Write Better and Get Published

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

17 Writing Secrets

by Writer's Digest
1. Never save your best for last. Start with your best. Expend yourself immediately, then see what happens. The better you do at the beginning, the better you continue to do. 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...

Use Method Writing to Learn About Your Characters

by Writer's Digest
Famous actors such as Robert De Niro and Al Pacino prepare for their roles through a process called method acting, originally taught by the highly respected acting teacher Lee Strasberg. Method acting is a process that requires actors to go inside themselves… READ MORE...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Fiction: Point of View

by Steve Almond (from Writer's Digest)
How many times have you heard this around the workshop table: “Why don’t you consider a new point of view?” (Actually, the term used more often is “POV” because it sounds a lot cooler, I suspect.) 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...
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