Wednesday Welcome to Margie Lawson!!!

Good morning all!! Had some technical difficulties, but here we are!!

No eye-candy today, chicas. In anticipation of RWA11 next week, I am being serious and talking about craft today. And no one knows more about craft than my guest today, the fabulous Margie Lawson!!!

Everyone I know who has attended one of Margie’s workshops raves about them, so y’all put July 23 on your calendar – that’s when Margie will be doings workshop for our buddies at the Southern Magic RWA in Birmingham!

So with no further babbling by me, here’s Margie!!!

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New York Times Writing and the EDITS System
By Margie Lawson

A big THANK YOU to Donna for inviting me to be her guest today. I’m pleased to be here.
Today I’m diving into how to write so well, that your strong writing craft and fresh writing boosts you toward the New York Times Bestseller list. Sound good?
New York Times Writing and the EDITS System
By Margie Lawson

If you’ve taken some of my editing courses on-line, you may recall I recommend adding NYT to your margin tracking list for your WIP. Why? Because when your writing is powerful, it gives you a boost toward the NYT Bestseller list.

I developed six writing craft courses (two courses debut this fall). Each course is loaded with Deep Editing techniques that teach writers how to add power to their writing. One of those techniques is the EDITS System.

When creating the EDITS System, my goal was to determine what components of a scene set the strongest emotional hook. What made a book a page-turner.

The EDITS System is the ultimate SHOW DON’T TELL power tool. Writers use the EDITS SYSTEM to analyze scene components. It shows writers what they have on each page. It shows writers where to add power. It shows writers what’s working, what’s not working, and what’s missing.

When writers use this highlighting system, patterns emerge for each scene. They may be surprised to see that in an emotionally-driven scene, they kept the POV character in their head, locked in internalizations. All thoughts, no visceral responses. If the writer slipped in a few visceral responses, they’d take the scene from the POV character’s head, and the reader’s head, to the reader’s heart.

The EDITS System helps writers find a compelling balance of Emotion, Dialogue, Internalizations, Tension/Conflict, Setting, as well as dialogue cues, action, body language, senses, and more . . . that works for their specific scene dynamics.

Given that the story is compelling, the plot is strong, and the characters live in your heart or dreams or nightmares – what writing craft processes could make the difference between a skimmer and a winner?

How can writers present their story in ways that keep the reader so committed to the read, that they’d rather finish your book, than sleep late, eat chocolate, or have sex?

The answers? I teach writers dozens of techniques that contribute to gluing the reader to your pages. They include writing fresh. Adding psychological power. Using the incontrovertible power of the visceral response, in the right places – accelerated heart rate, sweaty palms, dry mouth, tight chest, clenched stomach, weak knees, blood rushing to chest, neck, and face, adrenaline pumping, heart pummeling rib cage . . .

I’m sharing a few examples of NYT writing in this blog. You’ll find one character description, five dialogue cues and three visceral responses.

CHARACTER DESCRIPTION:

Tana French, THE LIKENESS:

I’d been expecting someone so nondescript he was practically invisible, maybe the Cancer Man from The X Files, but this guy had rough, blunt features and wide blue eyes, and the kind of presence that leaves heat streaks on the air where he’s been.

Kudos to Tana French! Don’t you wish you’d written that description?

DIALOGUE CUES:

Here’s one more Deep Editing goodie. I coined the term DIALOGUE CUES to describe the phrases and sentences that inform the reader how the dialogue was delivered. Think: subtext.
Dialogue Cues are not just dialogue tags. Dialogue Cues share how the words were spoken, the psychological message behind the words.

Writers may write short dialogue cues that describe the voice in a basic way:

ν His tone was rough.
ν Her voice jumped an octave.
ν His voice had a sarcastic edge.
ν Her words sounded harsher than she intended.

Writers can go beyond those basics, and add interest and psychological depth to their dialogue cues. They can write dialogue cues in fresh and empowered ways.

Dialogue Cues from Tana French, THE LIKENESS.

1. All the laughter and façade had gone out of his voice, and I knew Frank well enough to know that this was when he was most dangerous.

2. “You’ve always been a funny guy,” I said, hoping the wave of relief wouldn’t leak into my voice.

3. “Hey, fair enough,” Frank said, in an equable voice that made me feel like an idiot.

4. His voice didn’t sharpen, but it had an undertow that made my shoulders go up.

5. Out in the kitchen, Doherty said something shaped like a punchline and everyone laughed; the laugher was perfect, unforced and friendly, and it made me edgy as hell.

NOTE: Examples 3, 4, and 5, have a similar structure. All three share a STIMULUS and RESPONSE in the same sentence. Powerful technique.

That’s one deep editing technique that can take your writing from good to stellar.

Tana French writes fresh. It’s not surprising that her debut novel won a Macavity Award.

VISCERAL RESPONSES:

In my EDITS System, VISCERAL RESPONSES are the only things highlighted in PINK. Not a kick in the shins. Not an expletive. Not watching someone get shot.

Everything can carry emotion but the only component of the scene highlighted in PINK is a visceral response. Dialogue, action, facial expressions, thoughts (internalizations) – all may carry emotion. But it’s the visceral response that carries the biggest emotional punch.

If the writer neglects to have the POV character experience a visceral response after an emotionally-loaded stimulus – the passage is not as powerful, not as credible. Not a page-turner.
Here are three examples from a debut novel by RWA Golden Heart winner, Darynda Jones. FIRST GRAVE ON THE RIGHT was released Feb. 2011. It’s the first novel in a three-book series sold in a pre-empt to Jennifer Enderlin at St. Martin’s.
Darynda Jones is a Margie-grad. I received a note from Darynda thanking me for what she’d learned in my on-line classes. I’m always so proud when Margie-grads receive awards and contracts and hit bestseller lists.
Darynda Jones, FIRST GRAVE ON THE RIGHT, First Example:

Still reeling from the potential identity of Dream Guy, I wrapped myself in the towel and slid open the shower curtain. Sussman poked his head through the door, and my heart took a belly dive into the shallow end of shock, cutting itself on the jagged nerve ending there.

I jumped, then placed a calming hand over my heart, annoyed that I was still so easily surprised. As many times as I’ve seen dead people appear out of nowhere, you’d think I’d be used to it.

Visceral Response: . . . and my heart took a belly dive into the shallow end of shock, cutting itself on the jagged nerve ending there.

Second Example, FIRST GRAVE ON THE RIGHT:

When I opened the door, Zeke Herschel, Rosie’s abusive husband, stood across from me with vengeance in his eyes. I glanced at the nickel-plated pistol clenched in his hand and felt my hearbeat falter, hesitate, then stumble awkwardly forward, tripping on the next beat, then the next, faster and faster until each one tumbled into the other like the drumroll of dominoes crashing together.

Visceral Response: . . . felt my hearbeat falter, hesitate, then stumble awkwardly forward, tripping on the next beat, then the next, faster and faster until each one tumbled into the other . . .

Third Example from FIRST GRAVE ON THE RIGHT:

My breaths stilled in my chest, my lungs seized, suddenly paralyzed, and a prickly sensation cut down my spine. “What . . . are you talking about?”

“PD got called to his house this afternoon. We found his wife in their bedroom, marinating in a pool of her own blood.”

The room dimmed and the world fell out from beneath me.

“One of the worst domestic cases I’ve ever seen.”

I fought gravity and shock and a pathetic panicky kind of denial. But reality swept in and kicked my ass, hands down.

Visceral Responses:

1) My breaths stilled in my chest, my lungs seized, suddenly paralyzed, and a prickly sensation cut down my spine.

2) The room dimmed and the world fell out from beneath me.

The examples in this blog share fresh psychologically empowered writing. It’s cotton-candy-on-your-tongue writing. It makes the reader want more and more and more. It’s the caliber of writing you find in some debut books, and in some New York Times Bestsellers.

In my six writing craft courses, I have over 2300 pages of lectures loaded with strong examples, dig-deep analyses, and teaching points. Please drop by my web site and check out the line-up of courses offered by Lawson Writer’s Academy.

NOW IT’S YOUR TURN!

1. You may post an example of fresh writing from your WIP or fresh writing from one of your favorite authors.

2. You may write something fresh – and post it.

3. You may post a comment — or post ‘Hi Margie!’

You could WIN:
1. A Lecture Packet
2. An Online Course from Lawson Writer’s Academy

I’ll post the names of the winners on the blog tonight – between 10 and 11 PM Mountain Time

FYI:

Visit my cyber Open House for Lawson Writer’s Academy, July 14, 15, and 16.

You’ll have a dozen more chances to win a Lecture Packet or an online class!
Margie Lawson—psychotherapist, writer, and international presenter – developed psychologically-based editing systems and deep editing techniques used by everyone, from new writers to multi-award winning authors. She teaches writers how to add psychological power to create page turners.
Margie taught psychology and communication courses at the undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral levels. Her resume includes adjunct professor, clinical trainer, facilitator of trauma response sessions, and director of a counseling center.
In the last six years Margie presented over sixty full day Master Classes across the U.S., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. Writers who have studied her material credit her innovative editing approaches with taking their writing several levels higher—to publication, awards, and bestseller lists.
To learn about Margie’s 3-day Immersion Master Classes in Colorado, online courses offered by Lawson Writer’s Academy, full day Master Class presentations, Lecture Packets, and newsletter, visit: http://www.MargieLawson.com.

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74 Responses

  1. I have taken 2 online courses and am studying a lecture packet of Margie’s. I have to say, hands down, I’m learning more then I ever did with any other classes or workshops. I can’t wait till the Academy is up and running. I think it will be my go-to site for craft.
    Thanks so much Margie for all that you do!

    • Erin —

      Wowzee! Your words gave me a visceral hit. 🙂

      Thank you, thank you!

      I’m excited about Lawson Writer’s Academy. I added two courses by Sharon Mignerey to the schedule last night. That makes ten courses on Lawson Writer’s Academy schedule between now and the end of the year. Keep checking back, I have more to add.

      FYI: All Lawson Writer’s Academy courses are taught in a CYBER CLASSROOM!

      I hope you drop by for my OPEN HOUSE on July 14, 15, and 16, tour the cyber classroom, and enter the drawings to win Lecture Packets and online courses!

      YIKES! I yammered. 😉

      Thanks for chiming in!

  2. Hey Maggie & Arabella, Great post with helpful info. Had wanted to attend the Birmingham workshop–only a two-hour jaunt from here but thought it was in June and had already committed elsewhere. JOY, oh, JOY. I can attend. LOVE the Birmingham group and their meeting site. Will contact Carla or whomever to sign up. See you there!! Rita Bay

  3. Great info- loved it. Thanks for coming by!

  4. Just completed your, Writing Body Language and Dialogue Cues Like a Psychologist, course. I will definitely be taking more courses! Thank you, Margie! Love “Margie-ifying” my writing! (A word coined by Joanne Sher.)

    • Hey Rita Garcia!

      Ah – Give Joanne Sher a cyber hug for me.

      After taking Writing Body Language and Dialogue Cues Like a Psychologist, I bet you write fresh facial expressions.

      When you have a couple of free minutes, check out the line-up of courses offered by Lawson Writer’s Academy. The LWA button is at the top of my home page on my website. I look forward to seeing you online again.

      Thanks for stopping by Southern Sizzle Romance!

  5. Hey Margie,

    Love the allusion in Tana French’s character description example. Instant image. Ka-Pow!

    • Hey Sherry!

      Good for you! You caught the rhetorical device, allusion, Tana French used in her description — the Cancer Man from The X Files.

      My Immersion-grads are so smart. And talented.

      I can’t wait until your short story book comes out! Four more weeks until — STORYTELLER debuts!

  6. Hi Margie!
    What fabulous advice and techniques in the blog! I loved your “Writing Body Language…” course, as well as the Master Class you gave to my chapter last month. I’ve been applying all that I’ve learned to my current wips, as well as those I’m editting. I can’t wait to take another class!

    • Hey Kara —

      Great to see you here!

      Good for you for applying my deep editing techniques. I bet you’re making your writing so much stronger.

      Check out the new classes offered by Lawson Writer’s Academy. Drop by for the Open House — and you might be a winner!

    • Hey Kara —

      Loved your post! Sounds like you’re addicted to deep editing. It’s a positive addiction.

      I look forward to stretching your brain again and again and again.

      Another rhetorical device: Polysyndeton — again and again and again. 😉

    • Kara – –

      My third time to reply to you. Not sure why my replies are disappearing. Not a chatty reply!

      It sounds like you have a positive addiction to deep editing. 🙂

      I look forward to stretching your brain again and again and again!

    • Hey Kara —

      This is my FOURTH TIME to REPLY to you. They aren’t sticking.

      I left the site and came back — maybe that’s the secret blog knock.

      I’m glad you loved my Writing Body Language course. Me too! Seriously. I love teaching writers how to psychologically empower their writing.

      Thanks for sharing your smiles!

    • Kara —

      Yay! You’re addicted to Deep Editing! It’s a positive addiction. :-))

      I look forward to stretching your brain again and again and again!

  7. Waving to Margie! Thanks, Arabella, for offering a Margie Lawson brain booster.

    It never fails. My “write fresh” brain cells power up when I read a Margie post or revisit a lecture packet. Don’t get me started on the AWESOME Immersion Master Classes. I’ve been through levels 1 and 2 and anxiously await intro of a level 3.

    I’m going to share Margie-ized examples for a visceral response and a dialog cue from my WIP. I don’t have the “before” versions. Why hang on to BLECH after it’s been powered up with Margie’s help? Margie, it’s okay to use them as a teaching point if you spot something I could do to improve these. 😉

    VISCERAL W/ INTERNALIZATION
    A cramp ripped from behind Molly’s breastbone, landed in her stomach and abdomen. She felt hollow. Disconnected.
    Then, it hit her. Swish. Thump. Click. Like a door shutting, latching, locking. Aunt Caitlyn was gone. The loving, the silliness, the happiest memories from her childhood were gone. The only reason she looked back and smiled—gone.
    Gone, leaving Molly alone with the memories.

    VISCERAL W/ DIALOG CUE

    Anger ignited, raced through her veins, burned her cheeks. She uttered short, staccato words that hissed and sizzled and spit like water hitting hot oil.

    Margie Magic comes with a toolbox of rhetorical devices that are just SO dang fun. I now play with them instead of my food.

    Thanks, Southern Sizzle Romance, Arabella and Margie.

    • Hey Gloria!

      You know me soooo well. You knew I usually have a deep editing tweak or two.

      Thank you for giving me permission to deep edit your examples on the blog.

      You know I love your writing. And – I have some suggestions.

      GLORIA’S VERSION:

      VISCERAL W/ INTERNALIZATION
      A cramp ripped from behind Molly’s breastbone, landed in her stomach and abdomen. She felt hollow. Disconnected.
      Then, it hit her. Swish. Thump. Click. Like a door shutting, latching, locking. Aunt Caitlyn was gone. The loving, the silliness, the happiest memories from her childhood were gone. The only reason she looked back and smiled—gone.
      Gone, leaving Molly alone with the memories.

      MARGIE’S DEEP EDITED VERSION:

      VISCERAL W/ INTERNALIZATION
      A cramp ripped from behind Molly’s breastbone AND landed in her stomach. She felt hollow. Disconnected.

      Then, REALITY hit like a door shutting, latching, locking. Aunt Caitlyn was gone. The loving, the silliness, the happiest memories from her childhood were gone. The only reason MOLLY EVER SMILED—gone.
      Gone, leaving Molly alone with the memories.

      TEACHING POINTS — FROM ABOVE:

      I SIMPLIFIED SENTENCE ONE. SORRY. TOO MUCH.

      NOW — THE FIRST WORD IN THAT PARAGRAPH DRIVES YOU THROUGH THOSE THREE SENTENCES – -TO THE LAST WORD.

      I CHANGED ‘it’ TO ‘reality.’ I KNOW – – ‘reality hit’ IS OVERUSED. BUT — IT WORKS.

      BEFORE – ‘it’ REFERENCED THE CRAMP IN HER STOMACH.

      NOT GOOD!

      I NIXED YOUR ONOMATOPOEIA: Swish. Thump. Click. IT WAS FRESH AND FUN — AND DISTRACTING. BYE BYE. IT INTERFERED WITH THE MESSAGE.

      LOVED HOW YOU AMPLIFIED THIS: Then, REALITY hit like a door shutting, latching, locking.

      I TIGHTENED: The only reason she looked back and smiled — AND CHANGED IT TO: The only reason Molly ever smiled . . . BECAUSE THE look back PART DIDN’T WORK FOR ME.

      GLORIA — STRONG WRITING! IF MY TWEAKS DON’T WORK FOR YOU — NO WORRIES. 😉

      I LIKED YOUR VISCERAL WITH DIALOGUE CUE. YOU COULD TRY IT WITH TWO QUALIFIERS IN EACH LIST. PLAY WITH IT. SEE WHAT WORKS BEST.

      THANKS FOR SHARING YOUR WORK!

    • Gloria — I just wrote a LONG reply here — deep edited your first example – -and when I clicked on POST COMMENT – it disappeared. I’m guessing it was too long.

      Sheesh! Here’s my DEEP EDITED VERSION:

      A cramp ripped from behind Molly’s breastbone AND landed in her stomach. She felt hollow. Disconnected.
      Then, REALITY hit. Like a door shutting, latching, locking. Aunt Caitlyn was gone. The loving, the silliness, the happiest memories from her childhood were gone. The only reason MOLLY EVER SMILED—gone.
      Gone, leaving Molly alone with the memories.

      GLORIA — FIRST SENTENCE — TOO MUCH. I SIMPLIFIED.

      I NIXED ‘it’ AND ADDED REALITY — BECAUSE ‘it’ REFERENCED THE CRAMP.
      I KNOW — REALITY HIT = CLICHED. BUT IT WORKS BETTER. 🙂

      I HAD TO ADD MOLLY — ‘she’ WAS A MISPLACED ANTECEDENT TOO.

      AND — ‘look back’ DIDN’T WORK FOR ME – -SO I CHANGED IT.

      THANKS FOR GIVING ME PERMISSION TO DEEP EDIT YOUR EXAMPLE!

  8. Lightbulb moment? Yep…mine arrived on day while learning from the phenomenal Margie. Eyes wide open!!!

    Hugs,

    Cindy

    • Hello Cindy!

      Woohoo! Thank you.

      Keep those lightbulbs flashing!

      I hope you drop by my Open House for Lawson Writer’s Academy — July 14, 15, and 16. Tour the cyber classroom — and enter drawings to win online courses!

  9. Just read this over for the third time and it woke up every neuron in my brain! Thanks so much for this, you do such wonderful things for writers, I hope it all comes back to you in good happenings!

    • Carol —

      Yay! You’re neurons are partying!

      Thank you for your good wishes. I’m having fun building Lawson Writer’s Academy. Drop by for the cyber Open House — and check out all the courses and faculty. Those are all good things!

  10. Thanks, Margie, for more of your write-wisdom.

    I just finished your 2-week on-line Body Language class, and I’m having fun putting your ideas to work in my WIP.

    • Hey Fran!

      Great to see you here at Southern Sizzle Romance!

      Thanks for letting me know you’re applying what you learned. Excellent!

      I look forward to playing in your words in another class. 🙂

  11. Hi, Margie,
    Wonderful and informative info!
    Linda Cacaci
    LinCaca3@aol.com

  12. Highly recommend Margie’s classes–this from someone who got five novel contracts the year she took Margie’s Master Immersion class!! Always nice to hear what you have to say, Margie. 🙂

    babs

    • Hey Babs!

      Great to see a third Immersion Master Class grad here today!

      I’m so proud of you for getting FIVE CONTRACTS the year you took my Immersion class. YES! YES! YES!

      Good things happen to stellar writers.

      I’m glad good things are happening for you!

  13. I learned so much in Empowering Character Emotions, that I encouraged a client (who I edit for) to take it, too. The course has improved his writing in an amazing way. Thank you so much! I’m hoping to tackle Deep Editing soon.

    ~Debbie

    • Debbie —

      Awesome! I love knowing my deep editing systems and techniques make a big difference. YAY!

      Check out the other classes offered by Lawson Writer’s Academy too!

      Thank you for chiming in. 😉

    • Hey Debbie —

      Awesome! I love knowing what a difference my deep editing techniques and systems make. Very cool!

      Hope you can drop by my cyber OPEN HOUSE. You might be a WINNER!

  14. Hi, Margie,
    This is great guidance, and a huge help to me where I am right now. I look forward to taking some of your classes.
    Carol-Faye

    • HELLO EVERYONE!

      I’VE TYPED SEVERAL REPLIES — THAT DISAPPEAR WHEN I HIT POST COMMENT.

      JUST WANTED YOU ALL TO KNOW I’M TRYING TO RESPOND.

      I’LL KEEP TRYING. :-))

      Hello Carol-Faye —

      Glad you liked what you read in the blog. Hope to see you online — or in person sometime!

      Thanks for chiming in.

    • Hello Carol-Faye —

      So you’re new to my deep editing material.

      I recommend that you start with my first deep editing course — Empowering Characters’ Emotions. I’m not teaching it again until next year — BUT — Lecture Packets are available for all my courses through Paypal from my web site.

      Thank you for chiming in!

  15. Hi Margie!

    It’s Haley. I can’t wait till you get your cyber classroom running. I look forward to learning more and more and more from you.

    Here is my try at fresh writing – dialogue cue. I’m still reworking my lying scene. Thank you so much for your guidance and your time deep editing my work.

    Her eyes locked with Mr. Harris’. She had to force the words out of her tight throat. Being around him was like a severe allergy. “I’m looking forward to it,” her voice grating.

    • Hey Haley!

      The cyber classroom is running! I taught one course in the cyber classroom in March, but had committed to teaching my May and June courses for other groups.

      From now on – all the online courses I teach will be in my uber-cool cyber classroom through Lawson Writer’s Academy. YAY!

      Thanks for sharing your dialogue cue. It works well. The only suggestion speaks to the last three words. I’d nix those three words — and end the sentence after the dialogue. Then — I’d write a separate sentence with a fresh dialogue cue.

      AND — You could nix the word — FORCE. IF YOU TWEAKED IT – -YOU COULD USE THE WORD ‘STRAIN.’

      HALEY’S VERSION:

      She had to force the words out of her tight throat. Being around him was like a severe allergy.

      AND — THIS MAY BE STRONGER – OR NOT. 🙂

      Her throat was so tight, she had to STRAIN to get the words out. Being around him was like HAVING a severe allergy.

      HALEY — Thank you for sharing your work!

      • Thanks Margie! I like strain much better. Why couldn’t I think of that? 🙂

        You’ll definitely see me at your open house. The Lawson Writer’s Academy. So exciting!

        Back to editing my manuscript. I’m determined to make is as tight and powerful as possible. You’ve got me going in the right direction.

  16. Hi Margie,
    I enjoyed your Body Language Class. Thought I’d try posting an example of writing from my WIP:

    In a world where exceptional good looks barely nicked a second glance, his beauty filleted a woman of self confidence. Made her conscious of her imperfections, real or imagined. Made her resentful, petulant, and viciously insecure.

  17. Hi. Margie! After attending one of your sessions at RWA Nationals a couple years ago, I came away with every intention of signing up for a class. Babies and moves keep getting in the way. 😦 I think this means I need to suck it up and work around life to make it happen!

    Thanks for a great post today!

    Jamie

    • Hello Jamie —

      You sound DETERMINED! I bet you’ll be successful.

      One of the non-craft courses I teach — is Defeat Self-Defeating Behaviors. One component is taking charge of your time and your life. Lots of mom-writers benefit from DSDB.

      Thanks for posting. I hope to see you online. 🙂

  18. Margie,
    I met you at the Sacramento Valley Rose chapter retreat in Moneterey. Your workshop was awesome. I signed up for your next online class and then my laptop died. Thank goodness I was able to download the lectures. I know I will refer back to them again and again.

    I invested in a new laptop and am looking forward to applying all this to my manuscript. I’m sure I’ll see you in another course.

    Kristina Mathews

    • Hey Kristina —

      Great to see you again. I had the best time at the Monterey Retreat. Fabulous group of talented writers. And — as fun as they were committed to learning.

      Glad you have a new laptop. I look forward to seeing you in another class.

      Hope to see you at the Open House too!

  19. Hi Margie – I’ve done all of your courses, I think, and I’ll continue to them as refresher courses. They are fantastic! It was great to meet you when you came to New Zealand RWNZ conference, and I hope to catch up with you next year at RWA 2012.

    • Hey Bron!

      I’m so glad I got to meet you in New Zealand — and I hope it works out for you to come to an Immersion class after RW America in 2012.

      You have taken all the courses I’ve taught . . . so far.

      Taa Daa — I’m teaching two new advanced courses in the fall! Check out the course schedule for Lawson Writer’s Academy. The tab is at the top of my home page.

      Congratulations on your writing success! I’m so proud of you – and INVITATION TO RUIN. Kensington was smart to publish you!

  20. Hi Margie, I loved your visit, and I enjoyed all your information. I’m going to look into taking some of your classes, if I can swing it. Thanks again for coming.

  21. Hi Margie!!

    With as much as you’ve taught me, the physical act of doing the EDITS system never fails to spark some revelation. Years later, I still mark every line. Today, I stumbled on the perfect opportunity to power up green into a scene-themed, emotion-themed character description. Hopefully, NYT 🙂

    I’m so glad you’re spreading your brand of awesome across the deep South. They’ll wonder how they ever got along without you in their writing corner.

    AND, you’ve given me the perfect sumpthin-sumpthin to tweet about today!

    Take care,
    Laura

    • Hey Laura —

      Yes! The EDITS System is still showing you what works and what’s missing. Excellent!

      I hope I get to meet you someday. Going to RWA National?

  22. Thanks again, Margie. I learn something every time I read an article you’ve written. And you know I love your classes, especially the Immersion Master Class. That was an awesome experience. I’m still learning.

    Barb

  23. Hi Margie!

    Fantastic teaching, as always. 🙂 I haven’t yet done your Body Language course but I’m seriously impressed by the examples you’ve given here. Aren’t there some excellent writers out in Writer-Land? (And a whale of a lot of them are Margie grads!! LOL)

    Hug,
    Gracie

    • HELLO EVERYONE —

      IT’S MARGIE!

      I’ve been trying to post to the blog — and it keeps rejecting me — or blocking me – -or someone put a hex on me.

      I hope this post sticks!

    • Gracie —

      You’re so smart to focus on the brilliant writing in the examples. Knowing you, I bet you study those examples. I do.

      Remember — I have over 25 Deep Editing Analyses on my web site. Each Deep Editing Analysis is loaded with strong writing and my analyses.

      I hope I get to see you in the next year or two — in America — or New Zealand!

  24. Wonderful information, Margie. Can’t wait to take the 2 new courses.

    have fun in New York – I can’t come this year but I’ll be thinking of all of you having so much fun.

    • Hello Louise!

      You checked out my new courses on the Lawson Writer’s Academy page. Yay! I’ll see you in October and November. :-)0

      Too bad you can’t do RWA’s conference in NYC this year. Fun — is a given. 🙂

  25. HELLO EVERYONE!

    My responses are being blocked — or rejected — or someone put a hex on me.

    I’ve been trying to post – -and it’s not working.

  26. Hey Margie!

    Wow, thank you for using examples from First Grave. I’m so honored!!! As you can probably tell, your workshops helped so much. They are amazing and exquisitely eye-opening. Like a lightbulb bursting bright in your head.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!
    ~D~

    • Darynda —

      Thank you for all the fresh writing in FIRST GRAVE ON THE RIGHT. I’m impressed with your writing, your story, your characters. The whole package is stellar.

      Those deep editing lightbulbs must be flashing: Write Fresh! Write Fresh!

      I look forward to seeing you when I present in Albuquerque in November!

  27. HELLO EVERYONE!

    I’VE BEEN BLOCKED FROM POSTING. OR REJECTED.

    OR SOMEONE PUT A HEX ON ME!

    I HOPE THIS POST GETS THROUGH!

  28. HELLO EVERYONE —

    I’VE BEEN TRYING TO POST — BUT I’VE BEEN BLOCKED.

    OR — SOMEONE PUT A HEX ON ME.

    I HOPE THIS ONE GETS THROUGH!

  29. Hi Margie,

    I just got a great score from a published author judge on my very first contest entry. I got the lecture packet for Empowering Characters’ Emotions to help polish that scene, and I know it made a huge difference (even though I only got through half the lectures). Having taken both Deep Editing and Writing Body Language and Dialogue Cues since then, I have loads more confidence about entering more contests.

    Here’s a snippet from my first contest entry:

    Underneath Connor’s anger struggled a desire to put Heather back together, a desperate wish to stop her crumbling to pieces and make her whole again. But he didn’t know how and when her fingers touched his wrist, he flinched.

    Heather recoiled as if he’d spat in her face. “This is why I didn’t tell you. I knew you wouldn’t understand. You’ve had everything handed to you on a silver platter.” Her sobbing rose to a shriek. “I never want to see you again.” She whirled away from him, her hair flying out like a curtain, and tottered toward the ladies’ room in her heels.

    ~Elizabeth C
    Aspiring contest slut

    • Hello Elizabeth —

      I’m impressed that you scored so well — on your first contest! Good for you!

      Good for you for being a three-time Margie-grad too.

      I liked your snippet! The only thing I’d change — is the silver platter piece. I’d avoid the cliche.

      Thanks for posting your example. Good writing!

  30. Margie, loved your EDITS course, here’s my contribution, with a couple of paras for setting the scene and using your Dialogue Cue in para three…

    Devlin was totally unused to being disrespected. Liam stepped away to allowed the horse room to move. He pranced back a step or two before lowered his head and charged, picking Donnal up and, using the momentum he stored in those massive hindquarters, hurled him bodily over the edge of the riverbank into the swift flowing water.
    Donnal flailed around before coming up struggling to stand hip deep in the swift current, swearing like a trooper and, with his one good arm, shaking his gun useless now with its powder wet.
    “He’s lucky he landed in the water. Any of you others want to try?” The warning timbre in Liam’s voice went unheeded by young Stinky who swaggered up to show the old men how it was done. He held out one hand to allow Devlin to sniff it while he murmured saccharine sweet nothings in his ear. Devlin let him come close enough to pick up his reins.

    • Hello Zoe!

      Thanks for sharing your excerpt. Love your dialogue cue. Smooth writing. Strong too!

      I look forward to seeing you, and your writing, in another course!

  31. Dang,Margie!!! I feel like I did an MFA writing program right here on the blog!!! Cannot thank you enough. Are you aware of your sheer awesomeness?

  32. Arabella —

    Ha! Wait until the full day Master Class. I’ll put your brain on Edgar Allan Poe’s rack – and crank and crank and crank. 🙂

    THANK YOU AGAIN FOR INVITING ME TO BE YOUR GUEST!

    I HAD FUN WITH EVERYONE HERE TODAY!

    THANKS TO ALL FOR BEING HERE!

    I’LL ANNOUNCE THE WINNERS IN THE NEXT POST!

  33. WOW!

    I LOVED THE ENERGY ON THIS BLOG TODAY! THANK YOU FOR TAKING THE TIME TO POST!

    THE WINNERS!

    LINDA CACACI — Won a LECTURE PACKET!

    ZOE Y — Won an ONLINE COURSE from LAWSON WRITER’S ACADEMY!

    Congratulations to LINDA and ZOE!

    Linda and Zoe — Please email me to coordinate your prizes.
    margie @ margielawson . com

  34. HELLO EVERYONE!

    I’m presenting Empowering Characters’ Emotions in a full day Master Class for Southern Magic RWA in Birmingham on July 23rd. Hope to see some of you there!

    If you don’t live near Birmingham, contact me if you’d like information about my Master Classes for your group.

    Hope to see you all at the OPEN HOUSE for LAWSON WRITER’S ACADEMY —
    July 14, 15, and 16. Lots of chances to WIN lecture packets and online classes!

    A big THANK YOU to Southern Sizzle Romance for hosting me today!

    All smiles…………Margie

  35. Hi Margie,

    You are an amazing instructor. I have danced my way through your online classes and personalized critiques. I love your classes. They provide excellent brain teasers and brain stretchers. Through it all I have learned some pretty tricky steps to add to my routine. Thank you.

    I took this invitation to once again receive a word from you re my post.

  36. Margie, this is from my WIP.
    When he opened the box, he found the paints and brushes pressed together. A wrangle of mess barring his way to the monocle. The monocle, his secret treasure, a tool for his art, a tool from his dead uncle. Touching it, clutching it, the smooth round object stabbed at his heart. He couldn’t breathe for a moment like the air had been sucked out of the atmosphere, like he had been struck by a sudden vacuum. His lips turned up. Turned up into a smile. A rare contentment reserved for what he loved. What he wanted. What he needed.

  37. I am working thru Maggie’s lecture on Defeating Self Defeating Behaviors. I took the course awhile ago but needed a big reminder.

    a big part of that course is having a change coach – someone working thru the material at the same time who is interested in making changes in their life so that they can get published.

    is anyone looking to make these changes?

    if so, perhaps we can find a way to hook up and work together.

    cheers
    louise

    • Hi Louise, I’d be happy to go through the lecture packet with you. I need a refresher too and am doing the next version of DSDB in July. Find me on facebook and we can message from there. Zoe Younger Brisbane, Queensland (Australia)

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