Photo: Allison Brennan

Allison Brennan

“Margie Lawson, a brilliant psychologist, teaches a class on editing that, ahem, truly tested me. She uses color-coding to dissect writing in order to empower your stories. Yes, color-coding (sheesh, does everyone else use color-coding? Am I the only black-and-white writer out there? Black=ink; white=paper.) But I learned from Margie how to fix my prose. When I edit, I usually read outloud–and sometimes, the rhythm is off but I don’t know why. While I don’t get out my highlighter and start marking up my manuscript, I think about her advice on weak words, unnecessary repetition, and finding the emotional key of the scene. I was able to absorb her lectures and use the lessons that fit in with my writing style.”