Write Better and Get Published

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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 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...

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...

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 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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...
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