November/December 2013 Issue
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Author Archives: Brian A. Klems
An anonymous friend has been leaving you gifts at work to celebrate each of the 12 days of Christmas. All was fine and good for the first 11 gifts, which were thoughtful. But the 12th gift isn’t actually a gift at all—it’s a photograph of someone you love doing something they shouldn’t be doing and an extortion note demanding $10,000 in cash or that photo goes live on the Internet. What do you do? Write this scene. Read more
Write an end-of-days story from a non-human point of view (animal, tree, insect, cloud, etc.) Read more
Around Thanksgiving I’m always reminded of how thankful I am for my wife, my kids, my family and my friends. One thing that I often overlook is how thankful I am that I am a writer. It’s a challenging profession, one that causes a lot of rejection, heartbreak and unintentionally condescending looks from others (“So you’re a writer? That’s nice, but what’s your real job?”). But the payoff is this: Read more
Your neighbor started hanging her Christmas decorations. You smile, wave and say, “Looks good,” as you pull into your garage. Suddenly, you take pause and notice that her decorations look very familiar and, are in fact, yours. To confirm you dash to the basement and see that all of you Christmas decorations are missing. You decide to steal back your good in the middle of the night but it doesn’t go as planned. Write this scene. Read more
We want to let you know about the new Writer’s Digest survey and encourage you to participate. Whether you’re an aspiring author, or one who’s already been published, the information you can provide is of great importance to the publishing industry, enabling you to tell publishers, editors, agents, and self-publishing service providers what really matters, why you write, and what you want. Read more below or just click here to participate. Read more
You’ve been invited to attend a Thanksgiving dinner at a friend’s house, but when you walk in you notice there’s no turkey and, instead, a giant “Intervention” sign hanging across the mantle. Your friend, who is surrounded by many of your other friends and family, sits you down and explains that you have a problem: you spend too much time writing! Write this scene and how you handle it. Read more
While shopping downtown one day, you find an antiques store that has a rare, old doll. You buy it for your daughter. A few days later she tells you her new toy can talk. You don’t believe her, until one afternoon you find yourself alone in the house, and it starts talking to you. Write this scene. Read more
Your spouse wants to move out of your new apartment, saying that there is a large space you both can move into. When you go to visit the new digs, you find it’s an abandoned warehouse at an old train yard. Clearly you can’t live there. Only your spouse just spent your life savings to buy it. What do you say? Read more
This free sponsored webinar is brought to you by Speedy Publishing. Learn more about self-publishing and view the full recording below. When it comes to making more money most self-publishers have seen, … Read more
What’s the difference between fewer and less? Here’s a simple explanation to help you use both correctly. Read more
Flipping through your library books for research, you find one of the books you incorrectly checked out. It’s a handwritten journal authored by someone you know. Who wrote it and what does it say? Read more
You are trying to read the morning newspaper when your cat begins pawing at your leg. You brush it away, but it jumps on the table and begins meowing. Finally, the cat speaks. What does she say? Write this scene and what she is trying to tell you. Read more
While we are a community of writers, it doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy some of the finer points of funny and clever images shared throughout today’s social media world. I’ve decided share some of my favorites. This one comes from Mary Zisk. Hope you enjoy. Read more
Everyone has an arch enemy, but until now, you never knew who your enemy was. That all changed one grueling night when, while on vacation, your evening was ruined by your enemy. What’s more peculiar is that your enemy is a famous celebrity! Write about your evening, who your famous arch enemy is and what you did to redeem the night. Read more
Occasionally I will share funny graphics that I’ve found on the Web (or were created by members of the Writer’s Digest staff). Here’s a great one that I think many book lovers will enjoy. Read more
Finish these sentences: “I have a little bit of a problem. I like to ______. It all started when I was ______, when _______.” Use this as a jumping point into a fictional story. Read more
The writing world lost a legend with the passing of Tom Clancy. To honor the author of the Jack Ryan novels, we dove into our archives and found this wonderful Writer’s Digest Interview with Tom Clancy from 2001. Read on. Read more
Walking to catch the bus, you see a young boy look both ways before entering an alley. When you follow him into the alley, he has disappeared. Instead, there is a neatly folded note lying on the pavement. What does it say and how do you react? Read more
This week I helped celebrate #BannedBooksWeek by moderating a Google On Air panel of popular authors discussing why banning books does a disservice to readers everywhere (You won’t believe the screengrab of my giant head that Google picked as the promo image. Anyway, the discussion led to some amazing points about the problems with banning books, other solutions to dealing with kids reading mature content and why parents should put less emphasis on getting books banned and more emphasis on reading with their kids. Watch and enjoy. Read more
Today at 4 p.m. (Eastern) I’ll be moderating a free Google Hangout Event in honor of Banned Books Week, where we celebrate the freedom to read whatever we want! I’ll be joined by bestselling author Jaime Ford (Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet), as well as authors Deb Caletti, Sean Beaudoin and Kathleen Alcalá. Should be a fun, lively discussion. (Though forgive my hoarse voice–I’ve been battling a nasty cold for days.) Find out how to join here. Read more
At an old bookstore, you find a book that helps you interpret your dreams. But something is strange about it. You fall asleep reading the book, and find yourself in a dream that you cannot wake up from. What is it? And how will you snap back to reality? Read more
You delete a chain email that says if you don’t forward it to ten people, you will have bad luck for ten years. On your way out of the office, a black cat passes you. Then you find a parking ticket on your car. And, to top it off, your car won’t start. Was it actually the email? Write your response to the bad luck, as well as other ensuing events that make you wonder about hitting the delete button. Read more