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Author Archives: Brian A. Klems

Jerry B. Jenkins Book Giveaway Winner

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Thanks to everyone who read Jerry Jenkins’ tip on The Key to Successful Writing and participated in the contest. The winner of an autographed copy of The Breakthrough is … Read more

Why You Had to Break In

You are 16 years old and you and your friends have just been caught breaking into the local gas station. After your parents post your bail, you must explain why you did it, since this is not something you would usually do. What your parents—and others—don’t realize is that you did it for heroic reasons. Read more

Lay vs. Lie (vs. Laid)

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Here’s the difference between lay vs. lie, along with “lay lie” examples and a simple chart that breaks it all down and will make it easier for you to know when to use each. Read more

Novel Character Comes to Life – And May Murder Someone

You’ve written a novel with a character that eventually murders one of his or her neighbors. Suddenly, a new person moves into your neighborhood with the same name as your character. Looks similar too. In fact, you can’t help but notice this new neighbor is doing several of the same things as your character—including laying the groundwork to murder someone. You decide to follow this person because, if all holds true to your plot, you know what’s going to happen. Write this scene. Read more

Raise vs. Rise

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Way too often do we see folks misuse these two words. Here’s a simple explanation of the difference between raise and rise—and when to use each. Read more

Announcing the August Winner of our Write It Your Way Competition

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A big congrats to YC Takahashi of Kennesaw, Ga., whose short story “The Shoes” won our August Write It Your Way competition. (The theme for the July competition was “New Beginnings.”) Her story ranked No. 1 out of nearly 160 entries. Enjoy YC’s story here below and don’t miss your chance to enter the upcoming Writer’s Digest Short Short Story Competition, which offers a grand prize of $3,000! Read more

Writers: Help Us Support Breast Cancer Awareness Month

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If there were ever a day to buy that book on writing or sign up for a webinar or purchase our October Premium Collection or get the brand-new 2013 Guide to Literary Agents, today is that day. After a wonderful week of support, we’re giving everyone one last day to help us support Breast Cancer Awareness Month, where 30% of all proceeds of your purchase will be donated directly to the National Breast Cancer Foundation. Here’s how it works. Read more

The Afterlife

You’ve died and gone to heaven, only it’s nothing like you’ve imagined. You’re greeted by a guide—someone from your past—who gives you a tour and explains what you can expect out of the afterlife. There’s one question you’ve been dying to know and, at the end of the tour, you decide to ask. Read more

What Defines Writing Success? (& A Chance to Get Published)

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In the writing community there are countless ways to measure success—completing a first draft, landing an agent, winning a writing competition, etc. So what does it mean to be a successful writer? Tell us and you may get a chance to get published. (Read on for details.) Read more

Who vs. Whom

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Here is a simple explanation of the difference between who and whom (and examples of when to use each). Read more

Why You Can’t Get a Flu Shot Excuse

You’re at the doctor’s office for a regular check up when the doctor suggests you get a flu shot as well. You hate shots, so you come up with the most outlandish excuse as to why you can’t get one. Start your story with “You’re not going to believe this, but … ” and end it with “And that’s why I can’t get a flu shot today.” Read more

Vote Now: Help Us Pick the Write It Your Way Competition Winner

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In August we asked folks to submit their best tales or fictional stories that have a new beginnings theme. More than 150 writers sent in their short essays. We’ve whittled it down to our five favorites, but now we need your help selecting a winner. Here’s how you can help. Read more

Write It Your Way Finalist – A Fine Pickle

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Here is one of the five finalists for the Write It Your Way August competition. Read it now (and the other finalists) and vote by October 1 to help us pick a winner. Read more

Write It Your Way August Finalist – The Shoes

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Here is one of the five finalists for the Write It Your Way August competition. Read it now (and the other finalists) and vote by October 1 to help us pick a winner. Read more

Write It Your Way August Finalist – New Year’s Morning

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Here is one of the five finalists for the Write It Your Way August competition. Read it now (and the other finalists) and vote by October 1 to help us pick a winner. Read more

Write It Your Way August Finalist – Honey and the Moon

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Here is one of the five finalists for the Write It Your Way August competition. Read it now (and the other finalists) and vote by October 1 to help us pick a winner. Read more

Write It Your Way August Finalist – Cheerios and Coffee

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Here is one of the five finalists for the Write It Your Way August competition. Read it now (and the other finalists) and vote by October 1 to help us pick a winner. Read more

Love Letter From the Future?

You are 15 years old and, while still living with your parents, you discover a secret room in your house. It is filled with all sorts of strange things, but one thing in particular catches your eye: It’s a love letter to your mom from someone who isn’t your dad. What’s more peculiar is that it is dated five years into the future. Write a scene where you confront your mom about the letter. Read more

The No. 1 Tip of Successful Writers

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What do most successful writers have in common? One writer ends decades of procrastination and gets to the bottom of this question on her way to writing her first novel. Read more

The Difference Between Voice and Style in Writing

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Here’s a simple breakdown explaining the difference between an author’s writing voice and writing style. Read more

What’s Your Favorite Opening Line to a Book? (& Win a Free Copy of Novel Writing)

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Over on the Guide to Literary Agents blog, Merry Jones looks at How to Write a Great Opening Line. She shares what she considers eight of the best opening lines in fiction. But my favorite opening line isn’t on her list, and it’s one that sticks with me to this day. Read more

They Took Everything—Except One Odd Thing

There’s been a break-in at your house. The robbers took everything—your couch, your clothes, your toilet paper—except for one odd item that they left right in the middle of your living room. This item, though meaningless to the police, is a clue that you recognize and will lead you to the culprits. Read more

How Many Spaces After a Period?

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What’s the rule: Use one space or two spaces after a period? We have the answer (and the reason for it). Read more

Announcing the July Winner of our Write It Your Way Competition

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A big congrats to Rebecca Czarnecki of Denver, Colo., whose short story “Between Shores” won our July Write It Your Way competition. (The theme for the July competition was “Summer.”) Her story ranked No. 1 out of nearly 350 entries. Enjoy Rebecca’s story below and don’t miss your chance to enter the upcoming Writer’s Digest Short Short Story Competition, which offers a grand prize of $3,000! Read more

5 Ways Writers Can Get the Most Out of Goodreads

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If you’re like me, you have a Goodreads account and occasionally use it to update your list of books that you’ve read—but haven’t used it for much else. Goodreads Community Manager offered up this guest post to me on how authors can use Goodreads to their benefit. I found the information very useful and informative, so I thought I’d share. Here it is. Read more

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