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.)
What once started as a group of 16 finalists who battled it out in round after round has landed on one champion.
It's down to the final two: Voldemort vs. Professor Moriarty. Who is the move evil book villain of all time? Vote now and help us decide.
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...
It's April Fools Day, which means it's time for our #AprilFools4Writers contest! Here's how it works.
Voldemort. Sauron. Count Olaf. Professor Moriarty. These evil-doers are your Fatal Four. Who moves on to the final matchup? It's all up to you. Vote now in our Arch Villain Madness Best Book Villain competition.
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...