Margie Lawson

Changing your Writing World

Tag: Research

Emotional Connections: Character Names and Psychologically Empowered Backstory - a Two Week Intensive

Kendrick Lamar said, "If I'm gonna tell a real story, I'm gonna start with a name."  Twenty-first century audiences demand deep, emotional connections with characters. Authors have learned how to use writing techniques to  foster these emotional connections, but authors who randomly name their characters are missing a prime opportunity to create more emotion, more […]

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Flying Write

Want to make your writing soar? Do you want to add airplanes and aviation to your writing, but can’t tell the difference between a Cessna 172 and a Boeing 747? Do you want to learn about classic aviation stories and their plots, characters, and settings? Come join historian and airplane geek Hugh Gordon as he […]

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Clans of Scotland

Want to write a novel set in Scotland? A New York Times bestseller?? How about a series? Scottish stories are wildly popular after the successful novels of Diana Gabaldon: Outlander, Fly in Amber, Voyager, followed by six more huge books which tell the adventures and trials of Jamie Fraser and Claire.   Gabaldon placed her […]

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Celtic Mythology

The ancient Celts believed that all things, animate and inanimate, possessed a spirit. Mountains, hills and trees were manly; rivers and meadows were feminine. The Celts knew that spirits watched their every move. So any action was carefully considered because of the effect it might have on their destiny. Ogham, the first Gaelic alphabet, was […]

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Magic & Witchcraft

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. The word ‘magic’ comes from Old Persian, and we are familiar with the Latin spelling magus or French mage. In this course you'll find out […]

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Warlords and Holy Men AD 400-1000

Scotland and Ireland loved their heroes in the Early Middle Ages. On many a winter night people sat round a central fire listening to stories from myths and legends--the mini series of the era. They battled their enemies and dodged wicked spells. They wooed and won fair maids. The greatest Gaelic epic celebrates a cattle […]

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The Art and Science of Historical Research

When writing historical fiction, the research aspect can be overwhelming. Do you dread it— find it dry and boring— or do you love it--but get caught up in the unique “finds” and neglect the more obvious points? Most likely it is a combination of both. I see historical research as both science (systemized knowledge) and […]

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Connecting the Dots: Conspiracy Theories in History and Writing

Today it seems like conspiracies and conspiracy theories are everywhere. Do you want to add shadowy organizations and secret plots to your writing? Why not look at real conspiracies from history to feed your own dark designs? Come join historian Hugh Gordon as he shows which conspiracies can be proven, and others that remain in […]

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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 […]

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The Psychology of Black Characters - modern version

Toward the end of the twentieth century, the modern Civil Rights era was launched and as Sam Cooke sang, “A Change Gone Come.” The change came and the psychology of Black people in the United States underwent a sea change. As we will see in this class in the first week, there were several reasons […]

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The Psychology of Black Characters - historical version

At Point Comfort in 1619, more than a dozen enslaved Black men were bought to the shores of Virginia and the history of Blackness in the United States was established. There are three distinct time periods to think about and I will address them, depending upon what you are writing about: 1619-1800, 1800-1865, 1865-1950. 1619-1800—Enslavement […]

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Law and Order Regency Style

As a historical fiction author, I have researched for years on legal issues my characters have encountered in their stories. In talking to readers of historical fiction, particularly regency romance, I’ve learned that many people have questions about some of the issues addressed in novels, as well as misunderstandings about inheritance and marriage laws (yes, […]

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Blood, Sweat, and Tears

Blood, Sweat, and Tears – Writing Realistic Scenes from the Front Seat of an Ambulance Terms, slang, assorted bullshit. EMS titles, education, and scope of practice (around the world). What’s in an Ambulance? Tools of the trade. Police, firemen, and EMS mingle + who transports the body? What does a real ___________ look like? Car […]

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