What’s in the Box: Thinking ‘Inside the Box’ to Create Suspenseful Writing


What’s in the Box: Thinking ‘Inside the Box’ to Create Suspenseful Writing

What’s in the Box | Image Courtesy Kyle Pearson (Licensed Under CC BY-ND 2.0)

ALL THREE BOYS held their breath while Brian forced a key into the worn lock of his grandfather’s weathered steamer trunk. “Was this the right key?” Brian thought. And more importantly, what was the secret that Grandpa had been hiding all these years . . .

We writers are constantly striving to maintain our readers’ attention. We can accomplish this, of course, through a carefully constructed primary plot. But we can also make use of other more subtle techniques to propel the reader forward. A particularly fun way to add intrigue is through a simple technique I like to think of as the “what’s in the box” teaser.  (more…)


Literary Treasures Here and There: London, England

Literary Treasures Here and There London, England

Bodleian Library, London England | Image Courtesy Koen de Geus

PERHAPS IT’S A FORMER HAUNT of a favored author, the location of a classic novel’s setting, or the home of a renowned literary establishment. Whatever the specifics, there exist untold destinations throughout the world capable of breathing new life into our favorite literature.

During the course of an ongoing series entitled “Literary Treasures Here and There,” we’ll be exploring bookish destinations around the globe. For this first installment, pack your deerstalker cap, favorite tobacco pipe, and a bespoke greatcoat; we’re headed to London, England, a city steeped in rich storytelling tradition. (more…)

Being Original in a Creatively Crowded World

Being Original in a Creatively Crowded World

WITH SO MUCH creative content seeping out into the world, it  sometimes feels like true originality is an increasingly unobtainable objective. After all, there are only so many plot structures, so many colors, and so many notes.

“No one can see the world through your own eyes, tell your story, or paint your picture. Only you can do that.”

But instead of despairing before the great collective oeuvre of all the world’s artists, we should feel free to reference its genius—and without feeling like doing so somehow infringes upon our own creativity. (more…)