Writer’s Weekend in the Woods

 Last weekend I participated in a four day Master Immersion class in Deep Editing with Margie Lawson in Golden, Colorado.  Four of us converged on Margie’s home for four days of Deep Edits, Manuscript Analysis, Dramatic scene editing and empowered conversation about writing.

Day One started at 4:30 pm when we all met at our log cabin hotel, the Eldora Lodge , conveniently located next door to Margie’s home. After we freshened up, we reconvened at Margie’s to get busy with work – and to have a scrumptious dinner prepared by Carole, one of our fellow Immersioners.

First on the agenda was a Cognitive Style Quiz.  What we learned from this test was which side of our brains was more dominant.  It also allowed Margie to see how we learn and the best way to utilize our talents.  Then we took a Style Survey, which again, zeroed in on our personalities and how we interact with the world around us.  The survey depicted our personality “colors.”  Red: competitive, directing, self-certain and adventurous.  Green: emotional, impulsive, optimistic and enthusiastic.  Blue: accommodating, stabilizing, deliberate and patient.  And last but not least, Yellow:  Precise, perfectionist, analytical and logical.  All of us had predominately GREEN styles – including Margie.  We named ourselves the Blonde Enthusiasts. As you can see from the photo, we are all blonde.  But that wasn’t the end of our commonalities.  There are too many to mention.  I am just dumb-founded about how four people from all over the US can come together and be so much alike.  It was one of those serendipitous events!

The next three days were long but productive ones!  From 8 am to 9:30 pm or later we learned about the Deep Edits System, created by Margie, to analyze your manuscript in terms of dialogue, setting, visceral response, internalization and tension.  Rhetorical devices for Fiction Writers to really add punch to our stories.  Writing Dialogue Cues Like a Psychologist – dialogue cues share subtext.  They inform the reader of non-verbal communication.  We also learned how to Power Up Emotion: The four levels for Writing Success: Basic, Complex, Empowered and Super Empowered. And Writing Body Language Like a Psychologist.  93% of communication is non-verbal.  Learning how to use body language in your novels is a valuable tool to build your characters.  It’s also not easy to do!

When I signed up for the class I was concerned about a number of things.  Would I be able to keep up?  Would I be able to work all day and still have some brain power by 5 pm?  Would I be able to be around people for 13 hours every day?  Would we take breaks? To my surprise and relief, I was able to deal with all of the aforementioned.  We ate well, slept well and all got along famously!  We took hiking breaks in the beautiful Colorado mountains (the weather was perfect!) and we even got to go into Boulder for shopping and a terrific dinner at the Russian Tea room.  It was a tremendous experience.

If you ever have the opportunity to be “Immersed” in learning what you love, I highly recommend it!

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