Write Better and Get Published

Career Patterns That Work

by by Donald Maass (from Writer's Digest)
If your goal is to get published, that’s great. As an agent with thirty-plus years experience developing fiction careers, though, I can tell you that your thinking is too limited. READ MORE...

Begin at the Beginning

by Writer's Digest
Your first 1,000 words must compel an editor or agent past the milestone where she would normally reject a manuscript. The deeper you can force a publishing professional to read into your novel, the greater the likelihood she will eventually be interested… READ MORE...

3 Techniques For Crafting a Better Villain

by Hallie Ephron (from Writer's Digest)
Today’s villain is no Snidely Whiplash standing there twirling his moustache and sneering, a neon arrow blinking “BAD GUY” over his head. In a good contemporary mystery—and in a lot of other genres besides—any character who looks that nefarious is going to… READ MORE...

3 Strategies for Solid Research

by from Writer's Digest
1. Develop a system for tracking your legwork. “Take a digital camera with you, photograph everything, dictate notes … never lose anything. Never lose anything,” says David Hewson, international bestselling author of the Nic Costa thrillers. READ MORE...

The 10 Commandments of Fiction Writing

by Writer's Digest
Most experts agree that when it comes to writing fiction, no rules are carved in stone. A writer is free to bend, twist, smash or shred any of the golden platitudes of writing that have been handed down by the well-paid, well-respected writers we all hope to… READ MORE...

10 Tabloid Tips To Better Writing

by from Writer's Digest
Shocking! Incredible! Amazing! Reading the supermarket tabloids can actually make you a better writer. READ MORE...

5 Characteristics of Compatible Mates

by from Writer's Digest
If you haven’t read much recent romance and you’re thinking about trying to break in, you’ve got some homework to do. READ MORE...

10-Minute Fixes to 10 Common Plot Problems

by from Writer's Digest
Good fiction takes time. You cannot sit down at the keyboard and pound out the Great American Novel in one or two sessions. (Take it from me; I’ve tried.) READ MORE...

3 Secrets to Great Storytelling

by from Writer's Digest
As a novelist and writing instructor, I’ve noticed that three of the most vital aspects of story craft are left out of many writing books and workshops. Even bestselling novelists stumble over them. READ MORE...

How to Use Facts in Your Fiction

by Writer's Digest
Novelists are naturally drawn to write about the subjects that interest them. Doctors pen medical thrillers. Lawyers turn their hands to courtroom dramas. Suburban soccer moms write about—well, suburban soccer moms. Some add to their experiences by arranging… READ MORE...

Learn Secrets to Self-Pub Success

by Writer's Digest
by Zachary Petit In this extended interview, discover how Daryl Pinksen, the winner of our 17th Annual Self-Published Book Awards, created a great independent offering—and how you can, too. READ MORE...

4 Techniques to Fire Up Your Fiction

by from Writer's Digest
Many fiction manuscripts submitted to my literary agency feel lackluster. Much genre fiction feels tired. Many mainstream and literary novels also strike me as stale. Even when well written, too often manuscripts fail to engage and excite me. READ MORE...

Tips for Priming the Writing Pump

by Writer's Digest
Humans are creatures who cling to ritual. As a species we hope that rituals enlighten us. We hope that rituals help us make the journey from one point to another easier somehow. We hope that rituals help us keep connected—to what has come before and what may… READ MORE...

One Writers Unique Journey

by Andew Peterson (from Writers' Digest)
I first knew I wanted to be a writer sometime in 1990, soon after my marriage to Carla. READ MORE...

Setting The Scene

by Writer's Digest
Coming up with interesting settings, and using them effectively can be a difficult step for many fiction writers. Below you''ll find some creative exercises to help you make the most of setting in your fiction. Start a "setting" journal. Begin looking… READ MORE...

How to Write Successful Endings

by Writer's Digest
The most-asked question when someone describes a novel, movie or short story to a friend probably is, "How does it end?" Endings carry tremendous weight with readers; if they don't like the ending, chances are they'll say they didn't like the work. Failed… READ MORE...

Should You Write a Memoir? (The Memoirist's Dilemma)

by Writer's Digest
I'm often asked why people who profess to dislike reading buy memoirs, and the answer always seems so obvious to me. As children we devour the stories our parents tell us, and even fashion our own fantasies around the stories’ protagonists. As adults,… READ MORE...

10 Ways to Start Your Story Better

by from Writer's Digest
The sentence you are currently reading has the potential to brand itself indelibly upon our cultural consciousness and to alter the course of Western Civilization. OK, maybe that’s an exaggeration. But what author doesn’t dream of crafting an opening line… READ MORE...

Defining and Developing Your Anti-Hero

by Jessica Morrell (from Writer's Digest)
If you dare to write about less-than-charming characters, you don’t need to redeem them with an ending in which they see the error of their ways, mend their faults, and allow their flinty hearts to be transformed into a choir loft of goodness. READ MORE...

How to Craft Compelling Characters

by Writer's Digest
The source and exact nature of the curious phenomena we refer to as characters remains something of a mystery, but the craft of characterization is not. Although it’s clearly a cause for celebration — or at least relief — when a character appears in the… READ MORE...

Tips From Writing Legend Lawrence Ferlinghetti

by Writer's Digest
The following is an online-exclusive extended Q&A portion of the interview—and its accompanying timeline—that appears in the January issue of Writer's Digest. What’s day-to-day life like these days? Are you still involved at City Lights? I’ve more or less… READ MORE...

A Checklist for Developing Your Hero and Heroine

by Leigh Michaels (from Writer's Digest)
Answer the following questions for each of your main characters. It’s usually most productive to take one character at a time, but if you run into difficulty answering the questions about one, try switching over to the other for a while. READ MORE...

Finding Strong Ideas for Teen Fiction

by K.L. Going (from Writer's Digest)
Finding the right idea is the key to beginning your YA novel. So where, exactly, do ideas come from? How can you find ideas that teenagers will enjoy? READ MORE...

9 Ways to Get Started and Stay Motivated

by Jessica Strawser (from Writer's Digest)
If you don’t already read Lisa Scottoline, I can almost guarantee that her fresh, funny and inspiring session here at ThrillerFest would have made you an instant fan. READ MORE...
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