Category: Writing

My Author Role Models

My Author Role Models

Today, I want to focus some attention on a few of the authors I admire most, and aspire to emulate in my own life and work.

I put together a post like this a few years ago, and when I came back across it in the archives I thought it would be interesting to compile an updated version. My writing focus has shifted, I’ve discovered new authors and had my perspective change on others, but even so there’s a fair amount of overlap between this list and the one I put together all the way back in 2017.

But without further ado, here are my thoughts about some of the authors I admire most and how Continue reading “My Author Role Models”

How Should Christians Write About… How God Speaks

Last year, I read two books back-to-back (Wishtress and Once I Knew) in which God or the allegorical God figure speaks directly to the characters. (Actually, I’m not sure I’ve read a Nadine Brandes book in which this isn’t the case.) As such, this topic was near the top of my thoughts and I mulled over it quite a bit because the idea of God speaking directly to characters in a work of fiction is something I always wrestle with to some degree or another when it comes up.

This post might sound familiar to those who follow my social media or are subscribed to my newsletter, since I wrote out my thoughts sometime last year, but I wanted to compile and expand on them here as part of my “How should Christians write about…?” series. As always, these posts are intended as food for thought and your conclusions should be guided by Scripture and your conscience, not Continue reading “How Should Christians Write About… How God Speaks”

5 Dialogue-Strengthening Exercises

You’ve read all the dialogue tips, you understand the concepts that make for strong dialogue, but your characters’ conversations are still coming across flat on the page. It could be that you don’t fully understand your character’s voice, or it could mean you just need more practice! These exercises are intended to help you focus that practice and experiment with Continue reading “5 Dialogue-Strengthening Exercises”

Crafting Effective Dialogue: Writing Between the Lines

Crafting Effective Dialogue: Writing Between the Lines

When I wrote my series on crafting emotional resonance, I promised a future post on crafting effective dialogue. This is another element of your writing that will elevate your scenes and emphasize the emotions your characters are feeling. So let’s get into it.


The most crucial piece of believable dialogue is to ensure that your characters talk like themselves. This comes down to Continue reading “Crafting Effective Dialogue: Writing Between the Lines”

5 Types of Story Structure to Help You Outline Your Novel

I’ve been wanting to have a post comparing different plot structures/outlining systems on the blog for a while, and today Rose Atkinson-Carter is filling that gap! Big thanks to her for this guest post.

I have added affiliate links to this post. They are marked with an asterisk, and purchases made through them earn me a small commission at no extra cost you. Plus, BookShop supports local U.S. bookstores! The books that I’ve recommended are all in my own personal writing library and I’ve referenced them myself for various projects.

All that out of the way, I’ll turn it over to Rose!

As you outline your novel, you’re juggling dozens of different parts. You have character arcs, pacing, and plot to consider and somehow put together into a cohesive whole. The process can be daunting. Writers often find themselves stalled in the planning phase, unsure where to go next.

Sometimes, what you need is a game plan: a dependable story structure that can set you on the right path and help you finish that outline. Even if you’re more of a pantser, an understanding of story structures and how a plot should progress will help you develop in your writing.

Let’s look at some common Continue reading “5 Types of Story Structure to Help You Outline Your Novel”