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 Use Facts in Your Fiction

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 to ride...

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3 Strategies for Solid Research

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. “I keep a journal on every...

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The Best and Worst of Writing Advice

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 Prize-winning...

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3 Techniques For Crafting a Better Villain

Today’s villain is no Snidely Whiplash standing there twirling his mustache 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 turn out to...

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9 Ways to Get Started and Stay Motivated

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. Case in point? She began by handing out copies of actual rejection letters she received during five...

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How to Enhance Your Character’s POV

Once you’ve chosen a primary point-of-view character, you need to get to know her from the inside out. Keep in mind that readers want an experience, not just a view. They want to see the story through that character’s eyes. In order to create an authentic narrative...

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Tips for Writing and for Life

I began the tip sheet you are about to read some 20 years ago, I guess. It was designed for undergraduates, but it soon became clear that our graduate students needed it no less and probably more. It’s by no means static. I put something good (as you’ll read later—see...

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8 Basic Writing Blunders

1. Morning-routine cliché Clichés come in all shapes and sizes. There are just as many clichéd scenes as phrases and words. For instance, how may times have you seen a book begin with a main character being "rudely awakened" from a "sound sleep" by a "clanging" alarm...

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Can Writers Get Creative With Facts?

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, mislead,...

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Learn Secrets to Self-Publishing Success

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. What should writers bear in mind when selecting self-publishers? You get what...

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Finish Your Novel in 4 Simple Steps

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 storylines and pages and...

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4 Techniques to Fire Up Your Fiction

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. What is missing when a...

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