Write Better and Get Published

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

9 Ways to Get Started and Stay Motivated

by Jessica Strawser (from Writer's Digest)
If you don’t already read Lisa Scottoline, I can almost guarantee that her fresh, funny and inspiring session here at ThrillerFest would have made you an instant fan. 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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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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