I’ve been talking about how to organize your ideas. Now I want to talk about where those ideas originate. You might ask, “Don’t ideas just come?” For some of us, the answer is a loud, “Yes.” There are people

Clone of Where do ideas come from?

I've often thought that if we should have a fire, the one thing I'd most hate to lose would be my pictures—the printed ones before digital cameras and smartphones took over.For example, the picture here is the only photo

Working with Photos for a Memoir

Over the years, I've talked to a lot of Christian writers who've spent a great deal of time and money to get a book published, only to be disappointed in the results.  And that brought to mind the above

Why Are So Many Christian Writers Naive About Publishing Their Book?

A short time ago, I had a free ebook on Kindle. “They Can’t take That Away From Me,” It’s a short story, under my alter ego’s name (J. A. Menzies), and it’s not quite like anything else I’ve written.

Funnel Publishing

We’ve all been there. The proud parents show off their new baby and your first impression is that it’s really quite ugly. Like me, you’ve probably stuttered a little before forcing out something like, “My! Isn’t that a baby?”

Publishing and the ugly baby syndrome

Don’t let your readers get lost! A couple of weeks ago I mentioned that many writers sort of assume that the reader knows who is telling the story, especially if it’s telling a true story. If you haven’t read

Where are you? The importance of setting in first person POV stories

Assuming the reader knows who you are is one of the most common mistakes I see both in personal stories and fiction. When using the first person point of view, many writers just start telling the story, assuming that

Who are you? Writing from the first person point-of-view

At a recent conference, where I was taking pitches and doing critiques, I was reminded of some of the most common problems of new and even not-so-new writers. I ended up getting a copy of this book from the

How to make your stories better – whether they’re true or fiction

I’ve been writing since I was tiny. And over the years, I’ve probably made every mistake possible. Okay, maybe not every mistake. But a whole lot of them! Plus I have a medal in English, and I taught English

4 key things I believe all new writers need to know

Yesterday, on my personal website, I posted a character sketch of my “hero” Glen Sauten, the protagonist of my first published book, The Best of Friends. If you’re writing fiction, you might want to check it out. The truth

How to create realistic characters