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Saturday, July 16, 2011

A Slippery-Hot Slice of Writing Pie

There is a secret door for writers on Thriller Island.  Though far less complex than the Lost hatch and, sadly, absent a jungle-sweaty Josh Holloway, this door leads to something far better than time travel.  I know! Can you imagine? Better than time travel?

Psychologist-turned-writing-guru Margie Lawson is having an Open House to celebrate her latest venture, Lawson Writer's Academy.  Using the latest software tested on college campuses, her online university offers top-notch writing craft classes, a coffeehouse for discussions, a store to purchase her lecture packets and a unique look into the world she's carved for writers. One peek behind this door and you'll see how much her grads adore her.  And how many publication walls her grads have scaled because of her guidance.

I've mentioned Margie here at the Vortex no less than seven times. Even called her my literary Mr. Miyagi. That's a little like telling you my aunt bakes the best apple pie but not giving you a slice to taste. It's not enough to tell you writers like Lisa Gardner and Harlan Corban and Dennis Lehane adore her, too. Sometimes we all need specifics, so here we go: a slippery-hot slice of writing pie.

These are before and after lines from The Chosen One, the first in my Time Thriller series, all re-written after my Margie Immersion Retreat:

Before:

Turns out, freedom was a prison shank. Crafted in fear. Lethal if grabbed the wrong way.

After:

Turns out, freedom was a prison shank. Crafted in fear. If grabbed the wrong way, lethal.



Before:
Carl clenched the rail like a bitch.

Zac smiled.

After:

Carl clenched the rail like a bitch.

A laugh clinked at Zac’s ribs, itched to tunnel free. Instead, he wore his attendant face. A friggin’ saint.



Before:

So he focused again on the wheel, the fifty-degree sway of the top car, the stillness of the others. A foot emerged beneath the bucking safety gate. A ponytail swatted the brass number plate.

After:

He turned back, focused again on the ride. Thirty-nine cars settled. The top car swung a good fifty-degrees. Above its safety gate, a white sneaker stabbed the night sky. He didn’t see a ponytail swat the brass number plate or a naked ass become the moon or a bikini top catch like a windsock, but he knew it was the boardwalk version of the Mile High Club.

Though my journey to publication has been paved with amazing critique partners, mentors who told me which paths to take and which to avoid, contest judges who gave me a boost, published authors who passed along their knowledge and no small amount of good fortune, no person has had the impact on my writing that Margie has.  She is, and will forever be, my wax-on, wax-off literary Miyagi.

Head over to LWA today and comment for your chance to win her amazing lecture packets.

3 comments:

Sherry Isaac said...

Woo Hoo! Great Befores, Brilliant Afters.

I call Margie my Guru, and writers I've met in her classes, in person or online, my fellow Margie disciples!

Must go get my Margie Grad Badge!

Patricia PacJac Carroll said...

Great redos.
Inspires me to go back and tweak some of my lamer sentences. : )

Charles Gramlich said...

Cool. She definitely knows the secret of power words.