Margie Lawson

Changing your Writing World

Your First 5 Pages: Reader Glue

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 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!

Teacher

Laura Drake Headshot

Laura Drake, 2014 RITA Winner for Best First Novel, doesn’t take ‘no’ for an answer. After a total of three novels, and 417 queries, in June of 2011, she scored an agent — Nalini Akolekar of Spencerhill and Associates.

She now has twelve published novels. The first, The Sweet Spot, won the 2014 RWA RITA for Best First Book. When she isn’t writing, she speaks to writers groups and teaches online. She is a founder of Women’s Fiction Writers Association as well as the Award-Winning, Writers in the Storm Blog. Laura is a multi-Margie immersion grad. She credits Margie with taking her from ‘good’ to ‘sold’!

Laura realized a lifelong dream of becoming a Texan and is currently working on her accent. She gave up the corporate CFO gig to write full time. She’s a wife, grandmother, and motorcycle chick in the remaining waking hours.

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Writers in the Storm

Schedule

Reviews

Aha! Moment from the EDITS system

5.0 rating
October 9, 2020

The EDITS system is a little bit of magic. Wielding 5 brightly colored highlighters, I marked up my manuscript according to the system and--Voila!--why a scene works, or doesn't, is as plain as blue, green, yellow, pink, and orange. This was my third class with Suzanne and she never disappoints. I highly recommend this class. Expect incisive, kind feedback and quick responses to questions, along with Suzanne's good humor.

Denise

Empowered

5.0 rating
October 8, 2020

I just finished Margie's class, Empowering Characters Emotions taught by Suzanne Purvis and I feel empowered. The class is packed with brillant examples of writing. Suzanne's insight, experience and patience helped me see that my first draft can be transformed into powerful writing.
Thank you Margie and Suzanne!

Lisa Black

Take your prose from wow to POW!

5.0 rating
October 8, 2020

Loved, Loved, LOVED this class! Not only were the lectures all Margie and magnificent but Suzanne Purvis has way of amping up your prose to another level. I'd take it again, just to get Suzanne's feedback. Amazing!

Dee

Fantastic class, fantastic teacher

5.0 rating
October 7, 2020

I used to analyze great writers’ writing, to see how they did it. But with limited success, because I lacked tools. It was like trying to fix a car with a screwdriver, and spotty knowledge of auto mechanics. Then I took Margie Lawson’s Empowering Characters’ Emotions class, taught by Suzanne Purvis, which transformed my writing world. Margie Lawson’s lessons gave me advanced knowledge of the craft, along with a comprehensive tool kit, which helped me boost my writing to a much higher level. Suzanne’s guidance and feedback on my assignments gave me even further insight and helped make my writing even stronger. If you’re serious about your writing career, take this class!

Maggie FitzRoy

A Great intro to EDITs with an amazing teacher

5.0 rating
October 6, 2020

I loved this class with instructor, Suzanne Purvis. The step-by-step approach to the EDITs system, sprinkled with lots of great tips for writing authentic emotion made this one of the best classes yet.

Robin Wiesneth

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