Write Better and Get Published

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...

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...

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...

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...

The Key Elements of Writing a Good Memoir

by Writer's Digest
When I began work on my memoir, Hold Me Close, Let Me Go: A Mother, a Daughter and an Adolescence Survived, about my daughter’s action-packed coming of age, I didn’t know a thing about arcs. I thought, I lived this story. I’ll just write it down the way it… 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...

Creating Characters: 4 Simple Exercises

by Nancy Kress (from Writer's Digest)
Tips and techniques for creating characters with emotion and viewpoint in this excerpt from "Write Great Fiction: Characters, Emotion & Viewpoint" by Nancy Kress. 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...

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...

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 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...

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...

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...

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 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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

How to Amp up Dialogue with Emotional Beats

by Todd A. Stone (from Writer's Digest)
Dialogue benefits from variety. A good way to maintain your reader's interest is to insert a variety of beats into your dialogue. 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...

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...
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RT @JBWhitehouse1: After 3 years I have finally published my debut novel JERSIG. A story of adventure, finding purpose, love, and passion w…

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