Write Better and Get Published

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...

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...

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 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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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 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...

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...

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...

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...

Tips for Writing and for Life

by Writer's Digest
I began the tip sheet you are about to read some 20 years ago, I guess. It was designed for undergraduates, but it soon became clear that our graduate students needed it no less and probably more. It’s by no means static. 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...

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...

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...

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...

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...
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