I thought I should go over what I'm doing to improve my writing chops. Even though I'm getting a book published, I still feel behind the curve as a writer. I recently finished reading 20 Master Plots by Ronald Tobias. I feel plotting is one of my major weaknesses, so I'm trying to learn how to be better at it. A few months ago, I also read a book called Plot and Structure by James Scott Bell. Now, as I read through books, I take notes on the main scenes and plot elements so that I can study them.
Right now, I'm reading Revision and Self-Editing also by James Scott Bell. He has an entertaining way of discussing these rather boring topics. So much so, that I find myself wanting to read the editing book more than Fablehaven 4.
I also just finished a short story today. It's a sequel to my story "Sacked" that was published in the UVU speculative fiction journal Warp and Weave (Spring 2009 edition). I hadn't planned on writing a sequel, but an idea hit me so I ran with it. I don't know what I'll do with it yet, though. I mainly wanted to write something to get my muse working again. I've been so focused on music the last couple of weeks, that my writing had stopped. Tomorrow, I plan to get back to work on book 2.