12 Writing Tips Hidden In The Garden: Brought To You By Cold Mountain

12 Writing Tips Hidden In The Garden: Brought To You By Cold Mountain

It’s planting season where I live. Buds grow, flowers bloom, and vibrant energy courses through the air (this energy, also known as pollen, causes frequent sneezes). If you are gardening or writing like me, you’re in luck. The novel Cold Mountain contains twelve time-tested tips to inspire your craft. The lessons are buried deep in this Civil War saga and National Book Award winner, so I’ve dug them up and scrubbed them clean.

Behold, here are a dozen secrets to a banner crop and brilliant writing.

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The Greatest Story Ever Told

The Greatest Story Ever Told

Science is catching up with ancient human wisdom. Studies of the brain show that stories activate parts of the cortex like nothing else. Or as one scholar put it, as he measured the brain activity of people watching a James Bond movie, he was “watching an amazing neural ballet in which a story line changes the activity of people’s brains.” (HBR, Why Your Brain Loves Good Storytelling).

We all know this is true. Stories change us. Sometimes profoundly. And it makes you wonder: what is the greatest story ever told? What story has produced the most total change in human brains? Here’s the definitive answer, plus a storyteller’s reasons why.

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Age 30-33: The Differences Between Jesus and Me

Age 30-33: The Differences Between Jesus and Me

This week I reached the ripe age of 33. It was a fine birthday, spent with family and friends and Facebook well-wishers. I even got to talk through my upcoming book, Great White Throne, with a couple writer friends.

Amidst these festivities, a bigger question has been on my mind. Tradition says a man named Jesus lived to the same age. In only three years of ministry, he left quite a mark on the world. So I figure it’s time to see how I’m measuring up to the world’s most famous person.

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Writing A Compelling True Story: Fiction Tools For Non-Fiction

Writing A Compelling True Story: Fiction Tools For Non-Fiction

The third book of the Omega Trilogy, Great White Throne, is in my editor’s hands. I’m trying to keep it out of my mind, so I can look at it fresh in a few weeks. The best way to do that: start something new.

So that’s what I’m doing, and this new story is powerful and good. It has great characters and big ideas. But it’s quite different from my novels. Mainly, it’s not fiction.

Switching gears from fiction to true story presents some challenges. Here’s what I’ve learned so far.

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