Author Archives: Brian A. Klems

I Think I’m a Clone Now

Ah, back home and time to relax. Long weeks are brutal. Is that the television you hear? Well you haven’t been home all day so you decide to check it out, thinking you left it on. As you enter the room you see the television is indeed on. And you’re already sitting there watching...

The Board of Education

The fight has been raging for three days. The teachers on their end, toting rulers, eraser canons and textbook grenades, and the students on the other, with only school-approved items found in their bookbags. Both sides have suffered casualties and people are wondering, what happened three days ago at Winston Waters High that started...

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A List of Upcoming Online Courses From Writer’s Digest University

Interested in improving your writing skills? Your blogging skills? Want to become a copywriter master to make a good living on the side (to support your creative writing)? It's time you checked out Writer's Digest University slate of online courses, designed to help you improve your technique and reach your writing goals. Here's a...

A Few Sips Off

You take a sip from your drink and feel different. That may be because your torso has an extra arm protruding from it. Another sip, another arm. Then a wing. What happens if you finish the drink?

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Are Subjects Joined by And Singular or Plural?

Q: I’m writing a letter and am uncertain which sentence is correct: Your passion and commitment to my company HAVE inspired many, or, Your passion and commitment to my company HAS inspired many? —Carrie G. This kind of thing used to trip me up, too, as a subject with multiple nouns in it seems...

PUNch Out

You’re in an epic pun off; whit is spewing out of your mouth and your opponent's mouth with punishing purpose. What are some sweet puns you could use to really wipe the smile off your opponent's face? Make sure not to frown on the worst of puns either—they’re all beautiful. Write this scene and...

WD Online Exclusive: Book Proposal Basics

The October 2014 Writer’s Digest lets you in on “The Secret to a Stronger Nonfiction Book Proposal”—but if you need a refresher on how to put the whole proposal together, we’ve got that covered, too, on The Writer’s Dig blog with 8 Essential Elements of a Nonfiction Book Proposal. 

8 Unexpected Lessons From Working with a Literary Agent

I had two full manuscripts and one partial out with various interested agents when I got the email. The email that said Stacey read my manuscript and wanted to set up a time to discuss it. I’d been rejected by 14 other agents already, so I wasn’t even sure what that meant. Then I...

Captain off Deck

The ocean is a vast and beautiful thing. Taking a quick peak off the side of your boat you realize something strange. The tentacles slowly creeping up the hull aren’t your imagination and the captain’s nowhere to be found. Where do we go from here?

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How to Plot and Structure Your Novel – AUG 7 WEBINAR WITH Cheryl Klein

In this live 90-minute webinar — titled "How to Plot and Structure Your Novel: Learn Important Principles, Patterns, and Practical Revision Techniques" — editor Cheryl Klein will guide you through the principles that underlie traditional narrative plotting—a framework on which you can build all sorts of variations. You'll learn about the three main types...

The Open Window

You had that dream again. The one where the beast with the drooping hands and wicked fangs stares you down from your window. Except the windows open this time—and you’re awake! What happens next?

War Never Changes

During your trip to Turkey, you check into an old hotel. After settling yourself you notice a weathered chest in the corner. Upon opening it, war relics from the First World War and the Ottoman Empire lay before you. What stories do you find?

Alien Rock

Being a famous rock star is hard. Especially when an alien invasion hits mid-concert. As lasers and abductions abound, do you think your sick beats can stop this catastrophe? Write about how you attempted to fight off the aliens and whether or not you succeeded.

The Robert Syndrome

You wake up in—wait this isn’t your room. Confused you step to the mirror and see that you’re famous actor Robert Downey Jr. How did you get here and what do you do?

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How to Finish That Novel

At one time or another, all writers would probably describe themselves as "frustrated" by the writing process. With writer's block, computer malfunctions, Twitter, kids, and Tetris all clamoring for our attention, it's hard to pen a short story, let alone a novel. But if you're serious about writing you'll make it work. Here are...

Where Does The Tunnel Lead?

You're outside cutting your grass when you come across a large hole in the ground. You've never noticed the hole before, but it looks to be some sort of tunnel to another world. You decide to peek through and see where it leads, only it leads you to a pivotal moment in your past—and...

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Want to Appear in Writer’s Digest? Here’s how.

Have you ever tried to write a book in a month—as part of NaNoWriMo, with a writing group, or just on your own? What was your experience? What were the challenges, and what did you learn as you worked to overcome them? What was the end result? And what’s the best advice you could...

Going on Chore Strike

Your family isn't cooperating with your writing career, so you've decided to go on strike. Write a list of demands that must be met in order for you to return to your chores and household responsibilities. (Don't forget to make a concession or two to speed up the negotiation process.)

World Cup Madness

You're a soccer player on your national team at a World Cup soccer game. It's an elimination game. The game has been intense and is tied 0-0. It comes down to the final play and the ball is yours. Do you make it? Miss and send to a shootout? Write this scene, but here's...