Uber-Cool, Unboring Writing! by Margie Lawson

Welcome to Techie Tuesday here at More Cowbell! This is the day each week when I unleash my inner geek and we talk about some groovy piece of technology or a technical point of writing.

If you’re following the A-Z Challenge, today is the letter “U” and I  have an amazing present for you: the unbeatable, unparalleled “Goddess of Writing,” Margie Lawson!

She’s giving away a class to one lucky commenter, so please be sure to show her plenty of love. 🙂


A BIG THANK YOU to Always Uber-Cool, Never Boring Jenny Hansen for inviting me to be here today!

And THANKS for giving me the letter U!

Uber-Cool, Unboring Writing!
By Margie Lawson

What is uber-cool, unboring writing?

It’s writing that is fresh!
It’s writing that makes you gasp or grin.
It’s writing that makes your turn pages faster.
It’s writing that can boost you toward an agent, a contract, or a bestseller list.

In my online courses, full day workshops, and Immersion Master Classes, I teach writers to write fresh.

Writers know to avoid overused phrases and kill their clichés, but they don’t always grasp the importance of giving the reader something with a new twist. Lots of somethings the reader hasn’t read in that way before.

Sometimes writers ask me, “Can you have too much fresh writing?”

Yes. You can have too much of any component of writing. You want to avoid using too many of the same rhetorical devices, or too much fresh writing, in back-to-back-to-back paragraphs. Readers need some get-the-job-done-well writing too.

If the writing is empowered, and smooth, you’d be surprised how many different rhetorical devices and fresh writing can make page after page NYT strong.

NOTE: Every writing craft technique I teach is trumped by flow. If making a sentence or paragraph fresh impedes the flow, I recommend nixing the fresh writing and working with the original.

All the examples in this blog are from Margie grads. They know my deep editing techniques and use them well. Three are 2012 RITA Nominees: Lara Chapman, Elizabeth Essex, and Darynda Jones.

The first several examples are from Immersion Master Class graduates. Enjoy!

Suzanne Turner:

Suzanne Turner attended two 4-day Immersion master classes in Colorado. She finaled in contests, and has earned three perfect scores with her historical, The Lost Chord:

In London, Lord Cumberland never paid her more than a courtly greeting. Yet here he was, prowling after her. Tall, lithe, with hair so dark one had to describe it as raven and eyes so ice blue one would go mad trying to melt them. But the eyes were peripatetic. They roamed without ever focusing on one thing, as if no one thing could ever satisfy them.

“It’s a night for lovers,” he said in a voice meant to slip in and out of silk sheets.

“Warm,” Alice said in a voice meant to teach mathematics.

Deep Editing Analysis:  Description deepens characterFresh writing.  Parallelism. Two dialogue cues convey subtext for both characters. Compelling cadence. . Humor!

Susannah Curtis:

Susannah Curtis is also a two time Immersion class graduate. She earned two perfect scores and won the Ignite the Flame contest with her Young Adult Fantasy, Dragon’s Fall: 

Example 1:    He was a thin, hollowed-out man. A stick passed along his spine would clunk like dried wood.

 Example 2:  Wray stood still, pretending not to notice Hellard stalling, the way a hound does not notice a raised-tail skunk.

Deep Editing Analysis:  

#1.    Fresh description that resonates with readers like the clunk of that dried wood. Onomatopoeia. Strong imagery. Perfect cadence.

#2.    Wray, body language, and pretending not to notice, deepens his character. Fun simile. Character-themed, Hellard is like a skunk with a raised tail. Parallelism. Fresh writing!

Laura Drake:

Golden Pen and Fab Five award-winner, Laura Drake, is an Immersion grad who received THE CALL in January. She landed a three-book deal with Grand Central. Her first book, The Sweet Spot, set in the world of professional bull riding, will be released in July. 

Example 1:     She had to smile at Junior’s massive backside in overalls, waddling beside her tall, lean father. Their personalities were the flip sides of a coin as well; her dad’s Atticus Finch to Junior’s Vinnie Gambini.

Example 2:    Scanning the boxes of cereal, her gaze landed on Benje’s favorite brand. Her fingers tightened on the cart handle. How dare it still be here when he wasn’t? She’d gotten pretty good at steeling herself against these little jabs to the heart, small wounds that drained her if she didn’t avoid minefields like the toy section, or the kid’s clothing department. But how do you shield your heart from Count Chocula?

Example 3:   “You’re kidding, right? Those women would eat their own young, then gossip while they picked their teeth with the bones.” Bella fingered the rings on her necklace as if they were prayer beads.

Deep Editing Analysis: 

#1    Fresh Writing, Rhetorical Device, Eponym, Strong imagery, Strong cadence. Backloaded.

#2    Power words in this paragraph: dare, steeling, jabs, heart, wounds, drained, avoid, minefields, toy section, kid’s clothing, shield, heart, Count Chocula. Strong cadence. Backloaded. That paragraph is only 72 words and it grabs your heart.

#3    Cliché play. Strong imagery. Compelling cadence. Backloaded.

Examples from RITA Finalists!

Elizabeth Essex:

Historical author, Elizabeth Essex, is an Immersion class grad. She has four books published with Kensington. This example is from The Danger of Desire, nominated for Best Historical Romance.

The Danger of Desire is set in London, November, 1799.  Here’s a three-paragraph excerpt from page 3.

Meggs flexed her hands on the handle of her basket and wiped her fingers dry on the inside of her apron, swallowing the jitters that crawled up her throat. It would work. It always worked. Drunks were easy. Easy as taking gin from a dead whore. She gauged the distance and picked up speed, keeping even pace with the rising hammer of her heart, aiming to reach them just as they left the watery circle of lamplight. She’d be in the dark, and they’d never see her until it was too late.

Three yards to go. Two. Eyes and ears stretched open, blind to everything but the waistcoat pocket and deaf from the roaring of her blood, she put her head down and plowed right into them.

And it was dead easy. A turn of her body, a firm shove with the prickly reed basket, and the culls were separated and falling. And there she was, patient as the saints, waiting for the precise moment when his purse eased into her waiting hand, like a ripe plum plucked from a tree.

Deep Editing Analysis: Loaded with fresh writing!

  • Compelling Cadence: Every sentence propels the reader into the next sentence.
  • Rhetorical Devices: Three similes, parallelism, and anadiplosis
  • Power Words:  jitters,, drunks, dead whore, dark, blind, deaf, blood, dead
  • Five Visceral Responses:  Sweaty fingers, jitters in throat, heart hammering, vision narrowed, hearing roaring of her blood
  • Braided Scene Components:  Action, internalizations, body language, setting, visceral responses . . . Lots of fresh power on the page!

Lara Chapman

Lara Chapman, is an Immersion class grad. Her debut novel, Flawless, a Cyrano love story with a modern-day twist, is nominated for Best Young Adult Romance.

His hand totally covers my own, sending a jolt of awareness through my body and landing squarely in my stomach like a basketball. Our school has like a thousand students and you can assume that half of those students are boys. But not once have I ever been so taken with a guy. Ever. It nearly kills me to break the contact with him when he pulls his hand away. I do my best to look unaffected as the jackhammer works overtime in my chest.

“Where are you from, Rock?” Kristen leans forward, effortlessly executing a move she calls the “lean and look”. You lean in, he looks at your chest. I’m silently satisfied when he doesn’t do his part, but keeps his eyes on her face.


I’m frozen in place, watching Kristen keep his attention while I sit speechless which, in and of itself, is something of a rarity. For once, I wish I’d listened to Kristen when she was telling me about the romance magazine article on how to get a guy’s attention.

Speak, damn it, speak!

“A southern boy,” Kristen drawls, leaning even closer so that she – and her boobs – are mere inches from his face.

Deep Editing Analysis: 

  • Expanded Time: Lara expanded time here, because she wanted to spotlight this moment when Sarah and Kristin see Rock. She made the scene trance-like. Surreal.  And credible.
  • She developed a “Yes Set” for the reader. We nodded. We felt the emotions Sarah felt. We wanted to keep reading.
  • Deep Editing Techniques:  Character-themed Visceral Responses, Lots of Body Language

Here’s an example where Sarah gets introduced to the new guy at school (an incredibly hot new guy).

Remember – it’s a Cyrano love story.  Sarah has a nose “. . . the size of a Buick.”

“Rockford Conway. Everyone calls me Rock.”

I instantaneously think how much I’d love to be stuck between Rock and a hard place when he turns to acknowledge me. His gaze stops at the most obvious spot on my face.

Not my killer blue eyes.

Not my plump pouty lips.

Not even my precious little chin.

His eyes lock dead center on my face.

On my nose.

Deep Editing Analysis: The power of the rhetorical device, anaphora.

  • Cliché play, Sentence frags. Lots of white space. Body language. Humor.
  • Anaphora is cadence-driven.  And cadence-driven passages set strong hooks.
  • Language (some interpreted), Touch, Proximity, Alliteration, Simile, Humor

Darynda Jones:

Darynda Jones, landed a three-book deal in a pre-empt with St. Martin’s.  Her Rita nomination for Best First Book is for First Grave on the Right.

Her third release January, 2012, Third Grave Dead Ahead, hit # 26 on the NYT Bestseller list (see below).

Example #1:
Reyes Alexander Farrow— the part- human, part- supermodel son of Satan— materialized behind me, his powerful shoulders glistening as steam rose around him, giving the impression he’d just come from hell. He hadn’t, of course. He’d escaped from hell centuries ago and was currently furious with me for binding his incorporeal body to his physical one. But that knowledge did little to lessen the effect.

Example #2:
I turned as Dad walked in. He’d come up from the bar by way of the inside stairs, which was fi ne, since he owned it and all. His tall, thin frame seemed to sag just a bit. His blond hair looked barely combed, and his bloodshot eyes were lined with a purplish hue. And not a pretty purple either. It was that dark grayish purple that depressed people wear.

Example #3:
Farley’s mouth formed a grim line as he took out a hunting knife that would have made Rambo proud and began cleaning his nails with the tip of the blade. Like Rambo might have had needed a manicure. The move was very effective. My first thought was how much it would hurt when the blade slid into my abdomen, pushing easily past the muscle tissue and through those ovaries with which I had no intention of procreating. Then Farley looked past me and stilled. With the reluctance of a man who forgot to take his Viagra before his weekly visit with his favorite prostitute, he slipped the blade back into its sheath.

Deep Editing Analysis:  Strong writing! 

  • Look how Darynda slipped in slivers of backstory in her description or Reyes, and in her description of dad.  Smart.
  • How many hits of humor did Darynda put in the third example?

BLOG GUESTS:  If you like, please chime in and share a deep editing point or two for Darynda’s excerpts.  Or – just say Hi!

POST A COMMENT AND YOU MAY WIN an online course by Margie Lawson, or Tiffany Lawson Inman, from Lawson Writer’s Academy!

Online Classes offered by Lawson Writer’s Academy in May:

1. Fang It to Me: Writing Vampires, Fantasy, and the How-to’s of World-Building
Instructor: Mario Acevedo

2. The Art of Developing Great Conflict
Instructor: Sharon Mignerey

3. Panning for Gold, Not Silicon: Self-publishing and self-marketing for do-it-yourselfers
Instructor: Lisa Norman

4. 77 Secrets to Writing Young Adult Fiction That Sells
Instructor:  Tiffany Lawson Inman

I’ll post the name of the LUCKY WINNER tonight, 9PM Mountain Time.
Thank you for visiting MORE COWBELL today!

Margie Lawson —psychotherapist, editor, and international presenter—developed innovative editing systems and deep editing techniques used by writers, from newbies to NYT Bestsellers. She teaches writers how to edit for psychological power, how to hook the reader viscerally, how to create a page-turner.

Thousands of writers have learned Margie’s psychologically-based deep editing material. In the last seven years, she presented over sixty full day Master Classes for writers in the U.S., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

For more information on Lawson Writer’s Academy, lecture packets, full day master classes, and the 4-day Immersion Master Class sessions offered in her Colorado mountain-top home, visit:  www.MargieLawson.com. 

About Jenny Hansen

Avid seeker of "more"...More words, more creativity, More Cowbell! An extrovert who's terribly fond of silliness. Founding blogger at Writers In The Storm (http://writersinthestormblog.com). Write on!
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131 Responses to Uber-Cool, Unboring Writing! by Margie Lawson

  1. MarinaSofia says:

    Interesting examples and great analysis – so useful for my own writing – thanks, Jenny for hosting and Margie for guesting!


    • margielaw says:

      Hello Marina —
      Thank you!
      Now you’ve tasted a couple of dishes from my deep editing smorgasbord. 🙂
      Hope to see you online again!


  2. LauraDrake says:

    Squeeee! After having read examples by Margie for years, I giggled to see MINE up there! Thank you Marvelous Margie and Jaunty Jennry!

    Cowbellers should all consider consider joining “Margie’s Army” — her lessons are the single biggest reason I have a book deal. You can take that to the bank.

    I laughed out lous with Laura’s ‘Rock and a hard place!’


    • amyskennedy says:

      Laura — the examples of yours deserve to be up there! And the second one will haunt me.


      • Eden says:

        May I second Amy on that, Laura? What was so weird about it for me (and why it will haunt me especially) was that my husband was talking just this weekend about how he’d loved Count Chocula as a kind… And suddenly I was picturing something horrific happening to my husband and my son. Of losing them both somehow….

        You really pulled me in with that one. Not that this whole post wasn’t filled with awesomeness, but… Wow!


    • Jenny Hansen says:

      Jaunty Jenny?? You have had waaaaay too much coffee this morning, my friend! I got so excited when I saw your examples up there. 🙂


    • margielaw says:

      Laura —
      I’m so THRILLED for you about your three-book deal!
      Your Count Chocula example still grabs me. That’s strong writing.


  3. Kate Arms-Roberts says:

    Margie, Thanks for the fun mix of examples. I love these snippets of your work. I had heard great things about your classes, and I see why.



    • margielaw says:

      Hello Kate —
      Ah – Thanks! I love teaching writers how to write page-turners — and award-winners!


  4. Oooooooh. Sparkly! As a teacher myself, it’s been so long since I’ve been on the other side of the desk. I think I’d love an online course. Why haven’t I considered this before? Duh!


  5. Karen Rought says:

    I’m always so impressed by these little snippets that you post here. They’re all so fantastic, and it makes me want to go back and comb my writing for ways to improve it. (But, then again, that’s the point isn’t it!?)


  6. Sheenah Freitas says:

    Wonderful examples. They were all compelling and seeing the editing analysis really helps me see what I need to work on. Thanks for the post, Margie!


    • margielaw says:

      Hello Sheenah –
      Yay! You like my teaching style. The lectures for my online courses (and Lecture Packets) are loaded with examples and deep editing analyses too. Most of my online courses have over 300 pages of lectures. I used to teach grad school. I always dig deep. 🙂


  7. carolrwood says:

    These examples are fun to read and give me inspiration for my own writing. Thanks for having Margie here, Jenny!


  8. Kristi Rhodes says:

    Ideas to brighten up my writing that are fun to read, easy to understand and filled with examples; a perfect teaching tool.

    Thanks so much for the post.


    • margielaw says:

      Hello Kristi!

      Ah — A perfect teaching tool.

      Thank you for posting your perfect comment. Love the content, the cadence, and the backload. 🙂


  9. Sherry Isaac says:

    All fabulous teaching examples, but Suzanne Turner’s voices? Talk about contrast. WOOT!

    And WOOT for my IMC Sorority Sistah, Susannah Curits. WOOT WOOT WOOT! NYT is one thing, being a Margie Grad example is quite another. You go, girl.


    • Suzanne says:

      Thank you Sherry. Margie is an amazing, amazing teacher. I could take immersion every month for years and years and years.


      • Sherry Isaac says:

        Suzanne, was looking for you on Twitter and FB and google. Where are you hiding?


        • suzanne turner says:

          My twitter handle is suziluvv turner.

          My face book is Suzanne Turner, but I am hiding, so I’ll go look for you. Yippee! A new friend, which really is one of the best things about writing and being a Margie grad and following all of these great writers and discovering blogs. But I blather…


        • Jenny Hansen says:

          I already snuck in and followed you on Twitter when you thanked Margie. Add your photo to Twitter so I can put a face with that cute handle, will ya? 🙂


    • margielaw says:

      Hey Sherry!
      I could turn to any page in Suzanne’s and Susannah’s WIPs and find winning examples!
      I love Suzanne’s back-to-back dialogue cues too. Perfect. Perfect. Perfect.
      And Susannah’s raised-tail skunk line WOWs me!
      So glad you dropped by today.


  10. Deborah Villegas says:

    Hi Margie,
    Great post as always! Always something to learn. I’ve taken my RTDs, put them on note cards and bound them like a flip book. They’re always at my fingertips. Working hard to make you proud.


    • Deborah, that is such a great idea! I’m always trying to find ways to remember the RTDs and I hadn’t thought of that. Thanks for mentioning it!


    • margielaw says:

      Hey DeBORah —
      I’ve missed you!
      Loved reading that you’re becoming a rhetorical device expert. SMART!
      Your writing is already strong. I bet slipping in rhetorical devices and fresh writing will boost you toward a contract!
      Can’t wait to see you at National!


  11. Sharon Clare says:

    Wonderful examples that inspire! They’re all wonderful, and I especially love Laura’s voice–perfect for young adult.

    Margie, I do use your deep-editing package, and I was just offered a contract from Crimson Romance, so yes, it works!


    • margielaw says:


      You landed a contract with Crimson Romance — a new imprint from Adams Media! Kudos to you!

      I read an interview with Jennifer Lawler, and I was impressed. I bet you’ll enjoy working with her. I know she’ll enjoy working with you.

      BLOG GUESTS: Jennifer Lawler is Crimson’s Imprint Manager.

      SHARON — CONGRATULATIONS on launching your writing career!


  12. Brinda Berry says:

    These are all great examples and I enjoyed reading them. The problem is that I want to read the entire books now.


  13. Hi Margie (“Other” Margie waving hi!), I enjoyed the post and just had to say your online courses are terrific, really easy to follow and learn from. I, too, credit your teaching with getting my debut thriller into print. I still have all my colored markers! All best, Margie


    • margielaw says:

      Hugs to Margie Carroll!

      I loved RIPTIDE! You had a lot of fresh visceral and fresh body language. You even had four or five awesome cliche twists. One was something about he’d bet his EZ Pass . . . Loved it!
      Now you know I really read RIPTIDE. :-))


      I just clicked over to your web site to see if your new book was out — and I learned that you’re a RITA FINALIST too!


      I’ll need to read A DARK LOVE soon. I know your writing – -and I know it is strong.
      I’d like to use some of your examples in my next blog — and in my lectures and powerpoints too.

      Let’s plan ahead and get together at National!


  14. These are all great examples and enjoyable reading. The problem is that I want to read the entire books now.


  15. Margie, as usual you rock! I shared this on facebook. Best wishes from another HOD member.
    kathi h


  16. amyskennedy says:

    Every time I read a Margie grad’s example it makes me strive to be a better writer. I took an Empowering Characters’ Emotions online class from Margie… constantly refer back to it, especially if I’m boring myself with my own writing — yikes! — time for Margie!


    • margielaw says:

      Hello Amy!
      Great! I love knowing you use what you learned in Empowering Characters’ Emotions!
      Sounds like you may have missed the deep editing goodies in Deep Editing and Writing Body Language and Dialogue Cues Like a Psychologist. Uber-cool, unboring deep editing goodies!


  17. Fab post and so useful. I love the way you use real examples and show the analysis. It makes understanding the concept easier and everything sort of just pops. Luv it.
    Thanks for another great post and for hosting, Jenny!


  18. pencildancer says:

    Marige is an amazing teacher. I’ve been to her workshop at ACFW and taken her online courses. I highly reommend them to anyone thinking about writing to get published.
    Diana Lesire Brandmeyer


    • margielaw says:

      Hello Diane!
      I’m happy to see you again!
      Someday I’ll surprise you by attending a Mile High meeting. Maybe May 7th!


  19. Jen M says:

    Inspiring examples as always!!! I love Darynda’s humorous play on the blade-as-phallic-symbol that isn’t up to performance tonight. LOL.


  20. Suzanne says:

    Margie is just awesome. She takes your raw talent, makes you feel like you’ve got a wonderful gift, inspires you to grow and become wonderful (always a work in progress), and then she gives you the tools, the confidence, and the guidance. She is Yoda!

    Do take her classes!


  21. Juliana Haygert says:

    I love Margie’s examples … I took one of her classes and it was superb!
    Keep coming back, Margie. Love to read your posts!


  22. Thank you Jenny for bringing us another great post from Margie 🙂 I love practical, real life examples. They make it so much easier to understand a concept.


  23. darynda says:

    What a great post!!! Congrats to all the RITA finalists! I always learn something from your posts, Margie. Thanks so much for sharing your brilliance with us.


  24. Wow! I loved reading all the snippets and then having the analysis of each to follow was so helpful. It really gave me some perspective and things to think about in my own writing. A big thank you to Jenny for hosting Margie!
    I’m all about learning ways to improve my writing, so I’m off to check out Lawson’s Writer Academy now. Thanks for sharing this great information!!


  25. Wow! Margie, have I told you lately how much I LOVE your teaching methods? No? Well guess what: I LOVE YOUR TEACHING METHODS! Like Suzanne said above, you are Yoda to our Luke Skywalker. I have learned and grown so much as a writer and editing partner since beginning my first class with you in March. Can’t wait to work with you in person in August! Thank you so much for your encouragement, sharing your genius, and being an overall awesomely amazing individual!


  26. Rayna Barnett says:

    Great examples! Thanks!


  27. Roni Loren says:

    I always love Margie’s examples. They inevitably inspire. Her lecture packets have totally changed how I look at my writing. : )


  28. Margie, as always, your examples are fantastic and spot on. What I love about your posts and your classes is how much I learn not just from your comments on my work but from others’ work as well.

    Your classes are one of the best investments I’ve ever made in my writing. Anyone who hasn’t taken one should. You’ll be amazed at what they do for how you *think* when you write, not just how you write.


  29. Fabulous! Love these posts with real examples. Of course, my wallet just groaned because I want to BUY all those books now 😆


  30. Laurie says:

    Love these examples. I’ve taken some of Margie’s classes, and I LOVE them! I’m going to take a few more. Would love the chance to win one.


  31. I really enjoyed reading through the snippits. Great writing! Inspiring. Now I need to go write.


  32. Coleen Patrick says:

    Love the info! This is exactly what I need!


  33. Hello, my name is Kimberle, and I am a Margie-aholic. I learn something every time you post an example, Margie, so thanks. And oh, how I love seeing so many writers up there I know, either in person or through your courses. Can’t wait to get back up on that mountain again this summer!


  34. K.B. Owen says:

    Margie, these are powerful examples of effective, riveting writing. Analyzing samples across genres, tenses, and voices also helps us see that it works universally. I’d love to see you use the mystery genre sometime in your examples. (That’s my area). Jenny, thanks so much for hosting Margie again! I love her posts. I’m still a little tentative on what “backloading” really is – not sure I could spot it, but I have a sense of what it is. Thanks!


    • K.B.

      Cool! Mystery/Suspense is my genre of choice too.

      If you take any of my classes (or read my lectures), you’ll see many examples from Robert B. Parker to Harlan Cobin to Michael Connelly to Robert Crais to Lisa Unger to Dennis Lehane to Marcus Sakey to Joseph Finder . . . . . . Lots of Mystery, lots of Suspense . . . and, here, more Romance.

      Regarding backloading, placing the “power” word, or word you want to emphasize at the end of the sentence is “backloading”. A good example is a sentence by Elizabeth Essex (above): Easy as taking gin from a dead whore. The last word is the word she wanted to emphasize.

      Thanks for your comments.


  35. Debra Eve says:

    Hi Margie, I’ve read all your guest posts and love your form of analysis. I’m concentrating on nonfiction at the moment, but when I’m ready to tackle fiction again, I definitely want to sign up with you! But most of these examples are from the romance genre and I mainly read and write straight historical fiction. There’s definitely a difference between the two in the “feel” of the writing. Do the techniques apply across the genre board?


    • Hey Debra!

      Not only Deep Editing, but the other writing techniques I teach, apply to all genres.

      Any time you want the reader to keep reading, and get what you’re trying to say, the method and structure of your work is important.

      BTW, you’ll find references and examples of a wide variety of genres in my lectures and classes.


  36. Lara Chapman says:

    My Margie!! Flawless contains many of your techniques… And I am always learning! LOVE the examples you always provide in your guest blogs. And I absolutely, positively can’t wait for July!!!!! Hope you’re ready to tackle a middle-grade fiction novel with me! 🙂

    Hugs from Texas!


  37. I’ve heard nothing but raves about your classes, Margie. Fantastic post and examples for what fresh writing is (unique and vivid, yet still clear) and seamless ways to integrate backstory. Thanks for hosting, Jenny!


  38. r.a.thrift says:

    I’ve heard your classes are tops and your post proves it. The way you treat backstory has give me insight on how to handle a few things in my WIP. Thanks for your guidance.


  39. r.a.thrift says:

    You make it sound so easy when all I feel like doing is banging my head on the keyboard. Enough whining. Back to tackling inspiration “with a club.”


  40. Yay! I can’t get enough Margie. As always I love the examples and deep editing analysis.
    I hope everything I’ve learned from you and the other teachers at the academy will stick in my brain. Learning how to be an uber-cool unboring writer is amazing. Thank you so much!


  41. These examples of fresh writing were all great. I even remember seeing one in a forum from one of your classes earlier this year. This is a stellar group of writers.


  42. Sheri Adkins says:

    Great Info, Margie… as always! Thanks for this!


  43. Thanks for the vivid examples and the inspiration, Margie!


  44. Fabio Bueno says:

    Bookmarked this post! These well-chosen examples make the points clear and easy to understand. Thank you, Margie, for sharing your knowledge with us. I’d love to take class #4.
    I also appreciate that the writers let us see their excerpts.
    Jenny: once again, great guest! We love you!


  45. LauraDrake says:

    Okay guys, Jenny may censor me, but since everyone is talking about Nationals – I’m going to sneak in a bit of shameless promotion. Margie is going to be the craft speaker at National for the RWA-WF Chapter – 2 hours of Margie power! Here’s the link to find out about it: http://www.rwa-wf.com/2012/03/06/breaking-news-rwa-wf-mini-conference-in-anaheim/


  46. Stacy Green says:

    Another great post, Margie. I always learn so much from your examples!


  47. S. J. Maylee says:

    Agreed Stacy! I always learn something from Margie!! I’m going to be soaking this post up for some time to come. Thanks Margie!! And Jenny, you know I love ya 🙂


  48. Because of Margie’s courses I am deep editing three manuscripts. I love the way she uses examples to show what she means. It also means I have feed the bookdepositry so much of my credit card buying a lot of these books my To Read Pile is so high with such a licorice allsorts of genre’s I’ve got something to read at any time for any mood.


  49. Karen McFarland says:

    Holy Cowbell batman! Margie, you and Jenny are pretty popular around here! Loved your most exellent examples. Bookmarking this post. I, like Fabio would love, love, love pkg #4. Someday, when I hit the lottery, I dream of taking one of your classes. I’m always looking for ways to improve upon my writing! Thank you! 🙂


  50. LaurieJ says:

    Thanks so much for the great blog. Lots of great examples of fresh writing and rhetorical devices. Loved the way the eponym added humor. The Viagra metaphor gave a great visual of his reaction–so totally non-cliched. Also loved the scene-themed word choices of slipping the blade back in the sheath (cute double entendre).

    I was also glad to read that it’s possible to have too much fresh writing. I was discussing that with my EPs today, trying to decide whether or not to make two sentences fresh, but decided it might detract from a strong analogy. So I went with one fresh sentence and one plain one, my thought being if you put on too much bling when you’re dressing to go out, people get distracted and don’t know where to look, but if you have one fabulous polished gem, it’ll attract all the attention.

    All the classes sound fabulous, but I’d especially like to attend Tiffany’s class.


  51. C. K. Crouch says:

    Hey Margie wonderful examples. If everyone took your classes there would never be a boring, bland, book on the market. Thanks for sharing your techniques. (Kathy from your classes ;-))


  52. Nancy says:

    On the West Coast, a little late, BUT—All examples were wonderful but Suzanne Turner blew me away–a wind so fresh and powerful it swept the glasses right off my face.


  53. Eden says:

    I confess, I started reading this post then had to stop. Not because I wasn’t enthralled (I was), but because I wanted to immerse myself into each example (without the toddler or the husband around to distract me). Loved every example… (my fondness for skunks still has me smiling about the “watching, but not” example)

    I’m convinced I NEED to take one of Maggie’s courses now. And probably several. Margie, Jenny, Should I be thanking you both for helping me pile more onto my plate? 😉


  54. margielaw says:


    Fun MORE COWBELL day!

    Thank you for reading my UBER-COOL, UNBORING WRITING blog.

    I hope your writing is uber-cool and unboring. 🙂

    If you have questions about LWA’s courses or my lecture packets, please email me:
    margie @ margielawson . com



    THE LUCKY WINNER IS . . . . . . . . . . . . . .KATE ARMS-ROBERTS!

    Kate – – You won a course from Lawson Writer’s Academy!

    Please email me to coordinate your win!




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