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A 4-Step Guide to Writing a Murder Mystery

A 4-Step Guide to Writing a Murder Mystery

Crafting a murder mystery for the first time is like learning the violin. After listening to a compelling performance on Youtube, a burst of excitement overwhelms you. You’re sure that, with minimal practice, you can master the instrument too. So you hop onto Amazon, scroll through a few reviews, and buy a set of strings and a bow. Thus armed, you attend your first lesson. Your confidence then explodes. The teacher talks about shoulder rests and resin, frogs and violas, tuning pegs and horse-hair bows. With sinking dread, you realize that becoming a violinist is far more complicated than you expected, and playing that song from Youtube may take years. Admiring an artist’s technique is one thing, and trying to replicate it is another.

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How to Depict Characters Living in Sin without Endorsing Their Choices

How to Depict Characters Living in Sin without Endorsing Their Choices

Has your work-in-progress ever taken a dark turn? You thought you were writing about teenagers falling in love for the first time, but instead you ended up with scenes where the characters crossed physical boundaries. Or maybe your plot veered into other uncomfortable territory. A violence-ridden city. An unfaithful spouse. Gender dysphoria. Because the world is broken, you can’t portray it authentically and empathize with your audience unless you recognize the struggles around you.

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How Heroes (Don’t) Change the World

How Heroes (Don’t) Change the World

Heroes change their worlds by undergoing personal transformation that impels them to risk their own safety for the sake of others. Sometimes this is encapsulated in a singular act, and other times in a recurring pattern, but both reflect the same theme. Over the past few years, however, I’ve noticed an influx of stories that define heroism differently. Instead of revolving around the principle that virtue develops inwardly before manifesting outwardly, this new version focuses on moral judgment.

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Give Readers What They Need, Not Just What They Want

Give Readers What They Need, Not Just What They Want

Though stories are imaginary, they have an incredible ability to encourage readers to either engage deeply with the real world, or search for an escape. As writers, our responsibility is to be intentional about the reactions we provoke and instead fill readers up. Only when they’re overflowing with hope can they pour themselves into others. To leave them in a better state than you found them, you need to stir up a special sort of longing.

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How to Write Characters Who Struggle with Anxiety

How to Write Characters Who Struggle with Anxiety

Anxiety has become increasingly common with all of the turmoil in the world today, affecting a wide variety of people regardless of age, gender, or lifestyle. Since identifying the problems readers are facing is essential to creating relatable characters, anxiety needs to be represented in fiction—and Christian authors have a unique ability to provide comfort.

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