I have always found that strong writers tend to be avid readers. It was certainly my experience.
Since my first encounter with Tom Sawyer, I have been a fan of Mark Twain. You’d be hard pressed to find an author with a sharper wit and keener insight into human nature. His Adventures of Huckleberry Finn certainly ranks among the greatest of American novels. What you may not know is that Twain was also a scathing literary critic.
At about the 20 percent point of the story, corresponding to the end of Act I in the three-act drama structure, there’s the First Reversal. Something happens to transform the Hero’s new situation into a new desire and a change of plans. This will set the Hero’s external motivation for the rest of the novel, and the action is underway.
Handwriting or keyboarding — which side are you on? As a gadget-loving Romantic, it’s hard for me to choose. I appreciate the personal touch of a handwritten note as much as anyone, but I also value the efficiency and productivity made possible by digital word processors. Admittedly, there’s more to education than practicality, but the practical advantage these days certainly goes to the keyboard.