Write Better and Get Published

Spotlight on Backspace

by Writer's Digest
Spotlight: Backspace [bksp.org] Year founded: 2004 Number of members: 1,000 Mission: Writers Helping Writers. How to join: Backspace charges $40/year for access to the discussion forums, with a five-day free trial period at the outset so prospective members… 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...

How to Improve Your Writing Style in 10 Minutes or Fewer

by Writer's Digest
1. USE STRAIGHTFORWARD LANGUAGEThe most fundamental way to simplify writing is to use simpler words. Simple words — whether verbs, nouns or adjectives — tend to have broader connotations, while complicated words have more specific meanings. Thus, you have a… READ MORE...

How to Enhance Your Character's POV

by Writer's Digest
Once you’ve chosen a primary point-of-view character, you need to get to know her from the inside out. 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...

Flash Fiction FAQs

by William Highsmith (from Writer's Digest)
What is flash fiction? Exact definitions can vary by specific market, but generally, complete stories of fewer than 1,500, 1,000, 500 or even 300 words can be classified as flash fiction. READ MORE...

Finish Your Novel in 4 Simple Steps

by Lin Enger (from Writer's Digest)
Novelists are the distance runners, the long-haul truckers, the transoceanic captains of the literary world. There is no sprinting through a novel, at least not for the novelist; there are simply too many characters, too many scenes, too many story lines and… READ MORE...

10 Ways to Stay Sane When Frustrated With Your Writing

by from Writer's Digest
Sometimes, when I’m cutting a deadline too close, I’ll set the TIMER ON THE STOVE and tell myself I’ll write for at least an hour. Rarely have I heard the chime and wanted to stop. And I always feel good about actually using the stove for something. READ MORE...

Can Writers Get Creative With Facts?

by Writer's Digest
When a congressman shouted “You lie” during a nationally televised speech by President Obama in September, the gasp was heard around the globe. That phrase is an insult. And because it is, the verb lie is commonly replaced by misspeak, exaggerate, inflate,… READ MORE...

Is Happiness Possible in a Creative Writing Program?

by Writer's Digest
The following is an online-exclusive extended version of the interview that appears in the November/December issue of WD. [Coming soon: Click here to order the issue—or click here to download a digital version instantly to your desktop.] Let’s face it:… 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...

9 Tricks to Writing Suspense Fiction

by Writer's Digest
Your heart is slamming against your rib cage, your fingertips are moist and you turn another page. The antagonist is setting up a trap. You wish you could do something to prevent the protagonist from walking into it, but you can’t. You’re helpless, totally at… 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 Give Your Character the Perfect Name

by Devyani Borade (from Writer's Digest)
"Once upon a time,” I begin my story, “there lived a king whose name was …” Here I stop. Henry? No, too common. John? Too short. George? Nah, I keep misspelling it while typing fast. Besides, why am I limiting this to English names? The story certainly… READ MORE...

How to Amp up Dialogue with Emotional Beats

by Todd A. Stone (from Writer's Digest)
Dialogue benefits from variety. A good way to maintain your reader's interest is to insert a variety of beats into your dialogue. 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...

8 Ways to Write a 5-Star Chapter One

by Elizabeth Sims (Writer's Digest)
When you decide to go to a restaurant for a special dinner, you enjoy the anticipation. You’ve committed to spending sufficient time and money, and now you’ve arrived, and the place looks good and smells good. READ MORE...

11 Plot Pitfalls - And How to Rescue Your Story From Them

by Writer's Digest
We’ve all been there: basking in the glow of a finished manuscript, only to read it over and realize something is wrong with the plot. Finding ourselves unable to identify the problem only makes matters worse. 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...

The Best and Worst of Writing Advice

by Writer's Digest
When you gather a panel of writers to discuss the best and worst writing advice they’ve ever received, the conversation promises to be as colorful as it is informative — and this session did not disappoint. Matt Richtel, thriller writer and Pulitzer… 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...

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...

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...

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...
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