Recent Blog Posts

Writing

Cliffhangers Part 1

What is a cliffhanger? According to the New Oxford American Dictionary, it’s an ending to an episode of a serial drama that leaves the audience in suspense. It comes from the 1930s when film serials were very popular. To keep people coming back episodes ended with characters in desperate situations, including literally …

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10 Best Writing Books

A reader asked me for my list of the 10 best books on writing. I was reminded of Dorothy Parker’s quote: “If you have any young friends who aspire to become writers, the second greatest favor you can do them is to present them with copies of The Elements of …

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Can Books Change Lives?

Can books changes lives? We all know the Bible can and does. But what about fiction? Thinking back on my own reading experiences, I would have to say yes. Reading awakened me to the beauty and strength of words and stories. Stories transport me to worlds I never knew and …

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Three Writing Traps

As writers, there are certain traps, misconceptions and attitudes we can fall into. If we stay in these traps too long, our writing careers will be derailed, sometimes before the first stretch of track is laid. Trap #1: Everything I write is publishable No, it’s not. In its extreme, this …

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How Do I Find the Time…?

Many times, people come up to me and say they want to write a book but can’t find the time. Aspiring writers, people who are making an effort to write, often say the same thing. Both groups cite full time jobs, church obligations, family responsibilities and activities that prevent or …

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The Blank Page

“Get it down. Take chances. It may be bad, but it’s the only way you can do anything really good.” William Faulkner How many of us hesitate to start writing? Even authors who have been at it for a while have this hesitation. This is sometimes referred to a writer’s block. …

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Why Do We Write?

  A blog by Andrea Merrill got me thinking about this. She raises the question of what is the true motivation for why I write. Am I an approval addict? Do I write looking for approval? I think this is more real than I’d like to admit. I think there …

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The Blessings of Being a Writer

Yes, Virginia, there are blessings to being a writer. And it goes beyond multi-book deals, beyond making the bestseller list, beyond movie deals. Few writers attain these lofty heights. But all writers can experience the blessings of being a writer: Learning And not just learning a new skill such as the …

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5 Steps to Success

Have you noticed how many lists there are out there? Seven steps to achieve this. Six steps to achieve that. Ten easy steps to achieve happiness. Or weight loss. Or the spouse of our dreams. All seem geared to making us successful. I enjoy lists. They can be fun and …

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What Makes for a Successful Writer?

I was sitting and chatting with a group of writers the other day and one asked, “What makes for a successful writer?” People started to bubble up with definitions and dropping names on both sides of the question. I raised my hand. “How do you define success?”?The silence was like …

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