Category Archives: Writing

The 4 Stages of Writing and the 3 Mistakes We Make

The four stages of writing and the three mistakes we often make.


Communicating Clearly and Creatively

Stephen Altrogge and I discuss writing techniques, communication skills, favorite authors, and the best books on writing.

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4 Books for Would-Be Writers

There are dozens of practical books to help you improve your writing skills. I recommend these four. Over the years, I’ve found I keep going back to them for assistance.


Why Writing Fiction Was Harder Than I Thought

I thought I’d knock out the project in the amount of time it took to write my other books. Little did I know, I was in for a rude awakening.


Fiction-Writing Basics #1: Determine the Point of View

There are various ways of determining the point of view for a scene, but they can be summed up in three basic approaches.

Also posted in Art, Life & Culture | | 1 Comment

Why I Am Writing a Fiction Book

The story behind my next book.

Also posted in Clear Winter Nights, Personal | | 23 Comments

Research and Respect: 3 Things to Remember as You Study

A review of “The Craft of Research” by Wayne Booth, Gregory Colomb, and Joseph Williams.

Also posted in Education, Reading, Seminary | | 1 Comment

4 Ways to Write with Style and Grace

If the goal of the intellectual life is the passionate pursuit of truth, then a scholar’s writing ought to make the record of discovery as interesting as the journey itself.

Also posted in Education | | 4 Comments

4 Things Every Intellectually-Minded Person Should Remember

4 lessons distilled from from A.G. Sertillanges’ helpful book “The Intellectual Life.”

Also posted in Book Reviews, Education, Reading, Seminary | | 6 Comments

Wordsmithy: 5 Questions for Doug Wilson about Writing

Books on writing bore me. Either they focus too much on grammatical do’s and don’ts or they exalt the intangible features of good writing that are caught, not taught. That’s why most writing books leave me with a passionate desire to write more – not because they’ve inspired me but because I’d much rather go ahead and write than read another boring book about writing.

Doug Wilson’s brief book Wordsmithy: Hot Tips for the Writing Life is a delightful exception. Wilson only has seven exhortations for us writer-wanna-be’s, and he delivers them in two pages. That’s right. In two pages, you get the gist of the book, but those two pages will whet your appetite for what the rest of the book delivers.

Reading Wordsmithy is a lot like savoring a meal at the same time you are learning to cook. As you learn how to mix up the ingredients that make for good writing, Wilson dons his chef’s hat in order to properly demonstrate all that he is exhorting you to. In other words, you won’t leave the table hungry.

After reading WordsmithyI sent Doug a few questions about writing. Here are his answers:

Trevin Wax: When did you first begin to write?

Doug Wilson: I remember wanting to “make books” around the sixth grade. And I think I wrote my first poem around the same time (it was about a sea anemone). But I did not seriously begin to write until after my stint in the Navy, when I was around 22.

Trevin Wax: Have you …

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