Meet Jeff Gerke | Writer’s Digest Online Event

Jeff Gerke, author of The First 50 Pages, shares free tips for writing a novel. The opening fifty pages carry a surprising amount of weight for beginning a novel correctly. You have to engage your reader, introduce your hero, and establish the context of the story. You’ll also be presenting the stakes, introducing the...

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True Life Success Stories: Author Patricia Beal

At Writer’s Digest, we love to highlight the success stories of debut authors: How they did it, what they learned and why you can do it, too. In this interview, WD managing editor Tyler Moss spoke with Patricia Beal, author of the upcoming novel A Season to Dance (inspirational contemporary fiction, May, Bling! Romance/Lighthouse...

Writer’s Digest Article Index 2014

All feature articles and columns published in Writer’s Digest during 2014 are indexed by topic. Abbreviations for regular columns: Inkwell—IW; Meet the Agent—MTA; Breaking In—BI; Questions & Quandaries—QQ; Your Story—YS; Standout Markets—SM; Conference Scene—CS; Reject A Hit—RAH Writer’s Digest Article Index 2014 Conferences “Conference Scene (Create Something Magical Writers & Readers Conference; Mount Hermon...

4 Approaches for the First Chapter of Your Novel

There are four primary approaches for beginning a successful novel. Probably more, including some highly experimental ones, but these are the classic main four. Run your story idea through the filter of each of these and see if one of them feels right for your book.

Halfway There: Finishing NaNoWriMo Strong

You’re almost there; you’re halfway through National Novel Writing Month, at least based on the calendar. Whether or not you’re halfway through your goal to 50,000 words (or whatever your goal this month is) may be another story. These next two weeks now become as or more critical than the first two and a...

Starting NaNoWriMo: Finding the Motivation to Write

For some writers, the most difficult thing about writing is just getting started. For myself, I can’t think of anything more intimidating than a blank word document. I spend so much time trying to construct the perfect sentence that it no longer feels like writing. I analyze every word choice. That’s unhealthy. Many of our...

Use Word Choice to Set the Mood

No matter what the genre, a good writer needs to set the mood for readers. Whether it’s a creaky old house or the tense moments leading up to a final confrontation, atmosphere can make or break the experience in any piece of writing. It makes the story believable. In the following excerpt from The Art...

Writer’s Digest Article Index 2012

All feature articles and columns published in Writer’s Digest during 2011 are indexed by topic. Abbreviations for regular columns: Inkwell—IW; Ask the Agent—ATA; Breaking In—BI; Questions & Quandaries—QQ; Your Story—YS; Conference Scene—CS; Writer’s Workbook—WW; Standout Markets—SM Writer’s Digest Article Index 2012   BUSINESS/LEGAL MATTERS “How Do First Rights Work?” QQ, Brian A. Klems, Jan,...

NaNoWriMo Giveaway (Day 22): Starting Your Novel Right

In honor of National Novel Writing Month, I’m going to be offering free content each weekday in November to help all NaNoWriMo participants (and, really, anyone who is working on a novel). Here is today’s giveaway: A checklist to review those first few pages of your manuscript to see if what you’re writing quickly...

How to Find The Moment of Truth For Your Main Character

This excerpt is from Jeff Gerke’s book, Plot versus Character. To find the moment of truth for your main character, bring to mind your hero’s knot. You’ve got her “problem” already figured out. You’ve also chosen the alternative, the sunny land of promise she could get to if she lets go of the old...

Showing vs. Telling in Your Writing

Show, don’t tell. Most writers have heard this maxim at some point, whether from a teacher, an editor or an agent. But what does this writing advice mean, in practical terms? While a certain amount of exposition is unavoidable (and even useful) in your writing, it’s easy to “over-share” the minutiae of your story’s...

Exploring the Inner Journey of a Character’s Transformation

One key element in writing fiction is creating characters with which readers can identify. Today’s tip of the day is taken from Plot Versus Character by Jeff Gerke. The excerpt below, from chapter five, explains the inner journey of a character and why a character’s transformation can make or break your story. Learn Why...