Margie Lawson

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Archives: Products

April, 2023: Advanced Craft

You know the feeling – when you start a book and immediately suspend disbelief to fall into the story world. As authors, we know that this isn’t easy to do. It takes more than a good scene. It takes a maestro of craft to pull it off.

This is a writing master class. If you’re past problems with POV, character development and stage direction, this class will help you understand the subtle nuances that can be the difference between a ‘good writer’ and a popular author.

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April, 2023: Battling the Basics: The Essentials of Writing

Writing is work. You’ve heard the saying, “You have to learn the rules to break them.” Cliché or not, good writers understand the basics. They know how to write tight. They know how to write strong. They know how to write compelling, powerful stories.

In this class, dig deep into realistic and driven dialogue.  Discover the impact of a clearly written setting. Explore character, conflict, and story arc. Learn how to use plot, placing, and tension to propel your story forward.

Writing is work. But writing can also be fun. Join me in Battling the Basics and take the first step toward seeing your name on the bestseller list.

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April, 2023: Clans of Scotland

Sheila Currie will provide information about the names of the clans, their locations, and their feuds and fights. You’ll also gain insights about daily life: making a living, keeping families strong and how to marry. Marriage was different in the Highlands. Very different.

How do you know you’re in Scotland when you read a Scottish novel? How much background should you include? Will you sprinkle a little magic in your story? Writing a great Scottish story means more than a list of dates. Blah. What are the sources for learning all this? Yes, you need history, but also folklore, a few words of Scottish Gaelic, customs, and insights into the society of the Scottish Highlands—the clans.

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April, 2023: Intensive on Point of View

This hands-on class helps writers understand how POV works, from the basics of knowing which POV you are in, to the more in-depth technique of using POV to build stronger reader/character relationships and create intense emotion. Hands-on homework will have students diving deep into their scenes to create more memorable moments in their character’s head.

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Feb, 2023: Intensive on Building the Compelling Scene

In this two-week Intensive on Building the Compelling Scene, you'll learn how to edit your own scenes and take them from okay to amazing. In-depth analysis of scenes that work will be part of the class, as will revision of students’ current work. Class will also offer hands-on critiques from the instructor, New York Times bestselling author Shirley Jump.

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Feb, 2023: Intro to Screenwriting

Are you an author of a book that you'd like to turn into a movie?

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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Feb, 2023: Killing People and other Writerly Pursuits

So you have a character you're just dying to kill. Maybe he is a real villain and deserves to die. Or, instead, she is a sweet child and everybody cries when she slips away in the middle of the night. Regardless, there's a right place, time and reason to get rid of that character and it HAS to move the story forward.

This is a writing Master Class, with the dual benefits of digging deeply into the psychological reasons for killing a character, and of building a believable story structure around a death.

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Feb, 2023: 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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Feb, 2023: Master Emotive Storytelling

The Master Emotive Storytelling 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!

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Feb, 2023: Submissions That Sell, and More!

Your writing is amazing. You’ve edited your manuscript until the reflection alone will blind.

Congratulations!

But without an equally shiny submission, those agents/editors will never know about you, and that you could have been their next great author.

This course will teach you what you need to know to make a professional submission that will impress.

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June, 2023: 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 . . .
  • Body Language Clusters
  • Avoidance and deception cues
  • Vibes – beyond spidey senses and hair-raising
  • Turning Points driven by subtle body language cues
  • Body Language and Dialogue Cues for POV and Non-POV characters
  • Body Language and Dialogue Cues with Rhetorical Devices
  • Specific Emotion-driven full Kinesics Patterns for anxiety, fear, joy, sadness, lust, shock, surprise . . .
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June, 2023: Creating a Constellation of Characters

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

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June, 2023: 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.

This class, taught by an author/editor who has published numerous anthologies and collections, will go into the nitty-gritty of the "back side" of publishing anthologies,

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June, 2023: Killing it With Conflict

Well, sadly, murder doesn’t make conflict/tension. Sadly, no matter how much you cry or your characters cry, it doesn’t necessarily mean tension fills the page. Not even a scroll out of Smokey and the Bandit car chase scenes across several state lines ensures a tension-filled manuscript.

“What? How? Why?” you say. “What can I possibly do?” Never fear, Killing it with Conflict is here.

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

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June, 2023: Make 'em Laugh, How to Write a Comedy Screenplay

So, you have an idea for a comedy screenplay? Are you in the middle of one? Have you completed several? Make ‘em Laugh is a class for both experienced and beginning writers. If you’d like to learn about nuances of feature-length comedy films and apply them to your own funny ideas, then you’ve found the right place. We’d love to have you join us.

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June, 2023: Plot Your Reliable Story Compass

Plot Your Reliable Story Compass is for fiction authors who want to find the true purpose of their story and write a compelling novel every time, so they can avoid getting lost in a plot-hole wilderness.

It doesn’t matter whether you’ve written a manuscript that needs fixing, have started and abandoned dozens of stories, or are planning the next book; by the end of this course, you will have a solid roadmap to keep your plot focused on its true north.

Now is the time to save your manuscript from the slush pile (or your recycle bin) and realize the book you dreamed of.

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© 2023 Margie Lawson, all rights reserved.

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