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The most important thing to learn is this: mastery of any craft only comes after the (who said this?) 10,000 hours of practical effort under the guidance of those who know and have mastered the skill. What it means is we learn from experience, from the doing of something while taking advice from those we respect and have value in the world of our craft. It’s not easy, it’s not quick, but the journey will lead you to the most amazing places, both in the real world and everywhere else. Enjoy!
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When forced to work within a strict framework the imagination is taxed to its utmost — and will produce the richest ideas. Given total freedom the work will likely sprawl.
– T.S. Eliot
The books I recommend for craft skills:
Save the Cat, Blake Snyder
Randy Ingermanson – The Snowflaker bloke
20 Master Plots: And How to Build Them Ronald Tobias
The Secrets of Story Matt Bird
Self-Editing for Fiction Writers, Renni Browne & Dave King
Verbalise: bring stories to life & life to stories, Damon Suede
Writing Deep Point of View, Rayne Hall
Characters & Viewpoint, Orson Scott-Card
- unfortunately, for people who are unable to use ‘real’ books, not all of the above are available as eBooks
None of the above will take the place of consistent practical effort. If anyone ever said (or thought) that writing was easy, they weren’t a writer. Dreaming is easy, taking words to enable someone else to live that dream – hard.
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There are plenty of sites, so try one. See how much you can improve your work with a bit of unbiased feedback.