You receive a mysterious call from a friend who asks you to meet him or her at a secret location. When you arrive, that friend reveals that he or she is, by night, a superhero. What's more, the friend needs your help in solving the latest case. Only problem is you can't help. When...
In honor of Father's Day, we've collected several quotes from writers (and a couple from our favorite literary dads) that embody the spirit of fathers.
You're on the verge of bowling a perfect game (getting a strike in every frame). It all comes down to your final throw, which needs to be a strike to pull off the feat. There is a bit of an issue though--you are very superstitious and believe that you need to replicate everything you...
Write a story about a character who finds out that he or she is dying and has been knocking things off his/her bucket list and has finally reached the last item.
Reminder: New literary agents (with this spotlight featuring Connor Eck of Lucinda Literary) are golden opportunities for new writers because each one is a literary agent who is likely building his or her client list. About Connor: Prior to finding a home at Lucinda Literary in 2016, Connor began his career at The Weinstein...
How pitching at a writing conference can lead to finding an agent.
I had never seen it used as a weapon before, but when he tried to attack me with a ________, I couldn't help but laugh. I wasn't going to let him take the treasure from me—I needed it to save a life. (Write a story that follows these lines.)
One of the items in your house has decided to commit suicide, but you will not let it happen on your watch. Write the scene where you catch the item on the verge of taking its life and your attempt to talk the item out of it.
Take a character from one of your stories and place them into your current job. How does the office respond? Do they do a good job filling your place, or are they all play and no work?
Writer's Digest Associate Editor Baihley Grandison took part in Reedsy’s #IWriteBecause campaign. Here's her video (and why you should consider posting your own).
Hitchcock was dubbed the ‘Master of Suspense’ for very good reason. He knew how to manipulate an audience and keep them watching. Here are seven tips to remember when writing suspense to keep your reader turning pages.
“The Removal,” by Lauren Schenkman, is the winning story for the 17th Annual Writer’s Digest Short Short Story Competition. For complete coverage of this year’s awards, including an interview with Schenkman, check out the July/August 2017 issue of Writer’s Digest. You can also view a complete list of winners and an extended interview with Schenkman. To read all 25...
To celebrate Mother's Day, you've invited the entire family over to celebrate. But instead of bringing your mom to the celebration, your father brings someone else—and tells you that this woman is actually your mother. How do you react? Is it someone you know? Write this scene.
"Hello," said the voice on the phone. "My name is __________. I know you never expected a call from me, as famous as I am, but I've been given your name as someone who can help me _______." (Write a story that follows this line.)
Every writer should be focused on this one thing to motivate him or her when writing a suspense novel.
Here are seven excellent pieces of advice for fiction writers from bestselling author Margaret Atwood.
For a freelance writer who doesn’t have a query tracking system—or has the organizational skills of a bowling ball, like me—here is a simple spreadsheet to help you keep track.
Your old villain quit over creative differences, so you've put yourself in charge of hiring a new villain for your novel. What questions do you ask? What does the new villain's resume say? Write this scene as if it were a job interview.
Let me just say that I offer these tips on writing historical fiction from my own limited experience. Doubtless there are other more serious writers out there who will glance over my measly list and scoff at its inadequacy—“Where is the section on research?” they might harrumph—and yet, I offer it anyway. I’ve lost...
There are a lot of challenges and rewards to being an author, and one of the greatest (and sometimes brutal) challenges is getting published. I think we’ve all seen people magically picked up by publishers out of nowhere, but my experience is that they usually know someone in the business. For me, it was...
You've scheduled a root canal and the dentist finishes up. You pay and head to your car. Once in your car you hear a voice (from the tooth) that informs you that the dentist inserted a government device in your mouth and you're needed for a secret mission. What happens next?
Most books have book blurbs on the book jacket, giving it instant credibility. As a first-time author, how do you get quotes from popular authors for the cover of your book? Here's how.
This post is part of a series called Successful Queries. It features actual query letter examples to literary agents that were successful for authors. In addition to the query letter, you’ll also see the thoughts from the writer’s literary agent as to why the letter worked. Today’s features debut author Margaret Rogerson and her...
Ronna Wineberg, founding fiction editor of the Bellevue Literary Review, shares her thoughts on compiling and arranging a short story collection—and the inherent difficulties and differences between that and simply writing a story.
I have never done anything unpredictable, but that changed today when I woke up, packed a bag, went to the airport and randomly bought a ticket to __________. (Write a story that follows this line.)