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I went into this lecture skeptical. I didn't know Jenna Blum's work, and I wasn't sure this would be helpful. I'm happy to tell you I was very, very wrong. Blum's lectures were written to help writers like me discover the foundations and essential building blocks of our craft. She explains the biggies like theme, plot, style and dialogue in a new way that is far better than most of the "how-to" books I've read on the subject. She approaches each topic with the scholastic approach of a professor while keeping in mind the more practical needs of the practicing writer. She describes each item using excepts from her own work while also pulling in quotes and excerpts from popular authors that anyone listening can identify with. Put simply, she makes studying to write fun. With built-in exercises and numerous examples, Blum walks you through each aspect of writing masterfully, getting you to think about your own work while exploring the nature of the concepts themselves. At times I felt like I was getting an course in a collegiate Master of Fine Arts program for the price of an audiobook. I would put Blum's lecture up at the top of my bookshelf of "How to Write." I encourage any aspiring or active writing looking to shore up and learn more about the core concepts of the craft to listen and enjoy her lectures.
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