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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Rewrite 3: Finding a Common Thread

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Recently, I went to an event with the amazing Victor LaValle and we talked about the course in introductory novel writing that he teaches. What stuck out to me was that he said that many beginner writers lack focus in this work. There’s an . And I realized that that was totally true about my work during the first draft, way back in college when my writing was actual trash.

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How To (Re)write: Backspace is Your Friend

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Deleting words is just as important as writing them. When you’re trying to hit that desired 50,000, 75,000, 100,000 or whatever word count, you’re not focused on things to keep and get rid of. I have two tips on how to get rid of excess words. One takes work, the other is self-explanatory.

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On Blood Magic

blood magic title cardI’ve just finished playing Dragon Age: Origins and Dragon Age II and reading A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab. Both books tackle the idea of having blood magic, which gives me food for thought as I develop the seven main magical systems in my work.

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The Weather Outside is Frightful: Writing Weather

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Where I am in my story, weather doesn’t play a huge factor. I use phrases like “biting cold,” “oppressive humidity,” and “sunny” to get an atmosphere going. After this weekend’s Winter Storm Jonas, it gave me fuel for thought as my characters do more traveling as the tale goes. Here are some tips for navigating the weather of your realm.

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One Punch Man: A Triumph in Simplicity

You need to watch this.

You need to watch this.

I spent my New Year’s Eve with the boyfriend and my best friend from high school watching One Punch Man (2015), an anime about a bored of his super hero career because he can kill any enemy with one punch. So, what’s the plot? Well, let me tell you.

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Music of the Write: Top 3 8Tracks

Originally, I was going to make my last post of 2015 a retrospective or a list of resolutions. But no one needs to know about the conferences, conventions, and workshops I attended and no one needs to hear about how I’m employed now. So, I decided to do a regular post on my top 3 8tracks playlists for getting words on sheets. Click the images to get to the playlists.

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