Sunday, November 8, 2009

Writing . . . Margie Lawson . . . agent appointments

Wow! It's been a busy time. For the past few weeks, I've been rushing to get projects completed for a local writing event. North Texas Romance Writers hosted their first Two-Step Conference. Margie Lawson was the guest speaker, along with Cori Devoe from 3 Seas Literary Agency and Melissa Jeglinski from The Knight Agency, who took a full-day worth of agent appointments.

Simply said, "Two-Stepping was great!"


Many of the conference attendees were experienced. Me . . . I was a virgin in the ways of Margie Lawson. Believe me, it's a total immersion in writing. The woman is high-energy and she drags her student into the thick of learning with a smile.

I understand her website is a wealth of information, and Margie mentioned she produces a monthly e-zine in which she analyzes a passage with her techniques -- a mini-lesson. On her blog, she also interviews an author of a 'writing' book each month. I can't wait to become the newest Lawson groupie.

Both my agent appointments went well -- partials to each. Disappointing news about the Romantic Suspense market, however. If you're a writer or reader of the genre, beware! New releases will be hard to find. It appears the market has been saturated and new acquisitions are few and far in between. It doesn't mean I won't sell my recently completed Trickle of Lies, it just means the sale will be sweeter when it happens.

I'll be working like a storm trooper the next two weeks in order to complete my synopsis (need a shorter version) and to revamp my work -- thanks to boot camp, Margie Lawson.

One of Margie's specific technique is called: backloading.

How it works? Look for the word that has the most impact in a sentence, especially those sentences at the end of the paragraph, page, scene, and chapter. Consider rewriting the sentence to add 'power words' AT THE END.

Here's an example:
(Before)
She swallowed once, then again. He watched the smooth movement of her throat. Pale skin covered the graceful curve of her neck. A man could get lost kissing skin like that, if he'd been inclined to speculate on such things. But he'd given up those insane notions about the same time he'd kicked his lying, conniving wife out. For good.

Using the 'backload' and 'rhetorical' and 'power word' techniques:
(After)
The woman swallowed once, then again, the dim lamp light flickering on the curve of her throat: smooth and pale and provocative. A man could get lost kissing skin that tempting. Good thing he'd given up those insane notions when he'd kicked out his wife -- the lying, conniving, two-timer.

As simple and as complicated as that.


Since my blogging is generally stream of consciousness -- I typed in What Fun! then rethought. These exercises are NOT fun. They require serious concentration, and for a newbie, like me, they take time. Why bother? Because deep edits are crucial to better writing. Better writing means more sales! That is FUN!

We're a bit hazy on the back porch today. Leaves are falling -- not that it's really cold -- but it looks like Autumn. The chill seems trapped behind the clouds, ready to sweep in and change our weather for good. Perhaps this week, I'll finally get sweaters out of storage.
Do drop by again.
Until then
~Sandra

5 comments:

Andrea Geist said...

I'm glad it was such a great time. Thank you for providing an example. I do read your blog, I am just not a big 'commenter' . Happy Sunday.

Flowerpot said...

Sounds great - and I love that advice. That sounds really good... Here in Cornwall we';ve had our first really cold night - and morning. Woodburner lit and very grateful for it!

Katie Reus said...

Glad you had such a great time. I've heard awesome things about Margie Lawson!

Pamela Cayne said...

Wow--congrats on such a fabulous conference! I've been jonesing for a good conference (since I missed nationals), so it was nice to live vicariously through you!

And love the backloading technique! Not only will I have to study it, I'll need to check out Margie's website as well. Thanks!

Marilyn Brant said...

I've heard about backloading (I think L.A. mentioned it on her blog once) and I found the technique to be really interesting :). So glad you had a good conference experience!! Got my fingers crossed for you with these new submissions!

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