Writing is Hard Part 7: Improving the Craft: A Self-Designed Curriculum

(Before I begin, this is my 200th blog post? Wow)

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Three novels in four years, and it’s time to step back and work on word craft. I’ve found that beating my fingers against a keyboard and my head against a wall has taught me several valuable lessons about story arcs, characters, and world-building, but the actual infrastructure on a sentence level, I feel that I have been struggle to grow in that particular garden. Here is what I’ll be covering today:

  1. What I’m doing during a month of a break from novel writing and full-time employment
  2. Explaining the specific books I’m reading

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Author to Author with Mike Chen #ABeginningAtTheEnd

AtoA_MikeChen.pngMike Chen rings in 2020 with another tearjerker of a science fiction novel, A Beginning at the End. This book features four points of view characters trying to find their back to normality in a post-apocalypse where a virus wiped out most of the world. In this interview, Mike talks about his sophomore effort, expanding two POVs to four, and ways to make his world feel lived-in on top of the slice-of-life focus.

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Author to Author with Wendy Heard #TheKillClub

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Happy book day to The Kill Club! Wendy Heard’s sophomore book taking place in Los Angeles about a young woman who turns towards a secret murder group to get her younger brother out of the hands of their zealous foster mother. It’s intricate, it’s stressful, and it is so Los Angeles. Wendy answers some questions below about the research that went into this twisty thriller and the inspiration behind the story.

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Author to Author with Chel Hylott and Chelsea Lim #Undergrowth

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Happy book day to Chel Hylott and Chelsea Lim with their book, Undergrowth. It features Los Angeles overrun by murderous vines and a treacherous jungle, a strained father-daughter relationship, an f/f romance, and those good, found family feels. Read on below to learn more about the origins of this story and this pair’s writing process.

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Author to Author with K.A. Doore #TheImpossibleContract

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Another mystery-horror-fantasy hits shelves today in the form of K.A. Doore’s The Impossible Contract. Come back to the world of Ghadid and the lands beyond, as we follow Thana trying to take down a necromancer, Amastan makes a cameo, and the greatest curmudgeon of a healer graces the pages. Learn more about the process of writing the book, some more world-building details, and what to read while we’re all pining for The Unconquered City.

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Q&A with Krista and Becca Ritchie (The Last Hope Blog Tour)

AuthortoAuthor_RitchieI received an eARC of The Last Hope (2019) from Wednesday Books. This sequel and thrilling conclusion goes off Saltare as our soul-linked heroes, Mykal, Court, and Franny, are trapped on a ship. I can’t reveal too much because everything would be spoiler territory, but there’s a shady new guy named Stork, and conspiracy after conspiracy. The ending just fits the path laid ahead. Trust me, friends, it’s a good one!

Read on below for an interview with Krista and Becca about how they brought The Last Hope to its epic conclusion.

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Author to Author with K.A. Doore

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Do you like fantasy? Are you looking for some mystery and horror? Look no further than The Perfect Assassin  by K.A. Doore. This delightful murder book is set in a city protected by pylons from treacherous sand dunes, featuring several levels of political intrigue and a wonderfully inclusive cast of characters. In this interview, Kai shares her favorite pieces of world-building and her journey towards giving us the gift of Amastan and Ghadid.

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