4 (Possible) Reasons Why We Write

It is the nature of writers to wonder. We wonder about others and we wonder about ourselves. We even wonder why we write. For most of us the compulsion to write is so… ineffable. Why do we write? We just do. We desire the stories. We love the words. We are compelled to communicate our wonder with […]

secrets of storytelling

The 5 Secrets of Good Storytelling (That Writers Forget All the Time)

I’m having a harder and harder time getting excited about stories these days. Not because I don’t love stories, but because I do love them—and because it’s ever-increasingly difficult to find truly great ones that employ all the secrets of good storytelling. By “great stories,” I mean stories that are put together with intelligence, understanding, passion, […]

4 Life-Changing New Year’s Lessons for Writers

It’s weird, but I actually don’t like goals. Why does someone like me, who has always thrived on productivity, schedules, and forward momentum, not like goals? This morning, I realized it’s because the word “goal,” is associated with ideas of “yikes, that’ll be hard,” “probably won’t happen,” “doesn’t sound fun,” and “this isn’t really something I […]

Wordplayers: Merry Christmas!

Wordplayers: Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas, Wordplayers! I hope you are enjoying a beautiful day with your families and loved ones today. For me, this is, above all, a holiday of Thanksgiving, in which I am given plentiful opportunities to remember God’s blessings of abundance in my life. A huge part of my life is this website and all […]

Top 10 Writing Posts of 2017

Top 10 Writing Posts of 2017

We’re hurtling toward the end of the year, which means it’s time to hit pause, amidst all the winter festivities, and take a look back at 2017. For me, this has been a vastly different and vastly important year. As I talked about in the post “6 Lifestyle Changes You Can Make to Protect Creativity,” […]

My Top Books of 2017

My Top Books of 2017

When you’re a writer, stories are life. You can’t create them without ingesting them. That’s why Stephen King famously said: If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that. That’s why this annual look back at my top books of 2017 is always one […]

It's Time to Buy Christmas Gifts for Writers!

It’s Time to Buy Christmas Gifts for Writers!

I love this time of year. The holly-jollyness, the cookies, the company, the carols, and the presents! I adore shopping for presents. And, yeah, I like receiving them too. Once again this year, I’ve done a little shopping for you too. Check out my fourth annual list of the best Christmas gifts for writers! 3 […]

How to Write Funny

Part 17 of The Do’s and Don’ts of Storytelling According to Marvel If you ask me, the trifecta of must-have story elements are: relationships, action, and humor. Of the three, arguably the most difficult is learning how to write funny. You can’t fake humor. It either works or it doesn’t. This might prompt some writers to […]

Brainstorming the Wound in Your Character's Backstory

Tips for How to Choose the Right Sentences

What is writing but choosing the right words in the right sentences in the right paragraphs in the right pages in the right chapters? But even though words and sentences are the smallest of integers within our storytelling, they’re actually one of the most complex. How do you choose the right sentences? Is it a process […]

5 (Not-So-Little) Additions to the Great Novel-Writing Checklist

5 (Not-So-Little) Additions to the Great Novel-Writing Checklist

Learning how to write a successful novel is largely a matter of memorizing and mentally tracking the vast number of “parts” that make a story run. Honestly, this alone is sometimes the hardest part of the entire job. There’s a lot to remember—which is why, today, we’re going to look at the second part of our […]