Writing craft

Jump-Starting Your Creativity


Hi, Dave Fessenden here for a discussion on creativity and idea implementation.

There’s an old story that a beginning writer once asked a veteran author how he kept coming up with writing ideas. The veteran grabbed the young man by the shoulders, shook him fervently, and said with a tone of desperation, “How do you stop coming up with ideas?!”

Writing craft

Are You Stuck? Be Counterintuitive!


Hi, Dave Fessenden here to talk to you writers out there for this Friday’s blog. One of the most painful experiences a writer can have is the feeling that your writing instincts have betrayed you. You encounter a writing problem, such as a nonfiction concept that seems to defy explanation, or a fictional character that is hard to describe. All your standard, tried-and-true writing techniques seem to fall flat, leaving you frustrated.

While it often helps to set this kind of problem aside for a few days, if you are on a deadline you may not have that luxury. Even worse is when you have set it aside, and still cannot make it work. At that point it is probably time to be counterintuitive.

Writing craft

What to Do with a First Draft


Hi, Dave Fessenden here to talk to you writers out there for this Friday’s blog. If you have completed your first draft, let me be the first to say it: Congratulations! Go ahead and celebrate. Bask in the glow of accomplishment. Take the tribe out for a nice dinner.

Are you done celebrating now? Good, because you’ve got a lot of work ahead of you!

Exploding Speakeasy FrntCoverFinal

The Case of the Exploding Speakeasy by David E. Fessenden

The Book Proposal


Concept to Contract by Dave Fessenden

Dave Fessenden


I am an independent publishing consultant with degrees in journalism and theology, and over 30 years of experience in writing and editing. I have served in editorial management positions for Christian book publishers and was a regional editor for the largest Protestant weekly newspaper in the country.

I am the author of seven books; I’ve written hundreds of newspaper and magazine articles, and edited numerous books. I am a frequent speaker at writers’ conferences. In 2011 I compiled my experience in Christian publishing to produce Writing the Christian Nonfiction Book: Concept to Contract, published by SonFire Media. Following this book’s success, SonFire asked me to write the first in a series of instructional e-books for Christian authors. A Christian Writer’s Guide to the Book Proposal was released in April of 2014.

My first novel, The Case of the Exploding Speakeasy, came out in 2013 through Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. It reflects my love for history and for the Sherlock Holmes stories of Arthur Conan-Doyle.

My wife, Jacque, and I live in south-central Pennsylvania and have two adult sons.

As an agent with WordWise, I am specializing in nonfiction genres such as theology, biblical studies, church/social/cultural issues, and reference. I also specialize in fiction genres such as sci-fi/fantasy and historical.


Website/Blog| Facebook Author Page | Twitter |



Twitter: @DavidEFessenden






Inspiration for Writers Writing craft

Are You a Scribe of the Kingdom?

"DEFessenden_Headshot"Hi, writers! Dave Fessenden here to ask you a question: Are you a scribe of the Kingdom?

Tucked away in the last chapter of Romans is a seemingly obscure verse: “I, Tertius, who wrote down this letter, greet you in the Lord” (16:22).

Tertius was a scribe, and the ministry he performed was an important one. Though his function was little more than that of a secretary, Tertius stands as an example to Christian writers: he faithfully committed to paper the things he heard from the Apostle Paul.

Writing craft

The Safire Principle—or, How to Avoid Head-Scratching

"Dave&books"Hi, folks, Dave Fessenden here with a bit of writing advice, brought to you by my friend Steve Dunham.

A brilliant veteran of the publishing world, Steve has edited books, magazines, newsletters, and even technical manuals, bringing a fresh wind of clarity into the morass of modern verbiage. I often consult him when I am stuck on an editorial issue, and he never fails to help.

I recently brought the following conundrum to him, a problem that (surprisingly) I had never encountered before. An author had just sent me a manuscript with this phrase: “Matthew 6:14–16 define . . .”


Inspiration for Writers

Fail Your Way to Success

"Dave&books"Hi, Dave Fessenden here with some thoughts on writing for this Friday blog. Right now, I’m working on the sequel to my first novel (The Case of the Exploding Speakeasy), and having to remind myself of some of the things I’ve told others about writer’s block.

One thing I’ve learned about tackling a new project is this: don’t expect to succeed.