Balancing the Three “C’s” of Christian Publishing

Any Christian who sets out to write a book will automatically find him or herself struggling to balance three primary concerns, all of which happen to start with the letter “C”: Christ, commerce and content. In an ideal world, Christ will be at the top, for what higher motive could a Christian writer have than … Read more

A foolproof 7-step story-building model

7 steps to building a story

Structure is one area that beginning writers struggle with the most. We all know our stories should have suspense, surprise, drama, intrigue, and all sorts of other spicy elements. But how do we create a structure that delivers all of these elements? Over the years of working with writers as…

How long should your novel be?

Long winding road

Determining the proper length for your novel is a key consideration when honing it for publication. On the one hand, you don’t want it to be too short, because that lowers the book’s perceived value. Although many readers are now opting for e-books, those still clinging to hard copies want to feel…

Every Writer Needs a Platform—Here’s How You Can Build Yours


What is a writer’s platform, and why is it so important? To answer the first question, your platform is your ability to draw attention to your name and your work. For example, are you a public speaker? Do you have a large following on your blog, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or other forms of social media…

Building the Six-Dimensional Character

the 6th dimension

Character development is the driving force of any good story, and yet, this is one of the most misunderstood elements of fiction writing. We’ve all heard of “flat” or “two-dimensional” characters. But how do we avoid this fatal flaw…

How to avoid the dreaded “info dump”

Garbage Dump

Something I see all too commonly in the fiction manuscripts I edit is an “info dump,” a chunk of exposition that bogs down the narrative by unloading a detailed character backstory or an elaborate—and lengthy—explanation of the story’s high concept and/or the history of the fictional universe…

What is a premise? And why is it important?

Character, Plot, Concept

Your story will stand or fall on the strength of its premise. It doesn’t matter how well it’s written on a line-by-line level. If your premise is weak, the rest of the story will crumble. But what is a premise, and how can you ensure yours is solid? I like to think of a premise in terms of the following simple mathematical formula…