Two Words to Strengthen Your Writing: Margie Lawson

I’ll bet this name is not new to you (if it is, check her out!) she’s been around for years. But have you taken any of her classes? Done a Fab 30? Been to an Immersion? If not, why? You can check out Lawson Writers Academy HERE.

No, Margie doesn’t pay me for commercials. I’m a die-hard fan. Let me tell you why.

I made my first dismal attempt at writing a book in 2004. I squeaked into the awesome crit group that started the celebrated blog, Writers in the Storm. My writing got better. While writing my second book, I attended a Margie Lawson workshop at RWA National. A flash-bang moment. I went home and signed up for her online classes. I raved about them to Fae Rowen, and she started taking them too. Both our writing improved.

Then in 2011, we got the hairball idea to ‘go to the mountain’ and attend an immersion class at Margie’s gorgeous log home. It’s titled correctly; we worked from 9 am until after 10 pm, together and separately. Margie lectured, we read our scenes out loud, and even acted them out. It was the funnest time I’ve ever had, working my a$$ off.

I vaguely remember grabbing Margie’s hands as I left and vowing to continue to work hard. I was going to make it.

Fast forward:

  • Got an agent
  • She sold a 3-book deal to one publisher, an ‘off’ book to another. I was a debut author with 4 books under contract!
  • I entered the RITA contest in two categories, finaled in both
  • WON the RITA for Best First Book. To date, the highlight of my life (but don’t tell my husband).

Now you know why I say that Margie took me from good to sold. I just turned in book #13. Would I have accomplished all that without Margie’s writing wisdom?  Nope.

Most of my best lines came from Margie, coaching me in the back of my head. Here are a few examples:

The grief counselor told the group to be grateful for what they had left. After lots of considering, Charla Rae decided she was grateful for the bull semen. The Sweet Spot

The bull wheeled to the center of the arena, dropped its head, and with a heavy snort, charged. The dog held his ground, barking at the charging one-ton animal like a drunk with little-man syndrome. Days Made of Glass

The arctic wind howled around the corner of the huge building, to blast her, snatching her breath, tearing her eyes. Her desert-thin blood raced through her in a hopeless, frantic attempt to keep warm. She whipped her head right, then left, thinking that a wrong choice would find her dead, flash-frozen, like Jack Nicholson in that Stephen King movie. Sweet on You

Addiction sucks. I should know. Papaw has his White Lightning. Nana has her Bingo-jones. My addiction has sad green eyes and my name tattooed across his left pec. The Last True Cowboy

“Nellie again?”

“Nellie always. She escaped a rehab facility, this time. She’s probably headed for a convention on, ‘Saving the Universe Through Toe Massage’ or something.” My grandmother was New-Age before it was new, trying every religion, every weird philosophy out there. Hampering her enlightenment is the fact that she has the intellectual depth of a kiddie pool, and the attention span of a caffeinated gnat. The Road to Me (on submission)

Give me a second here.” My arm loses function, and the phone drops to my lap. I rest my forehead on the steering wheel. I’m not dreaming. Patsy is . . .gone. A picture flashes, of the last time I saw her. She gave me a hug and a dazzling smile, told me she loved me to pieces. Then she hopped in her truck, threw me a kiss in the rearview and dust billowing, rode into the sunset.

If I’d had any inkling of the future, I’d still be holding onto her. Even though she’d be kicking and screaming; she loved the excitement of the next rodeo down the road. How could she be gone for good? For ever? I feel like I’ve fallen into an alternate universe. Because this world has my baby sister in it. Cowboy for Keeps releases July 28

Seriously people, MARGIE LAWSON


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  1. Darynda Jones on April 15, 2020 at 5:46 pm

    What a great post and fantastic examples!! They leave me breathless.

    • Laura Drake on April 15, 2020 at 7:14 pm

      High praise coming from a writer of your caliber! Thank you!

  2. Carrie Padgett on April 15, 2020 at 7:29 pm

    Great post, Laura! BTW, I was a Golden Heart finalist when you won your Rita and that man in the background of your picture is my husband, LOL. He’s a big fan too. He read The Sweet Spot and really enjoyed it.
    And Margie is fabulous!

    • Laura Drake on April 16, 2020 at 4:01 am

      Oh my gosh, hi! Wasn’t that the best night ever? And your husband read it? Wow, I can’t get mine to read my books! To be fair, I think he’s afraid to see himself in it – or not.

      • Carrie Padgett on April 18, 2020 at 8:34 pm

        He did read it. Because you grabbed him with that opening!!

  3. Jenny Hansen on April 15, 2020 at 7:44 pm

    Beautiful examples! WE LOVE MARGIE!!

  4. Lisa Wells on April 15, 2020 at 9:46 pm

    What a fabulous post. I love Margie-on-the-Mountain time. And your writing is stellar.

  5. Sherry Gross on April 16, 2020 at 8:08 am

    No one works harder or longer than Margie to tighten up a sentence!

  6. Christine Mazurk on April 16, 2020 at 11:42 am

    Outstanding post. Love Margie. Hoping to host an Immersion Grad in September…
    Thank you, Laura.

  7. Jay Hicks on April 16, 2020 at 11:30 pm

    Hi Laura, I too met Margie at a writing conference – Omega Writers in Australia 2018. And WOW. I just nodded the entire day, wanted more more more.
    So I got to it. Lecture packets, online courses, FAB30 x2 and one immersion – and another COVID-captured in mid-plan.

    Margie is gold. Who she is. What she teaches. And her grads. Everyone is awesome-smart, and caring like our golden Margie.
    And Laura, I would never have believed I’d be smiling at bull semen.
    Congratulations on your success.
    X Jay

    • Laura Drake on April 17, 2020 at 5:08 am

      Thank you, Jay. Another member of Margie’s Army! She sure loves going down under to y’all (Wow that’s a weird mix of Texan and Aussie). Best to you, and Long live Margie!

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