomboy ways, or a serious cowboy crush. She gave up the corporate CFO gig to write full time. She realized a lifelong dream of becoming a Texan and is currently working on her accent. She's a wife, grandmother, and motorcycle chick in the remaining waking hours.




Writers in the Storm




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Laura Drake

© 2023 Margie Lawson, all rights reserved.

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