Write Better and Get Published

The 7 Tools of Dialogue

by Writer's Digest
My neighbor John loves to work on his hot rod. He’s an automotive whiz and tells me he can hear when something is not quite right with the engine. He doesn’t hesitate to pop the hood, grab his bag of tools and start to tinker. He’ll keep at it until the… 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...

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...

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 for Injecting Dialogue With Suspense and Tension

by Writer's Digest
Learn exactly what constitutes conflict, action and suspense, how they relate to other important ingredients in your story, and—perhaps most important—how to manipulate them. In Conflict, Action and Suspense,[1] William Noble recommends using the "Well/Maybe"… 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...

Using Adjectives

by Gary Lutz and Diane Stevenson (Writer's Digest)
Let’s examine the embellishments that either limit meaning or add further information (as well as direction, color, and detail to the basic grammatical unit). 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...

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...

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...

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...

Anne Tyler's Tips on Writing Strong (yet Flawed) Characters

by Writer's Digest
Anne Tyler belongs to a disappearing generation of writers, those who came into their own in an era when it was more than enough to—well, to simply write. Intensely protective of her craft, she hasn’t given an in-person interview or participated in a book… READ MORE...

The 4 Story Structures that Dominate Novels

by by Orson Scott Card (Writer's Digest)
All stories contain four elements that can determine structure: milieu, idea, character and event. While each is present in every story, there is generally one that dominates the others. Which one dominates? The one that the author cares about most. 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...

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...

8 Basic Writing Blunders

by by Jerry B. Jenkins (from Writer's Digest)
1. Morning-routine cliché Clichés come in all shapes and sizes. There are just as many clichéd scenes as phrases and words. 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...

Writing Advice from Stephen King Jerry Jenkins

by Writer's Digest
HOW DID THE TWO OF YOU MEET? JENKINS: We happened to have the same audio reader, a brilliant voice actor named Frank Muller. In November 2001 Frank was in a horrible motorcycle accident that left him brain damaged, incapacitated and barely able to speak. One… 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...

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...

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...

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...

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...
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