Show vs. Tell: Draw Your Reader into Your Story

In my career as a full-time fiction book editor, I’m sometimes asked the most common problems plaguing manuscripts. And I always know exactly what to tell writers. Show versus tell. No matter how interesting the characters or unique the concept, telling instead of showing in your prose will kill your story every single time. Most authors…

Rest: The Ultimate Creativity Boost

Writers and other creatives really are their own worst enemies. Have you noticed that? Isn’t it crazy? We are always the first people to criticize our work, run ourselves into the ground striving for impossible perfection, and just generally try to do ALL THE THINGS perfectly ALL THE TIME, convinced that everyone else totally has their act together and…

Be brave enough to tell your hard stories

A year ago Sunday, my beloved aunt tried to take her own life after a long battle with depression and anxiety. A year ago, I received a phone call from my younger cousin telling me her mom shot herself and would I please come and stay with her and her siblings. A year ago,  I…

Harry Potter Meets X-Men in 1940s England: A WIPjoy Summary

At the beginning of January, you may remember my post about #JaNoWriMo and #WIPjoy and marveled at the eccentricities that are writerdom. I’ve had a wonderful time this month chatting with authors and readers about my latest WIP (otherwise known as a work-in-progress) on social media, particularly about Twitter, and answering the daily challenge questions…

Overcoming the Fear of Failure: Every Creative’s Battle

Recently I was writing down answers for an online author challenge called #authorconfession (see my blog post on writer hashtag communities on the Crosshair Press page) and I came across an interesting question. What are you most afraid of as a writer?  It kind of took me aback and I had to consider the question…

My Goal for 2017: Live Well

‘Tis the season of New Year’s resolutions (although by now, most will have given up on theirs) and goal-setting. All around me my writer friends are setting word count goals and plotting how many novels they’re going to churn out this year. And there’s not necessarily anything wrong with setting those kinds of creative goals….

When you have no words (and that’s okay)

I ask my friend in the Dillons parking lot, shoppers passing by with carts full of riches untold for most of the people in this world. “Do you ever feel like you don’t have any words left, or maybe that there’s too much to say for words?” Like you just need to be with the people you…

Celebrating 2016 (*passes the champagne and popcorn*)

Have you ever noticed that Christians (creative ones in particular) aren’t very good at celebrating accomplishments? Making to-do lists, sure. Crossing things off the list, sure. Maybe even mentioning something to a close friend over coffee, as long as you’re careful to enumerate all the ways the accomplishment is imperfect in the process. But celebrating…

JaNoWriMo, WIPjoy, and other weird things writers say

Writers are a strange breed. No, really. I mean, we search Google for the best ways to kill people. (“As a mental exercise, I’ve often planned the murder of friends and colleagues.” BBC Sherlock, Sign of Three) We wax eloquent about pacing and syntax, identify ourselves as “pantsers” or “plotters,” talk to imaginary people and…

Courage to Laugh at the New Year

My best friend loves to give quirky and/or homemade gifts for Christmas, and this year was no exception. In addition to a hilarious photo book of our escapades the last couple years, she gave me a framed typography Scripture verse that she colored during one of our many nights watching movies together on the basement…

Finding joy in every season

Every season has its charms. The flowering trees and new warmth of spring. The carefree, lemonade-sipping dog days of summer. The crisp fall air, perfect for walks in brilliantly-colored leaves. And then the Christmas season, where the dark comes sooner and the days grow colder, yet all over the world people put up lights and…

Review: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Okay, I’ll admit it. I went into Fantastic Beasts cautiously excited and more than a little skeptical. I love the Harry Potter world and series (both the movies and the books) and I was prepared to be disappointed by a completely different story line, time period, and cast of characters. Instead, I was utterly charmed…