Elements of The Writing Craft by Robert Olmstead

I’ve had this book on my shelf for a few years now and have only recently read through it. Now that I find myself in need of a new project, I’m going back through the lessons and actually doing the assignments this time. In this book, Olmstead breaks down the elements of the writing craft into six parts. Each part is broken down into several lessons, and each lesson is composed of:

  1. A sample of strong writing demonstrating the subject.
  2. An analysis of the writing sample expanding on the lesson.
  3. Writing prompts to help you model the success of the sample writing.

I’m completing the lessons based on the characters and setting of Shieldmaiden. By the time I work my way back through this and write another short story or three, I’ll be ready to tackle the next draft of the novel.

I haven’t given much thought to a deadline but, there are 150 lessons to be completed here and at least another few months of writing and editing origin stories for the other main characters. If I’m diligent, I can start editing Draft 2.0 of Shieldmaiden by January 2022. That gives me about six months to git gud or at least better than I am.

I’ll share the results and the page numbers of my lessons here, if for no other reason than to amuse myself somewhere down the line. If you haven’t read the book and wonder if it’s worth buying and if you’re not in a terrible hurry, consider this my long-form review.



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