Write Better and Get Published

10 Rules for Writing Opinion Pieces

by Writer's Digest
Opinionated editorial essays are often the most fun, fast and furious pieces to get into print — especially for nonfamous writers with strong opinions and day jobs in other fields. That’s because editors of newspapers and online magazines like Slate, Salon,… 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...

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...

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...

The Action Verb and Beautiful Accidents

by Writer's Digest
If a poem is dynamic, its rhythm headlong, then the tiny turbines of this momentum are the verbs. Action verbs muscle up a sentence and help its propulsion. They may also create unexpected astonishment for the reader. When we believe a poem is finished, we… 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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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 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...

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...
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