Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Margie Lawson - Superhero!


Today, I'm excited to welcome guest blogger, Harlequin Medical author, Louisa George! It seems like it was just yesterday that I was reading about Louisa's good news on the forums and now her debut has been released! Welcome Louisa!

Hi Lacey, thanks for having me here today!

I’m a self-confessed workshop junkie. I’ve been known to sign up for three online courses in a month, done back-to-back international conferences (with the same speakers!!), attended face-to-face, online, month long, and weekend courses…all in the name of honing my craft (okay, and a little bit of procrastination too). And don’t even ask me about the number of craft books I own….

By far and away the most stand-out workshop I’ve ever attended was by the amazing Margie Lawson, a few years ago, at Romance Writers of New Zealand annual conference. That woman is a dynamo!

You know, some workshops you kind of go…yadda, yadda, okay, whatever?

Not at Margie’s. Not for me. Margie was talking about editing, she has a system called EDITS, she also talked about body language and how to empower emotion. Something clicked…her system can be applied to anyone’s work. There’s a check-list to improve scenes, actual ways of powering up my language and editing my words…making me a better writer. Perhaps it’s the methodical part of my brain (I have a methodical part? Who knew?) rejoicing at the concept of a system, or just Margie’s infectious enthusiasm and countless examples of stellar writing, but after attending her workshop my writing improved immeasurably.

My Top Five Margie Aha Moments: (it was hard to whittle down to five)
1.      Backloading
I love this idea- find the most important word of a sentence and END the sentence with it. This adds strength, leaves the reader with a punch.
2.      Scene-themed words
Using words to describe the setting can echo/highlight the action/emotion in the scene. Eg: Cruel wind, barren land etc- although describing setting is adding layers and punch to the emotions of an infertile woman.
3.      Anaphora - repeating a word at the beginning of three sentences. The sentences are all in a row. Adds power and rhythm.
4.      Cadence and rhythm
Read your paragraphs out loud and listen to the rhythm. Cadence is made up of a mix of short and long sentences. I liken cadence to the music of your words.
5.      Missed opportunities
Always check every sentence, every word and see how you can add power or clarity, tighten, lose clich√©’s, use the senses, increase tension, add fresh writing.

Margie’s website www.margielawson.com has details of all her teaching commitments and her new Writing Academy. And the best part- if you don’t get a chance to attend one of her workshops in person, she sells the lecture packages as downloads too!

Are you a workshop junkie like me? Any particular workshops you could recommend?


One Month To Become A Mum
Some things in life are worth waiting for…

Jessie Price has lost her only chance at motherhood – it’s a constant hurt, until she meets sinfully sexy single dad Dr Luke McKenzie and his gorgeous little girl. Luke’s intoxicating kisses and his daughter’s adoring hugs have Jessie longing for the impossible. But she's a temporary locum, the clock’s ticking – and there’s only a month to make all her wishes come true…

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About Louisa George
I was born and brought up in Yorkshire, England. And yes, many hours were spent on the brooding, bleak Yorkshire Moors dreaming of Heathcliff and other dark, tortured heroes! I read avidly from a young age, and it seemed a natural extension that I would pen my own stories and poems (the early ones are locked away in a drawer where they should stay for eternity!).

Then followed years of studying, nurse training and marriage, two kids and well.... life took over and writing was put aside as a lofty dream.

We emigrated to Auckland, New Zealand in 2002, to feed our passion for travel. It was a place we had never visited and knew no-one - what a thrill! We soon felt very much at home. It is a wonderful place to bring up children.... and to follow your dreams.

Strange things happen here. While doing chores I began to get strings of poetry writing itself in my head, then story ideas would suddenly formulate out of nowhere, characters were telling me their stories and demanding I wrote them! I decided I either needed to visit a doctor or get some therapy! In the end I did neither, but instead I enrolled in an evening class in Creative Writing and have been writing poetry and stories in snatched moments of spare time ever since.

Louisa on the Web:
Website          Blog         Facebook           Twitter               Author Page


Caroline said...

Ohh great blog. I'm off to check ot Margie's blog now! Caroline x p.s massive congrats on your debut.

Louisa George said...

Hi Caroline! Yes- go check her website- you won't be disappointed! I've only covered a teeny, tiny fraction of what she teaches!

Maria Mohan said...

Hi Lacey, Hi Louisa! I've come across Margie in the blogosphere. If I ever considered doing a writing workshop online (when I organise my chaotic life, that is) I'd definitely consider doing one of hers. The woman seems to be spot on.

Laura said...

Hi Louisa,

Thanks for sharing about your workshop. Sounds like you enjoyed Margie's workshop.

Thank you Lacey.

Louisa George said...

Hi Maria! Margie does so many different courses you'll need to choose what suits you- other than her craft ones I also did Defeating Self Defeating Behaviours- which I found extremely helpful in prioritizing my writing time! She also teaches about empowering character's emotions and body language. She's amazing!

Louisa George said...

Hi Laura! When I attended her workshop I was impressed by her energy and enthusiasm- but that also shines through in her lecture packets too.

Rishal said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rishal said...

Hi.. Thanks for sharing about the workshop Louisa. I really the concepts highlighted on My Top Five Margie Aha Moments: (it was hard to whittle down to five). It was marvellous to know about as a active reader and frequently writing essays for my English class.

Nas Dean said...

Hi Loiusa and Lacey!

You two are just across the pond from each other! You should make a date and meet! Lacey is always posting baout workshops, Louisa and you've got the perfect post for her!

Thank you Lacey and Louisa!

Louisa George said...

Hi Rishal! Glad to be of help! Check out Margie's website for other tips!

Louisa George said...

Hi Nas! Hi Lacey! I'd love to meet you 'in person'! I usually go to the RWAus conference in August, but this year I'm treating myself and going to RWA in Anaheim instead. So- perhaps we could meet at the Perth conference next year?

Suzanne Jones said...

Terrific post Lacey and Lousia. Margie's terrific, isn't she?


Louisa George said...

Hi Suzanne! Thanks for popping by! Yes, Margie's a real superhero! Have a happy Easter!

Louisa George said...

Hey, Lacey! As it's Easter I'm thinking I might add a little treat to one commenter's Easter box. I'll give a signed copy of my debut book, One Month to become a Mum to a lucky commenter, picked at random!

Lacey Devlin said...

That's so exciting, Louisa! Thanks so much! I'm madly tweeting :)

Desere said...

Wonderful post thank you for sharing!

Maria Mohan said...

Anything that helps you to improve your writing craft is definitely worth sharing.

© 2013 Lacey Devlin

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