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The best advice I can give (besides break every rule of writing :P) is to READ CRITICALLY. Yes, you heard me. Everyone tells you to read, read, read your brains out. But the missing piece of that is critically. This is (one major component of) how to become a better writer. 

Awesome blog post that will walk you through how to critically analyze a story (this works for all storytelling mediums like books, movies, video games, etc.): (google: "How to read like a writer")

The key to reading critically is to ask WHY with everything. You loved Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban the most out of all the books? (Well, I did). WHY?

You found the third person sections in The Martian to be boring and cheesy? WHY?

The Matrix is the greatest movie of all time? WHY?

Zuko is awesomeamazing? WHY?

Bella is a boring character? WHY?

Always ask the golden question: WHY? That's how you train yourself to start analyzing why something made you squeal with joy and why something made you cry, why a character made your heart flutter while another just made you roll your eyes.

So I just wanted to emphasize that from the article. Read the article. It goes into more depth about stuff.

Also, you can apply a lot of the plotting and characterization tricks taught in this guide. Pick your favorite book or movie and write it out in Dan Wells 7-pt story structure. Take your favorite hero and villain and apply the character shadows and foils chapters to them. Try it with characters you thought were bland and sucked eggs.
etc. etc.

This guide isn't just to apply to your personal story. Do it to published works you love and hate, and that'll teach you how to construct a stronger story. Enjoy!

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