Posted On September 6, 2011 by Print This Post

Grab Your Deep Editing Shovel and Dig In, by Margie Lawson

Happy Tuesday, RU Crew! We have a special lecture with the fabulous Margie Lawson today! So buckle up–you’re in for a deep editing ride. :)

Hello cool Romance University writers! I know the type of writers RU attracts. And I can

count on all of you being as cool as RU founders Adrienne and Tracey and  Kelsey.

If you know my name, you know I’m all about teaching writers how to strengthen their writing. I teach five writing craft courses loaded with deep psychologically-based editing tips, systems, and techniques that I developed. The advanced courses I’m teaching in October and November are new.

Today, I’m SHOWING and TELLING. I’m sharing passages from three authors who are Margie grads: Darynda Jones, Maggie Jaimeson, and Sherry Isaac. Each deep editing analysis is loaded with learning opportunities.

Grab your deep editing shovel, we’re digging in!


FIRST AUTHOR: Darynda Jones, SECOND GRAVE ON THE LEFT, Chapter 3:

Excerpt 1: Charley Davidson, the Grim Reaper, is in her shower talking to a dead guy who doesn’t talk back.

Just as I turned off the water, he looked up. I looked up, too. Mostly ’cause he did. “What is it, big guy?” When I glanced back, he was gone. Just disappeared as dead people are wont to do. No good- bye. No catch ya on the flip side. Just gone. “Go get ’em, boy.” Hopefully he’d stay that way. Freaking dead people.

I reached past the curtain for a towel and noticed droplets of crimson sliding down my arm. I looked back up at a dark red circle on my ceiling, slowly spreading like the bloodstain of someone who was still bleeding. Before I had time to say “What the f—,” someone fell through. Someone large. And heavy. And he landed pretty much right on top of me.

We tumbled to the shower floor, a heap of torsos and limbs. Unfortunately, I found myself plastered underneath a person made of solid steel, but I recognized one thing immediately. I recognized his heat, like a signature, like a harbinger announcing his arrival. I struggled out from under one of the most powerful beings in the universe, Reyes Farrow, and realized I was covered in blood from head to toe. His blood.

Deep Editing Analysis:

Overall:  Compelling Cadence. Read that excerpt out loud. You’ll train your Cadence Ear. 

Paragraph 1:

Just as I turned off the water, he looked up. I looked up, too. Mostly ’cause he did. “What is it, big guy?” When I glanced back, he was gone. Just disappeared as dead people are wont to do. No good- bye. No catch ya on the flip side. Just gone. “Go get ’em, boy.” Hopefully he’d stay that way. Freaking dead people.

Establishes a “Yes Set,”  a universal behavioral set. She looked up because he did. Subconsciously, we all agreed with that premise.  Humor Hits. Telling what doesn’t happen. Light tone. Sentence frag thoughts.

Paragraph 2:

I reached past the curtain for a towel and noticed droplets of crimson sliding down my arm. I looked back up at a dark red circle on my ceiling, slowly spreading like the bloodstain of someone who was still bleeding. Before I had time to say “What the f—,” someone fell through. Someone large. And heavy. And he landed pretty much right on top of me.

Uses setting to pull reader into bloody scene. Short phrase followed by two short sentences. Makes the read more imperative. Started two sentences (back-to-back) with “And,” which draws the reader in even more.

Paragraph 3:

We tumbled to the shower floor, a heap of torsos and limbs. Unfortunately, I found myself plastered underneath a person made of solid steel, but I recognized one thing immediately. I recognized his heat, like a signature, like a harbinger announcing his arrival. I struggled out from under one of the most powerful beings in the universe, Reyes Farrow, and realized I was covered in blood from head to toe. His blood.

Used heat to identify Reyes. Fresh. And it SHOWED the depth of their relationship, without TELLING.

Darynda didn’t have to use an internalization that we’ve all read before, about how much Reyes meant to Charley.

Used rhetorical device, conduplictio. No one has to remember the names of the 30 rhetorical devices I teach in Deep Editing. Just remember how and when to use them.  ;-)

See how Darynda intentionally echoed “recognized” here:

. . . but I recognized one thing immediately. I recognized his heat . . .

Darynda created a compelling cadence by echoing “like,” too. Read this section out loud:

. . . but I recognized one thing immediately. I recognized his heat, like a signature, like a harbinger announcing his arrival.

Hear the two sets of intentional echo words? They enhance the cadence, enhance the read. Just like I did by echoing the word, “enhance.”  :-)

Darynda slipped nine words of BACK STORY in the middle of a bloody action scene in a shower:

. . . one of the most powerful beings in the universe . . .

Such a smooth and tight way to share back story. Smart Darynda!

Excerpt 2: From Chapter 3

A paragraph later:.

My heart thundered against my chest. “Reyes, please,” I said. I patted his face, and his lashes, now dark crimson and spiked with blood, fluttered. In an instant, he turned on me. With a growl, his black robe materialized around him, around us, and a hand thrust out and locked on to my throat. In the time it took my heart to beat again, I was thrown against the shower wall with a razor-sharp blade glistening in front of my face.

“Reyes,” I said weakly, already losing consciousness, the pressure around my throat so precise, so exact. I could no longer see his face, just blackness, the undulating robe that was so much a part of him protecting his identity even from me. The world blurred then spun. I fought his hold, his grip like a metal brace, and as much as I wanted to believe I fought the good fight, I felt my limbs going limp almost immediately, too weak to hold their own weight.

I felt him press against me as a total eclipse crept in. I heard him speak, his voice winding around me like smoke. “Beware the wounded animal.”

Then he was gone and gravity took hold and I collapsed onto the shower floor once again, this time face first, and somewhere in the back of my mind, I knew it was going to suck.

Woohoo! Powerful passage!

Overall:  Perfect cadence. Lots of specificity. Lots of power words. A fast-paced read.

Paragraph 1:

My heart thundered against my chest. “Reyes, please,” I said. I patted his face, and his lashes, now dark crimson and spiked with blood, fluttered. In an instant, he turned on me. With a growl, his black robe materialized around him, around us, and a hand thrust out and locked on to my throat. In the time it took my heart to beat again, I was thrown against the shower wall with a razor-sharp blade glistening in front of my face.

Visceral Response, in my EDITS System, it’s PINK: My heart thundered against my chest.

Showing Charlie’s visceral response and having her pat Reyes’ face, Darynda amped the intimacy between Charlie and Reyes. Then Darynda did the unexpected, a reversal. She had Reyes attack Charlie.

Aack! Scary, scary!

Read those last two sentences (above) out loud. Cadence. Power. Cadence. Power. Can you feel it?

Paragraph 2:

“Reyes,” I said weakly, already losing consciousness, the pressure around my throat so precise, so exact. I could no longer see his face, just blackness, the undulating robe that was so much a part of him protecting his identity even from me. The world blurred then spun. I fought his hold, his grip like a metal brace, and as much as I wanted to believe I fought the good fight, I felt my limbs going limp almost immediately, too weak to hold their own weight.

Love this piece: . . . the pressure around my throat so precise, so exact.

When I read that piece, I feel the pressure around my throat, so precise, so exact.

I could go through each phrase and compliment them one by one. Beautifully written.

Paragraph 3:

I felt him press against me as a total eclipse crept in. I heard him speak, his voice winding around me like smoke. “Beware the wounded animal.”

Darynda used touch, followed by two examples of fresh writing: . . . a total eclipse crept in, and . . .his voice winding around me like smoke. The description of his voice is a Dialogue Cue.

Paragraph 4:

Then he was gone and gravity took hold and I collapsed onto the shower floor once again, this time face first, and somewhere in the back of my mind, I knew it was going to suck.

That’s one l-o-n-g sentence. And, it works well for me. It reads like stream-of-consciousness. He’s gone, she collapses, again, face first, and she knew it would suck.

Darynda may not know she used polysyndeton in the beginning, with that series of three linked with two “and’s” and no punctuation. Again, no need to learn all the Greek names of the rhetorical devices. But it’s good to know when and how to use them to add power.

A structurally strategic dynamic in this paragraph, is backloading with a humor hit.

Darynda bookended this high-intensity passage (including excerpts 1 and 2) with humor. That’s one of the promises she gives her readers. Her books will make you laugh.

Anyone who has taken one of my writing craft courses knows visceral responses rule!

If a writer keeps the POV character in their head at critical points, and neglects to include some visceral hits, the reader experiences the scene intellectually. It doesn’t carry a full load of emotion.

The challenge is writing visceral responses in fresh ways. Darynda soared over my raise-it-high fresh writing bar.

My pulse accelerated by a hairsbreadth, just enough to cause a tingling flutter in my stomach.

Reyes jerked the blade back and sheathed it inside his robes as I tipped awkwardly toward the wall, my heart stumbling over its own beats.

I tried to release a loud sigh but couldn’t get enough air in my constricted lungs.

My heartbeats tumbled into each other, as if racing for a finish line.

The thought of Reyes being taken down by a group of marshals clamped and glued my teeth together for a long moment, squeezed the chambers in my heart shut.

Questions for Darynda Jones:  Writing Visceral Responses

Do you push yourself to write fresh visceral responses?

Absolutely! It’s all about the freshness, and the more you do it, the better you become at it.

Do they start out more clichéd?

Very often, they sure do. I go back and try to freshen up scenes. And sometimes I’ve just said something silly and I have to tone it down.

Any cautions or tips for writers?

There is a difference between fresh and weird. You never want to throw your reader out of the story. Keep it fresh but natural.


SECOND AUTHOR:  Maggie Jaimeson, EXPENDABLE

EXCERPT FROM EXPENDABLE

The Set-up:  Former Marine Reed Adler just found a terrified boy and a dead woman in the forest near his Oregon home.

To his surprise, the kid stood just ten feet off the trail. There were no tears now, no trembling, just him standing still as a statue with a tortured look in his eyes.

Reed didn’t move. He didn’t want to scare him into running again. “I’m sorry kid. She’s dead.”

The boy stiffened and refused to look Reed in the eye.

“I guess you already knew that.”

The boy dropped his eyes to the ground and let out a big breath. His shoulders slumped.

“Do you know who did this?”

Again, the boy said nothing. He stared at Reed, his eyes wide, unblinking, as vacant as a sacrificial lamb. His lips trembled, but he didn’t cry out. Suddenly, he folded to the ground and curled into a fetal position.

Reed took a step forward, then another. When there was no flight reaction, he hurried to the kid and scooped him into his lap. Small arms went around his neck and held tight. Reed rocked him, hugging him to his chest.

“I don’t know what happened here, kid. But I’ll keep you safe. You hear? I won’t let anyone hurt you.”

The boy didn’t cry, didn’t say anything, but he held on as if his fingers had a death grip on a hand grenade.

Margie’s Deep Editing Analysis:

Cadence — Compelling and powerful.

Similes – Excellent. Both amplified. Discussed in Deep Editing Q & A below.

Showing What’s Not Happening:  Maggie showed us what wasn’t happening seven times. Powerful.

There were no tears now,

no trembling.

Reed didn’t move.

he didn’t cry out.

there was no flight reaction,

The boy didn’t cry,

didn’t say anything,

I cover the dynamics of this deep editing technique (Showing what’s not happening) in my advanced Deep Editing course in November.

Alliteration — tears, trembing, tortured

Power Words - tears, trembling tortured, scared, dead, vacant, sacrificial, trembled, cry, fetal, flight, held tight, rocked, hugging, safe, hurt, death grip, hand grenade

Character/Emotion-Themed Words — Discussed in Deep Editing Q & A below.

Body Language, Face, Proxemics, Touch — All good!

Questions for Maggie Jaimeson:

1. Margie:  The excerpt above is cadence driven. From the first word to the last, the cadence propels the reader forward. No meandering. No stalls. No speedbumps.

Margie Grads know, I emphasize cadence in my online courses, as well as in Immersion classes.

When you deep edited that cadence, did you read it out loud?

Did you tweak it to enhance the cadence?

Do you recall any changes you made?

How did you work your cadence magic?

Maggie:  Actually I’m an auditory learner, so even when I write I’m saying things aloud. But in the in editing process I also read aloud and often try several different combinations until the rhythm seems to work.

I keep all my edits to help me remind me not to make the same mistakes again.  Here is how I changed the first part of that section. The red is what was changed.

To his surprise, the kid was standing just ten feet off the trail. There were no tears now, no trembling, just him standing still as a statue with a tortured look in his eyes.

Maggie changed the RED above to “stood.”

Reed didn’t move. He didn’t want to scare him into running again.  “I’m sorry, kid. She’s dead.”

The boy said nothing, still not moving a muscle.

Maggie nixed the RED above, and wrote this instead:

The boy didn’t cry, didn’t say anything, but he held on as if his fingers had a death grip on a hand grenade.

BLOG GUESTS: Please read that sentence out loud.

The boy didn’t cry, didn’t say anything, but he held on as if his fingers had a death grip on a hand grenade.

You felt it right?

After you read that sentence out loud, you felt the silent “Boom” in your gut.

That feeling that hits you when you read something that carries power.

The boy didn’t cry, didn’t say anything, but he held on as if his fingers had a death grip on a hand grenade.

“Boom.”

Hear the cadence? Every beat is a working beat. Each word propels the reader into the next word.

The strong content, strong imagery, and strong cadence make that sentence carry power.

2. Margie:  Reed, the boy, and Jenna have all experienced severe trauma. Reed has PTSD, the boy saw his mother die, and Jenna was attacked.  How did you use body language to show the dynamics between your characters? What components of body language (including face, proximity, touch . . . ) did you use?

BLOG GUESTS:  I promise, Maggie’s book isn’t as gruesome as it sounds.

Maggie: Wow, this could be an essay in itself.  First, I took into account each of the character’s personalities and ages and then acted out their body language according to those traits.

For example, Reed was a Marine in Special Operations. This means his body language would be one of stoic denial.  When he’s hurt or scared, he notices his heart rate speed up, his breathing getting shorter, but instead of withering under that pace he stiffens his spine or uses his training to consciously take deep breaths and face danger.  His body language is confrontational. Prepare to strike rather than run.

Jenna is an emotionally strong woman, but she’s not physically strong. She’s also a pacifist, which means she faces danger with her wits and reason rather than with violence or aggression.  Her body language when faced with trauma is one of protection instead of confrontation.

For example, Jenna might pull her sweater tighter around her, cross her arms in front of her, pull her stomach into her back and curl down. Her flight response is pretty strong, but she tries to “reason” her way out of danger rather than confront it.

The boy, David, is only ten years old and that makes him the most vulnerable because he hasn’t learned how to confront others or protect himself.  His body language moves between flight and fright.  Because of the trauma he’s faced for a long time, he’s also become numb to some extent.  In the passage above you can see that numbness that finally crumbles

“…his eyes wide, unblinking, as vacant as a sacrificial lamb. His lips trembled, but he didn’t cry out. Suddenly, he folded to the ground and curled into a fetal position.”

As David becomes more comfortable with Reed, some of that numbness disappears but we continue to see parts of his trauma with repeated actions.

For example, Margie gave me an idea in the Advanced Immersion workshop that I used.  David has a small matchbox car.  It is his prize possession, and in many ways, his security blanket. When being questioned about the trauma he unconsciously uses that matchbox car to reflect his inner turmoil.  His body language includes covering it with his hand, repeatedly running it along his leg faster and faster as the memory of the trauma grows more difficult, fisting it in his hand, and when he is trusting opening his hand to show it/share it with Reed.

Kudos to Maggie. Excellent summary sharing what she did on the page to portray each character’s emotional core and emotional arc.

Maggie — You wrote their body language exceptionally well. I’m impressed.

BLOG GUESTS:  Study this line:

“…his eyes wide, unblinking, as vacant as a sacrificial lamb. His lips trembled, but he didn’t cry out. Suddenly, he folded to the ground and curled into a fetal position.”

How many EMOTIONAL HITS did Maggie but in those thirty words?

How many times did Maggie show and tell the reader the boy’s emotional state?

I’ll show you:

…his eyes wide (1), unblinking (2), as vacant  (3) as a sacrificial lamb (4) for amplifying vacant with a simile, (5) Maggie earned an extra point for making it a character/emotion-themed simile. She inferred that the boy is as innocent as a lamb. His lips trembled (5), but he didn’t cry out (6). Suddenly, he folded to the ground (7) and curled into a fetal position.” (8)

Wow! Maggie crammed 8 Emotional Hits in 30 words.  Now read it out loud:

“…his eyes wide, unblinking, as vacant as a sacrificial lamb. His lips trembled, but he didn’t cry out. Suddenly, he folded to the ground and curled into a fetal position.”


THIRD AUTHOR: Sherry Isaac, STORYTELLER, A book of short stories.

I’ll keep this one short. 

Enjoy the opening (and my analysis!) of one of Sherry’s stories in STORYTELLER, “A Simple Rendezvous.”

Wendy boarded the Northlander in Cochrane at the same time she should have been pulling the day’s textbooks from her locker. Twelve hours later she disembarked in Toronto, one ocean-eyed girl treading water in a sea of commuters. Her heart beat in a wild, rapid flutter, as it if had sprouted wings and might fly out of her chest at any moment. She’d been to Toronto before: a group of girlfriends and one haggard mother who’d clearly drawn the short straw came for a weekend last spring to stand outside Much Music and hope for a glimpse of Avril Lavigne. They didn’t see Avril, but the crushing heat of the mob on Queen Street had been the most thrilling experience of Wendy’s life. Until today.

Deep Edit Analysis from Margie:

Opening Sentence: Contrasts Wendy’s adventure to her ordinary world. Excellent. I’m in.

Fresh Writing: . . . one ocean-eyed girl treading water in a sea of commuters. Beautiful.

Visceral Response: Amplified, used simile, strong cadence

One and a half sentences of backstory, set up the surprise.

Varied sentence structure: From average, to long, to a two-word sentence-frag-anchor that carried the punch.

Cadence: Read the paragraph out loud. Perfect cadence. Again, you’ll train your Cadence Ear. Kudos to Sherry Isaac!

BLOG GUESTS:  If you enjoyed reading those examples and deep editing analyses, you’d enjoy my online courses. Please check out Lawson Writer’s Academy on my web site. We have thirty courses and a dozen instructors. Thank you.

Please drop by my Pubbed Margie Grad Blog and you’ll see more Q & A with Darynda Jones, Maggie Jaimeson, and Sherry Isaac, plus two to three authors featured each week.

***

Post a comment today, and you may win a free registration (up to $40 value) for one of my five online courses at Lawson Writer’s Academy!

Stop back on Wednesday to hear aboutco-founder Adrienne Giordano’s dirty secret. You might just win a copy of her September release, A JUST DECEPTION!

***

Margie Lawson—psychotherapist, writer, and international presenter – developed psychologically-based editing systems and deep editing techniques used by new writers to multi-award winning authors. She teaches writers how to add psychological power to create page turners.

In the last six years Margie presented sixty-eight full day Master Classes. She taught deep editing to over six thousand writers 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.

In March, 2011, Margie launched Lawson Writer’s Academy. Online classes are taught from her web site through teaching software used by many universities. Lawson Writer’s Academy offers thirty-plus online courses and has a dozen instructors including Sharon Mignerey, C.J. Lyons, Jeanne Stein, and Shirley Jump. Class members enjoy the benefits of cyber classrooms with forums for specific assignments, Q & A, and a cyber coffeehouse.

To learn about Margie’s 4-day Immersion Master Classes in Colorado, Lawson Writer’s Academy, Pubbed Margie Grad Blog, full day Master Classes, Lecture Packets, and newsletter, visit:  www.MargieLawson.com.

Similar Posts:

Share Button

Craft of Writing

Discussion

68 Responses to “Grab Your Deep Editing Shovel and Dig In, by Margie Lawson”

  1. Great analysis, Margie. Thanks for including EXPENDABLE in your deep edits examples. I’ve got to say that what I learned in the two Immersion Classes with Margie made a huge difference in my writing. Now I write with more confidence and I’m certain a lot more emotion and power.

    Posted by Maggie Jaimeson | September 6, 2011, 12:07 am
  2. Great analysis. I need to sign up for that class again.

    Posted by Bonnie Crow | September 6, 2011, 1:01 am
    • Hello Bonnie!

      I’d love to work with you in an online class again. I’ll teach my “Big Three,” Empowering Characters’ Emotions, Deep Editing, and Writing Body Language, in Feb, March, and April. If you don’t want to wait that long, the Lecture Packets are always available.

      FYI: I’m teaching two new courses in October and December:

      1) Advanced EDITS System: Turning Troubled Scenes Into Winners

      2) Fab 30: Advanced Deep Editing, A Master Class (Thirty Margie-grads. Thirty days. Thirty-plus pages. Digging deep. Empowering Scenes.

      Thanks for chiming in!

      Posted by Margie Lawson | September 6, 2011, 10:56 am
  3. Oh, these are SUCH good examples – I loved it! Very clear, very well-chosen excerpts. (And even those short snippets make me want to read more, which I guess is the real sign of a job well done. Great writing, guys!)

    One quick question about the sacrificial lamb: how is the lamb itself vacant? Isn’t it the lamb’s eyes that are vacant? And if so, do you think that can be corrected smoothly without killing the flow of the sentence?

    Posted by S. | September 6, 2011, 3:44 am
    • Hello!

      Here’s the line about the sacrificial lamb.

      He stared at Reed, his eyes wide, unblinking, as vacant as a sacrificial lamb.

      I see your speedbump. The referral to the lamb’s eyes is implied.

      He stared at Reed, his eyes wide, unblinking, as vacant as (the eyes of)a sacrificial lamb.

      Or —

      He stared at Reed, his eyes wide, unblinking, as vacant as a sacrificial lamb’s.

      I’m glad you want to read more from these authors!

      Posted by Margie Lawson | September 6, 2011, 11:06 am
  4. Hi Margie,

    Thanks for a fabulous deep editing session. My notes from your Immersion class are always within arms reach, especially now that I’m starting a new story.

    Tracey

    Posted by Tracey Devlyn | September 6, 2011, 4:31 am
  5. Margie,

    I feel like a small town girl on her first visit to Broadway. I look up, and there’s my name, up in lights! Thank you for including your analysis of ‘A Simple Rendezvous’. An honour to be included alongside Darynda and Maggie.

    Shovel in hand, hoe and pick-axe, while I deep edit my upcoming novel, Homecoming. Working up a sweat here.

    Posted by Sherry Isaac | September 6, 2011, 5:19 am
  6. Hi Margie–

    Thanks for this excellent blog. I am planning on taking all your courses for a second time this coming year. I’ll have a completed manuscript ready to apply the techniques you teach. I’m really working forward to the classes!

    Tina

    Posted by Tina Canon | September 6, 2011, 5:37 am
  7. WOW, Margie! Way to supercharge my Deep Edits batteries for the day. I feel as if I’m back in class with you. Darynda and Maggie are now on my “must buy” list. And, Sherry? I’m purchasing a fresh (autographed!) copy of her book. I’ve read the first one several times and I want a “fresh” one for my shelves.

    You WILL see (hear!) me wandering the LWA halls in October and November. Oh! Just so you know: I DO have all 30 rhetorical devices memorized and assign the most distinct ones to individual POVs. It’s one way I keep their voices distinct. Off to write with a Margie Magic happy face!

    Posted by Gloria Richard | September 6, 2011, 6:05 am
  8. Since I’m in the editing process, it’s a great refresher to see these paragraphs dissected. Since I took Margie’s class, my writing group often comments on the great number of impactful visceral responses in my writing. As one of the writers above said, first draft may abound with cliches, just to get the words down, but going through again you have a great opportunity to look at each one and make it fresh! :)

    Posted by Babs M | September 6, 2011, 6:57 am
    • Hugs to Babs!

      Good for you for impressing your critique group with your strong writing. I love your writing too.

      So glad you’re killing or tweaking and twisting your cliches. Fresh writing will boost you onto bestseller lists. :-)

      Posted by Margie Lawson | September 6, 2011, 11:18 am
  9. I’m with Gloria here. It’s like a Margie morning vitamin before beginning edits for the day :)

    Maggie’s excerpt and analysis was new to me. She definitely had a master’s stroke of body language. Such a powerful read.

    Retweeted the Margie goodness :)

    Posted by L.A. Mitchell | September 6, 2011, 7:03 am
    • Hello Smiling L.A.!

      So glad I’m your writing vitamin. Immersion grads strive so hard for excellence, they need lots of vitamins. ;-)

      You’re good at writing body language too!

      I can’t wait to see you in Denver in a couple of weeks!

      Big, big hugs coming your way!

      Posted by Margie Lawson | September 6, 2011, 11:21 am
  10. Hi, Margie. (Hi, Sherry!) Such inspiration in these words! I loved your workshop at Atlanta’s M & M conference years ago, then your DSDB course, and now you’ve reminded me why I’ve got to get your deep edits package.

    Thanks for pushing us all to write our best!

    Posted by Sharon Calre | September 6, 2011, 7:09 am
  11. Morning Margie…

    Great post! Holy smokes. So much to learn here. I’ve taken a couple of your classes, and while they’re super intense, they’re also super informative. Looking forward to taking another in the near future!

    carrie

    Posted by Carrie Spencer | September 6, 2011, 7:12 am
  12. Hi Margie,

    Thanks to the writers for sharing their work and to you for the insight. It is so different when you see the comments right along with the work.

    Mary Jo

    Posted by Mary Jo Burke | September 6, 2011, 7:36 am
  13. Wonderful examples! Loved them all and your analysis. It’s a reminder to me to stretch my own writing more, to keep digging deeper.

    Posted by Edie Ramer | September 6, 2011, 9:02 am
  14. You presented beautiful passages (well done, authors) and the analysis was brilliant. Thank you.

    Posted by Leslie | September 6, 2011, 9:30 am
  15. Hi, Margie. Welcome back to RU. You always give us such fantastic expamples. My immersion class binder is getting extremely fat these days. After taking your classes, I’m so much more aware of powerful writing when I see it.

    Thanks for the great post!

    Posted by Adrienne Giordano | September 6, 2011, 10:47 am
  16. Hi, Margie. Thanks for the awesome examples.
    I’m currently wading through one of your courses on my own. Learning gads.
    When my WIP is further along, I plan on taking some live courses. Hope to ‘see you’ (enroll) soon.
    Penny

    Posted by Penelope Barber | September 6, 2011, 11:05 am
  17. This was a great exercise. Thanks so much!

    Posted by Bluestocking | September 6, 2011, 11:19 am
  18. Thanks so much for this post Margie! I actually just purchased your Deep Editing and Empowering Characters’ Emotions packets. Can’t wait to start them! And I’m glad to hear you have two new advanced classes on the roster. Your insights are invaluable.

    Posted by Cate Masters | September 6, 2011, 11:36 am
    • Hello Cate!

      Ah, you’re ready to dive in to two Lecture Packets. I recommend going through Empowering Characters’ Emotions first.

      Maybe I’ll see you in my October course: Advanced EDITS System: Turning Troubled Scenes Into Winners!

      Thank you for chiming in. :-)

      Posted by Margie Lawson | September 6, 2011, 3:08 pm
  19. Hi Margie! Thanks for giving such illuminating examples and for a peek at what one of your classes might be like. Cadence, cadence, cadence. As a reader, I love when the prose seems to sing to me. As a writer, I realize it’s difficult to achieve.

    Posted by PatriciaW | September 6, 2011, 11:51 am
    • Hey Patricia!

      I know your smile! Great to see you here.

      Cadence is a critical component to writing compelling scenes. And–it’s fun to teach.

      Hmm, I don’t consider it difficult to achieve. Maybe you haven’t had the right teacher.

      Eeeep!

      Sorry! I tried not to type that line, but my devilish alter ego dared me. ;-)

      Patricia – I hope you’re laughing!

      Posted by Margie Lawson | September 6, 2011, 6:11 pm
  20. Loved the post! I’m always looking for ways to be better!

    Posted by Lori Freeland | September 6, 2011, 12:46 pm
  21. Margie,

    Thanks for keeping the Deep Editing embers red hot!

    Posted by Carole St-Laurent | September 6, 2011, 1:25 pm
  22. Hi Margie!

    Your Character’s Emotions workshop is why I have a stapler with one-inch staples and a drawer full of highlighters. :) Terrific post and wonderful examples.

    Posted by jennifer tanner | September 6, 2011, 1:35 pm
    • Jennifer –

      Ha! I’d love to have a picture of your heavy-duty stapler and your drawer full of highlighters. ;-)

      I look forward to seeing you online, hopefully in class.

      I bet you’d love my cyber classroom. It’s so cool. I even give each class a cyber coffeehouse!

      Posted by Margie Lawson | September 6, 2011, 6:17 pm
  23. Very good post and great examples. I really enjoyed your lesson.

    Posted by Mercy | September 6, 2011, 1:57 pm
  24. Hi, Margie! Thanks for some great examples and food for thought. I’m really looking forward to your class in Tallahassee!

    Jamie

    Posted by Jamie | September 6, 2011, 3:39 pm
  25. Hey, Margie -

    We’re always SO happy to have you at RU! Lord have mercy, woman, you do such great analysis on authors’ writing. I’m going to go back over this post with a fine-tooth comb (okay – cliche, but true :)).

    Maybe I’ll have the time and energy to take another Margie class soon!

    Hugs,
    Kels

    PS – I thought of you fondly while I was on vacation in Alaska. I took along the little orange office travel kit you gave me at RWA in 2010, and boy did it come in handy!

    Posted by KelseyBrowning | September 6, 2011, 5:10 pm
    • Hey Kelsey!

      Thank you. Glad the examples and my deep editing analysis made you smile.

      Yay! You’re using the little office travel kit. I love using the itty-bitty stapler. :-)

      I love Alaska. Lucky you.

      Hope to see you in class, SOON!

      Posted by Margie Lawson | September 6, 2011, 6:30 pm
  26. Hi Margie,

    I’m so glad to have met you in April at the Dallas conference. You’re even more motivating in person than you are on the web, if that’s possible. Your astute insights coupled with your energetic personality continue to inspire me.
    Julie

    Posted by Julie Robinson | September 6, 2011, 9:13 pm
  27. Hi Margie,

    Great blog. Love the emphasis on cadence. Your insights are always so instructional.

    Thank you!!!
    Maureen

    Posted by Maureen Marty | September 6, 2011, 9:46 pm
  28. Always happy to see Margie here! Fantastic advice, as usual.

    Posted by Jordan McCollum | September 6, 2011, 10:31 pm
  29. Grab your shovel indeed! Thanks very much Margie! I’m going to have to read this over and over to ‘get’ all the good bits properly. Great blog! Keep ‘em coming!

    Posted by Zoe Younger | September 7, 2011, 12:14 am
    • Zoe –

      Glad you enjoyed the blog. I have a new Pubbed Margie Grad Blog on my web site that is loaded with deep editing teaching points. I feature two to three Margie grads each week, and each blog has a Deep Editing Analysis and a Deep Editing Q & A.

      Hope to see you online again. :-)

      Posted by Margie Lawson | September 7, 2011, 5:55 pm
  30. So sorry I’m late! I had a garden writing assignment yesterday, and lost track of time!

    Thanks so much for this excellent post – I really needed this!

    Posted by Becke Davis (Becke Martin) | September 7, 2011, 8:31 am
    • Hello Becke!

      Thanks for the ReTweets!

      Glad you enjoyed my teaching blog. Drop by my Pubbed Margie Grad Blog and you’ll see lots more!

      Posted by Margie Lawson | September 7, 2011, 8:44 am
      • I shot that comment off quickly this a.m. Now I’ve had time to go back and read – and REread this – and I have to comment again.

        First, can I just say WOW to all the excerpts you posted? I’m a huge fan of Darynda’s writing and it was fun to see an excerpt from her second book. I’m counting the days until Book Three!

        I’m with you on the other excerpts, too – just brilliant. Now you’ve done it, though. I’m having a major fit of Imposter Syndrome, wondering if I really understand deep POV enough to pull it off.

        When’s your next class? I need to sign up!

        Posted by Becke Martin/Davis | September 7, 2011, 2:04 pm
  31. Always happy to see deep editing in the morning. Thanks Mom! IT freshens my brain for a day of my own editing. Of course it makes me work harder… and I don’t take as many breaks. Hmmmmmmm maybe I shouldn’t read your guest blogs in the morning.

    I hope to see you ladies over at Lawson Writer’s Academy – LOTS of classes going on!

    Posted by TiffanyLawsonInman | September 7, 2011, 10:43 am
  32. HELLO EVERYONE!

    I used random.org to select the winner.

    The winner is . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

    …….Leslie Witwer!

    Leslie won a free online course from me through Lawson Writer’s Academy!

    I’ll email Leslie through her website and coordinate her win.

    A big THANK YOU to Adrienne Giordano for inviting me to be RU’s guest. I had fun with all of you.

    Please drop by my website and check out my Pubbed Margie Grad Blog, including lots of deep editing teaching points in every blog.

    Please check out Lawson Writer’s Academy and our 30+ courses and dozen instructors too.

    If you’re a Margie Grad, consider my intense Immersion Master Classes in Colorado. Adrienne and Tracey are both Immersion grads. :-) You’ll find specifics on the Immersion Master Classes on my web site.

    All smiles………….Margie

    Posted by Margie Lawson | September 7, 2011, 6:10 pm
  33. Margie, thanks so much for spending time with us. We always have a great day when you’re in the classroom. :)

    Leslie, congrats on winning a free online course with Margie–you’ll love it.

    And yes, if you ever have a chance to sign up for Margie’s Immersion class, I (and Adrienne) highly recommend it. You’ll be amazed at how differently you view your own writing. The Immersion class opens up a whole new world of possibilities!

    Thanks, everyone!!!

    Posted by Tracey Devlyn | September 7, 2011, 6:21 pm

Post a comment

Upcoming Posts

  • Apr 25, 2014 Lessons Writers Can Learn from American Idol by Kelsey Browning

Subscribe

Writer's Digest: 2013 Best Writing Websites (2013) Top 10 badge 2012 100-BEST-WEBSITES-2014

Follow Us