Write Better and Get Published

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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-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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Flash Fiction FAQs

by William Highsmith (from Writer's Digest)
What is flash fiction? Exact definitions can vary by specific market, but generally, complete stories of fewer than 1,500, 1,000, 500 or even 300 words can be classified as flash fiction. READ MORE...

Your Novel Blueprint

by Writer's Digest
January 20, 2009 by Karen S. Wiesner Writing a novel and building a house are pretty similar when you think about it. For instance, most builders or homeowners spend a lot of time dreaming about their ideal houses, but there comes a time when they have to… 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...
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