Write Better & Get Published

The following articles were culled from Writer’s Digest magazine to give you everything you need to write great stories.

How to Craft Compelling Characters

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 mind’s eye...

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10 Ways to Start Your Story Better

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 that will...

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3 Secrets to Great Storytelling

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. And if you master these simple principles for shaping great stories,...

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8 Ways to Write a 5-Star Chapter One

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. You smile and order an appetizer. When it comes, you enjoy...

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Using Adjectives

From the Writer’s Digest Grammar Desk Reference by Gary Lutz and Diane Stevenson. 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). Modifiers and Other Parts...

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Flash Fiction FAQs

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. Other terms play companionably in the same sandbox, including short-short...

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The 7 Tools of Dialogue

My neighbor John loves to work on his hot rod. He’s an automotive whiz and tells me he can hear when something is not quite right with the engine. He doesn’t hesitate to pop the hood, grab his bag of tools and start to tinker. He’ll keep at it until the engine sounds...

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Career Patterns That Work

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. Getting published is not the end of the road, but the beginning. Sizeable audiences...

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The Key Elements of Writing a Good Memoir

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 happened....

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5 Characteristics of Compatible Mates

If you haven’t read much recent romance and you’re thinking about trying to break in, you’ve got some homework to do. An aspiring writer in any genre should pore over the sort of books she’d like to write. It’s important to have both a knowledge of and a respect for...

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The 10 Commandments of Fiction Writing

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 become....

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