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Author Archives: Brian A. Klems

Writing and Selling Middle Grade Fiction – AUG 14 Webinar With Jennifer Laughran

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In this live 90-minute webinar — titled “Writing and Selling Middle Grade Fiction” — instructor and literary agent Jennifer Laughran will talk about what’s happening in the exciting Middle Grade market, as well as examine some recently published titles to see what they got right. She’ll also talk revision tips and tricks to help you take your work-in-progress to the next level — she’ll also critique either your query letter or the first 500 pages of your MG novel. It all happens at 1 p.m., EST, Thursday, August 14, 2014, and lasts 90 minutes. Read more

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 battle of puns. Read more

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 … Read more

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 got the call. Thus began a string of very important lessons for my writing career. Here they are. Read more

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? Read more

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

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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 of plot and how to braid them for maximum narrative efficiency and elegance. It all happens at 1 p.m., EST, Thursday, August 7, 2014, and lasts 90 minutes. Click here for more details and to register. Read more

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? Read more

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? Read more

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. Read more

Do Your E-Book Right (and Start Making Money) — July 31 Webinar With Jane Friedman

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The industry has exploded with new and free opportunities to help you publish your work electronically, at little or no cost to you. Learn how to get visibility for your work by … Read more

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? Read more

How to Finish That Novel

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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 some tips on finishing that novel. Read more

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 it’s giving you an opportunity to change it. Write this scene. Read more

5 Things Writers Should Ask Potential Agents

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Here’s a list of the five most crucial questions you should ask any agent before agreeing to join her client list. Read more

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

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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 … Read more

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.) Read more

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 the catch: There’s something on your mind that’s distracting you and must be incorporated into your thought process while trying to score the goal. Read more

Wrong Bathroom

You head into the bathroom at work, walk into a stall and close the door. Moments later, as you leave the stall, you notice two people standing there and there’s one major problem: They are of the opposite sex. On the spot, you make up an excuse as to why you are in their bathroom. Read more

Will Publishers Buy a 200,000-Word Novel?

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You put all your effort in to writing a book and, when finished, it comes out a little longer than most writing guidebooks suggest. Can you still sell that lengthy novel? Here’s the answer. Read more

Live Chat with Thriller Writer Steve Berry, June 11, 2014

Booktrib is hosting a live chat with bestselling thriller writer Steve Berry, author of The Lincoln Myth on June 11, 2014, at 1 p.m. Eastern time. The event is sponsored by Writer’s Digest. You’re welcome to submit questions ahead of time here or just join the chat on Wednesday and ask then. Read more

6 Things to Keep in Mind When Gathering Testimonials/Book Blurbs

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Testimonies are a long-established method of spreading the word about our good words. Today more than ever, testimonies are a necessity for your “platform”—incorporation on the front and back covers of your book, in the first pages, and, of course, on your website. Gathering effective testimonies depends on several things. Here are six aspects to keep in mind. Read more

Zombie Killer

It’s the last day of school and you’re clearing out your locker when your best friend runs up to you out of breath. “You have to come with me right now,” your friend says. “It’s a matter of life and death.” So you rush with your friend to the cafeteria, only to find several of your classmates have been turned into zombies. What they don’t know is that, you are secretly a superhero who kills zombies. Write this scene. Read more

Reading Selection of the Month: The Hollow Girl by Reed Farrel Coleman

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Tyrus Books, a member of the Writer’s Digest publishing family, announced the launch of The Hollow Girl—the final book in its popular Moe Prager series, written by Reed Farrel Coleman. If you’re … Read more

Live Chat with Thriller Writer David Morrell, June 5, 2014

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Booktrib is hosting a live chat with high action thriller writer David Morrell, author of First Blood (the award-winning thriller where Rambo was created) on June 4, 2014, at 4 p.m. Eastern time. The event is sponsored by Writer’s Digest. You’re welcome to submit questions ahead of time here or just join the chat on Wednesday and ask then. Read more

Spelling Bee

You’ve entered a national spelling bee competition only to find out that your neighbor—and arch rival—has also entered the competition. You’ve both made it to the final three, along with a person neither of you know. Your arch rival comes to you with a plot to sabotage the third person, but aside from the fact that you want to win fair and square, you suspect that your rival is also trying to sabotage you. Write this scene. Read more

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