When Is My Novel Too Long?

You may have heard the story of author J.R.R. Tolkien who wrote The Lord of the Rings as one book before his publisher looked at him from across the desk and said “I’m sorry, John.  This book is just too long.  Break it up, will you?” I am not saying that a massive tome will notContinue reading “When Is My Novel Too Long?”

How to Get Out of a Rut As a Writer

Ever feel like this as a writer? I just finished a rather lengthy project for a friend and now after two weeks I’m coming back to the novel I am writing.  I started in on a chapter last night and just found that the juices that were flowing two weeks ago had been completely usedContinue reading “How to Get Out of a Rut As a Writer”

Getting Into College: Sports or Academics

; As a teacher, I have many students who are also athletes who struggle so hard to be very good at their chosen sport as well as work very hard academically to make the grade. My hat is off to these students who as a whole are forced to work harder at academics because ofContinue reading “Getting Into College: Sports or Academics”

My Weekend Home With the Kids: Finding Time to Write

My wife and I have 4 children between the ages of 6 and 11. I love them very much, and I love spending time with them and listening to them and trying to be the best dad I can to them…. …However… This weekend, my wife went to Texas with her parents as kind ofContinue reading “My Weekend Home With the Kids: Finding Time to Write”

In Sickness and In Health: A Test of Determination

I have spent the entire school year in the Christmassy atmosphere of good health, watching all others around me come down with some type of bug and wringing my hands ‘neath the cool comfort of the GermX dispenser.  At last I have succumbed to one of the dangers of teaching teens: getting sick. Today isContinue reading “In Sickness and In Health: A Test of Determination”

What Could Have Been: When One of Your Ideas Ends Up On Screen

I have been writing since the age of 14.  I began writing because I took a high school creative writing class and found that my peers at the time thought I had a knack for it and also I loved doing it.  I loved the process, the meticulous nature of it, and the joy IContinue reading “What Could Have Been: When One of Your Ideas Ends Up On Screen”

Pulling Back on the Reigns

I’ve never really ridden in a horse drawn carriage much in life, (but if these gas prices keep going up I may soon do so) but I think of the horse drawn carriage as a perfect metaphor for my writing process. Think of the horse as the wild animal of my imagination, the carriage as the finished product,Continue reading “Pulling Back on the Reigns”

The Importance of Outlining

I have taught Advanced Placement writing for over 13 years and have been a writer for over 25 years.  I can tell you that one of the most important skills a writer can develop is an ability to outline. First of all, I want to make sure that the reader understands the difference between outliningContinue reading “The Importance of Outlining”

Bored With Your Own Writing: 5 Things To Do To Not Become Stagnant

I wrote 6 chapters and did tons of research on my latest novel until I really hit my stride and found out that I would have to rewrite the entire thing.  I’m still writing a post-apocalyse novel about the biblical end times, but the effort I put into the first six chapters bored me silly.Continue reading “Bored With Your Own Writing: 5 Things To Do To Not Become Stagnant”

Shifting Gears: When Your Novel Idea Turns Into a Novel Roadblock

I had this great idea for a novel.  This idea has actually evolved into six very good chapters.  Now I’m not so sure they are that good. I’m currently writing a post-apocalyptic novel about how I used to think the world might end.  As a Christian, I believe that the Bible is truth, but didn’tContinue reading “Shifting Gears: When Your Novel Idea Turns Into a Novel Roadblock”