Why you must drill the fundamentals

writing craft Oct 12, 2023

I’ll bet you can talk a good game about the basics of fiction writing. 

By basics I mean character, plot, dialogue, description, and so on. The usual suspects!

The basics are out there, in craft books and workshops and classes. They’re not hard to find.

I’ve even sometimes had writers come to me for mentorship and and say, “I know the basics. I don’t need that kind of training. But....


  • But their writing is not getting the response they hope for. 
  • The words they’ve worked so hard on leave their readers disengaged, or even confused. 
  • They can tell their work is not standing shoulder-to-shoulder with the work of the writers they most admire.
  • And they may be struggling more than they care to admit to get something written in the first place. 

They’re looking for help.

But they already know the basics.

So what do they do now? What’s left?

Is there some “secret writing craft of the pros” that they haven’t been let in on?

Some special, advanced set of writing tools that separates the writing game winners from the also-rans?

Anyone who’s ever worked with a great sports coach knows the answer to this question. 

➡️  If you want to pursue greatness, you drill the fundamentals. 

You drill them for your whole career. 

There’s nothing basic about the basics.

And there’s no shortcut to mastery, either.

What does that look like in the real life of a writer? That’s the topic of this week’s  video.

p.s. – Hey, where’s Maryrose? Adventure isn’t just for fictional characters! Right now I’m in Bari, in southern Italy (you can follow my digital nomad travel adventures on Facebook and Instagram). While I wander, I’ll be teaching and mentoring and creating new content for YouTube as ever. Make sure you subscribe to the channel to get notified when a new video drops!

Good writing is my jam! Put me on the mailing list, please.


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