March 21st, 2018

Capture ‘Cliche Play’ Power

Margie Lawson

Clichés pop in a writer’s mind as fast as lightning. They cover the bases. 

Clichés roll onto your page like gumballs rolling out of a gumball machine. They require no more thought than swatting a fly. They fit like a pair of old shoes. They sound right, look right, feel right as rain.

I get a […]

January 17th, 2018

Putting Wow on the Page!

Margie Lawson

We at WITS are so happy to have Margie back with us, after a too-long hiatus! Wisdom ahead!

Ready for two treats?

First Treat: This blog is loaded with examples of power, power, power. The kind of power that boosts your writing toward contracts and awards and bestseller lists.

Second Treat: I’ll deep […]

September 16th, 2016

Margie’s Rule #17: Finessing Backstory

Margie Lawson

Writers know the cautions about backstory. I’d bet every basic how-to book for writers warns against overwhelming readers with too much backstory.

Backstory usually kills pacing.

Backstory usually kills momentum.

Backstory usually kills your chances with an agent or editor.

What is backstory?

It’s story history that the writer needs to know to […]

August 5th, 2016

Margie’s Rule #16:  Adding Subtext with Dialogue Cues  

Margie Lawson

photo credit: Talk to the hand. via photopin (license)

When people talk, subtext happens.

Every time.

You can’t say one word without sharing subtext.

Subtext for dialogue: The psychological message behind the words.

When the words and the subtext are incongruent, the truth is in the subtext.

In the real world, we […]

May 20th, 2016

Margie’s Rule #15: What’s the Visual?

Margie Lawson

Most writers know Show Don’t Tell, but sometimes they think they’re showing when they are telling.

Here’s my oh-so-easy check.

Read the sentence that you think SHOWS the reader something.

Ask yourself —- What’s the Visual?

You may be surprised that the sentence […]