Writing Craft; Continuing Education

March 8, 2020

I try to learn something new, or at least more in depth, about the craft of professional writing every week. One of my favorite sources is the Brandon Sanderson fiction writing course that is filmed and uploaded to YouTube. One of my goals in life is to one day get into his small group class IRL. He did a beautiful job of wrapping up The Wheel of Time as a stand-in for Robert Jordan, which bought him massive credibility for me. Other sources include several other writers on YouTube, but they are kind of like a fast food hamburger compared to Sanderson’s Wagyu steak. Also, simply reading very popular but not necessarily complex stories or watching sci-fi or fantasy tv and movies that I personally love, and trying to tease out the reason any given element is awesome. Then, there is also the elementary grammar worksheets and master program level vocabulary studies. I may not feel the need to use all of these words but being exposed to them allows me to expand how I think about approaching the way an idea is conveyed. I feel like constantly reaching for further understanding of what other people perceive when I am trying to communicate a story is essential to creating stories that readers can connect with.

Sometimes it is really boring. Sometimes it is extremely frustrating. It can feel like it is just a series of cliches and profoundly lacking in substance. The thing that keeps me in it is the occasional breakthrough of real progress in my craft. That is, the rare nugget of pure gold that keeps the toothless miner swinging his pickax.



*more words to come today, but this is where it stands right now

In the current scene, the priestess has delivered the two suitors to the palace. The princess has begun to spend time with each and form opinions of them as people. Everyone is having dinner together with the queen and learning about the underlying dangers that precipitated the need for a prince consort and an heir. The interplay of the personal tensions in the conversation brought out a background that required me to have a character recite a poem. The recitation reveals a quick nugget for each of three or maybe four different personalities.

The challenge here that stalled me for literally three days was the creation of a suitable poem. Poetry is a challenge to me as a writer of long fiction. It is more important to be precise, to evoke tension and emotion with carefully selected cadence and language without making the reader try very hard.

I secretly love poetry. Not all poetry. Not popularly good poetry, necessarily. The problem with my research in the type of poetry that fueled my stall was all of the hopeful and staggering joy they all ended with. I needed something that breaks you and leaves you in pieces at the bottom of the imagery of the poem. I needed it to be dark. I think I finally have the dark poem to work in this scene. I just need to get the cadence down without losing the darkness.



The latest content for the website is basically this post. I am at the point with my book that I need to focus mostly on just keeping my momentum. I have not taken the time to add extra things to the website in the writing guides or aides or essays or anything. I will again when I get to “the end” of the book.


Something that you can look for in the future is an essay on cliches and how I tend to take one and extrapolate the modern meaning from what the original meaning left us with. Cliches are, in my opinion, useless unless you apply it and carry it forward into an actionable idea.

Another thing I will be polishing up and posting is a writing aide intended to help hopeful writers identify their motivation and combat the myth of writer’s block. I call it a myth because I don’t believe in the popular definition; lack of inspiration or desire to write in a writer. I believe a true writer, one who would and does create a story with the same effortless motivation as breathing, only experiences challenges and interruptions, not blocks. There are valid and real challenges to a writer’s creation. It is never lack of inspiration or desire. I realize this is a somewhat inflammatory thing to say, but I believe it and I will lay it out in an upcoming aide.


I have begun creating some curated picture posts for use in my social media feeds. The idea is that I want to share the interesting things in my life, the interesting ways I see things in my life, with interested people. As the person that I am, completely different from other people as they are different from others, I perceive things a certain way. Sometimes it is easier to capture an image and draw out the thing about it that intrigued me with some artful changes than it is to describe in words the visual aspects. I have a visual mind and words create images for me. Sometimes I can create that image in a visual representation that others will recognize with less of their own effort. Either way, I look forward to sharing those with everyone.

I am also working on putting together some visual backgrounds from quotes from my characters and my pen names to help others identify them in a friendly and accessibly way. I have one in mind specifically for the princess that I think everyone will enjoy.


Personally, I spent some great time with my youngest son and his girlfriend and best friend this weekend. We chatted and watched a show (Netflix, Locke and Key) that gave us the chance to explore some philosophical ideas and depths of the show. It is nice to know that my kid is surrounding himself with some people who can laugh and take things completely non-seriously while still being able to recognize all of the potential facets of a given set of circumstances. They are fascinating creatures. I love them all so much. =)

Ɛ|3  Amy