Category: Helps for Writers

Writers: Poetry Can Sharpen Your Prose

For Writers: Ten Ways Poetry Can Improve Your Prose Writing poetry develops skills of concise wording (something we editors like!). The writing (and reading) of poetry can sharpen your observation skills. Because syntax matters in poetry, you will improve in your understanding of syntax matters. Figures of speech used in poetry teach you finer subtleties…

Holding and Writing What Gives You Life

If only we could get away for a while to some quiet, sacred place and find rest, renewal, and transformation. Surely, then, our writing, as well as our lives, could be revolutionized. But our lives are so daily. Made up of moments piled on moments, experiences both planned and unexpected. Perhaps, though, your daily routine…

Colorado Christian Writers Conference

Looking to attend a Writers Conference? Consider the wonderful setting, great staff and faculty, and nurturing atmosphere of the Colorado Christian Writers Conference May 17-20 in Estes Park, Colorado. It’s coming soon—next week, in fact. We’ll be there, meeting with prospective authors and teaching workshops. We’d like to meet you there. A few other reasons…

A Checklist to Make Your Writing Shine

I taught from the following list at a recent writers workshop. Afterwards, a couple of wide-eyed writers said to me, “You really want good writing.” Well, yes, I do! The better-written a manuscript comes to me, the more I like it. Here at Cladach we may resonate with the premise and material of a nonfiction…

Search, Find, Delete These Word Gremlins

These troublesome words tend to hide like gremlins in our writing (especially in fiction, but also nonfiction). We often use these words compulsively, but often they aren’t needed. Remember, less is more. Conciseness makes better, stronger, clearer writing. Do a search for—and delete unnecessary uses of—the following: very just that nice interesting look / looked…

A Writer’s (Tongue-in-Cheek) Checklist

One constantly-recurring theme for writers is that we must strive for clarity. To that end, at my workshop on “A Checklist for Writers” I shared my list of writing techniques. Then I offered this bonus “checklist” that uses tongue-in-cheek humor to help us avoid murky writing. (This list comes from Professor Howard Culbertson at Southern…

A Mountain-top Experience for Christian Writers at CCWC

If you are a Christian writer, I want to encourage you to attend the  Colorado Christian Writer’s Conference. This great conference is just two weeks away, but there is still time to register. I will be at this conference and I would love to meet you there.  You can come for 1, 2, 3, or…

Writing is good for spirit, soul, and mind

Today I’m sharing a guest post written by a friend, a retired pastor who writes encouraging, daily meditations for his Facebook followers. This kind of writing takes discipline and a heart that is attuned both to the Lord and to people and their real needs. Writing is good for spirit, soul, mind. I don’t mean…

A Christian Writer’s “Wildly Unbalanced Life”

I hear writers bemoan the demands and distractions in their days (including technology) and how hard it is for them to achieve balance in their lives. Perhaps you’ve felt that, too. You’re working at the computer and think you’ll just check Facebook for a few minutes. An hour later, you wonder where the time went.…

Are You Ready to Publish a Book?

Think that’s a glamorous hat? Think again. As a “boutique” (small, custom, picky) publisher, I wear this hat often, and at first glance it may seem to give power and appeal. Over time, though, it brings me to my knees. With my acquisitions editor hat on I must make decisions to enter into contractual agreements…