Decide to Write

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Truthfully, there is no magic potion to get the words on the page. You cannot write a novel if you don’t sit down at your desk and take the time to put words on the page. That means you decide to do so. No matter how many times you hear that, though, it won’t stick until you start doing it yourself. More importantly, writing is more than the actual act of putting words on the page that will go in […]

How Do You Write a Book?

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There are many ways to write a book. You’ll find any number of books (including mine), accountability partners, writing retreats/conventions/workshops, website articles galore, and anything else you could possibly want. They’ll tell you what works, what doesn’t, when to start, how long it should take, how to keep motivated, etc.  Resources cover all the bases. Should you try and write it in a month? Write every day? Get software that converts your voice to text? Hire a coach? Set a […]

Write Like Vengeance Road

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It’s hard to innovate a Western considering how many have been written. That’s not to say it can’t be done. Or that it shouldn’t be attempted. What I mean is that Westerns used to be extremely popular. When people felt like they weren’t free to go where they wanted to live the way they wanted, Westerns gave them that experience from the comfort of their own home. People used to read Westerns in order to experience that freedom without risking […]

Vengeance Road Scene Analysis

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Don’t forget from last week that the beginning hook, middle build, and ending payoff of Vengeance Road are as follows: Kate finds her father murdered and follows his instructions to find Abe in Wickenburg, where she joins two young men on the way to kill the Rose Riders.  When Kate is shot and the boys find out she’s actually a girl, they make a deal to help her if they can have the gold, which leads to the boys betraying […]

Deconstructing Vengeance Road

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Vengeance Road is the first Western I’ve read. What’s more, it’s the first Western Young Adult novel I’ve ever come across (not that there aren’t many more I’ve missed). I knew as soon as I found it that I had to analyze it as my last post in this series of book deconstructions.  What’s more, this book follows the Story Grid methodology to a tee. It’s a quick read that keeps you entertained. Every scene seems to turn and keeps […]

Write Like Children of Blood and Bone

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There are many reasons to love Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi. Least of which is that it’s a #1 NYT and International Bestseller and soon to be a movie. What’s important is that it works. The only thing I didn’t like was how long the love connection between Inan and Zélie lasted because I knew in my gut that it wouldn’t last and that the camp was going to be invaded. I didn’t want her to let […]

Children of Blood and Bone Scene Analysis

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Recall the Beginning Hook, Middle Build, and Ending Payoff sentences of Children of Blood and Bone: Zélie and her brother go to sell a fish to save them from the raising taxes but get caught up in a journey to bring magic back by the daughter of a tyrannical king and must leave everything they know to succeed.  Zélie, her brother, and Amari fight against Prince Inan on their journey to bring back magic, but Zélie gets caught by the […]

Deconstructing Children of Blood and Bone

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Children of Blood and Bone (affiliate link*) by Tomi Adeyemi just might be the best book I’ve read in the last couple years. It’s a page-turning adventure that subtly comments on race relations in our current atmosphere. And one that’s important to read, yet thrilling. I loved every character, every moment, and every twist.  Let’s take a look at what makes it work and why.  Oh, and here’s your warning: Spoilers Ahead. Proceed with caution.  1. What is the Global […]

Write Like Stranger Things

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Stranger Things is a uniquely familiar story that hits all the right story conventions while still seeming fresh and fun. It comes back to season two with the same elements that made me love season one. Nothing felt over-done or recycled. The danger was believable and made my skin crawl just thinking about being stuck in the caves and hunted by Demogorgons.  Dig Dug, in particular, was a great episode. It kept the subplots going. Focused on the conflict of […]

Stranger Things Scene Analysis

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This is a one-act episode inside of the bigger story. The arc follows Hopper as he is stuck in the tunnel struggling to survive. It shifts from unconsciousness and death (well, where death would be a mercy) and back to life. The monster is a supernatural creature bent on annihilation.  Once more, be warned. Spoilers Ahead.   Inciting Incident. (From the previous episode) Hopper thinks Will is drawing vines and goes to investigate. He ends up in the tunnels. On […]