Author Archives: Brian A. Klems

Job Swap

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?

17th Annual Short Short Story Competition Winner: The Removal

“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...

Mother’s Day Fiasco

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.

Hiring a New Villain

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.

Michelle Cox Featured

Taking the Mystery Out of Writing History

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...

Root Canal Secret Mission

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?

Margaret Rogerson featured

Successful Query: Margaret Rogerson & An Enchantment of Ravens

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...

Get Out of the Car With Your Hands Up

You're driving to your favorite city when you're stopped by a police officer. Sure, you were going a few miles over the speed limit, so you're not overly surprised. But you are surprised when the police officer gets to your car and screams, "Get out of your car with your hands up!" This leads...

The Letter All Writers Should Write

Write a letter to a person who supported your writing career, whether that be a friend, a family member, a teacher (even one that supported you at a very young age before you knew that it would blossom into a writing career), an author you've never met but have been inspired by his or...

This Isn’t a Drill

You're sitting in your office when the fire alarm goes off. As you start to exit the building with other coworkers in an orderly fashion, as you've been trained, you hear screaming coming from the corner office. Instinctively, you rush to that office to see smoke and fire all around the door. What do...