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Author Archives: Brian A. Klems

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

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

Tough Decision

Pick one moment in your life where you had to make a tough decision—picking a college, quitting a job, going on a diet, putting a parent in a retirement home, etc. Now … Read more

Help WD Choose Our Next Annotated Classic: Will it be Huck Finn? Sherlock Holmes? You Tell Us.

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Right now, we need help picking the next classic to annotate. Here’s how you can help. Read more

Saving a Life

You’re walking to grab lunch when you see a crowd gathered around a building. You look up and see that someone is standing on the ledge, looking to jump. You hear a police office close to you mention that the person is about to commit suicide. He also mentions the person’s name: and it’s someone you know! Write a scene where you attempt to stop the jumper from jumping. Read more

X Marks the Spot

You’re a pirate on a small pirate ship, that consists of only you, one other pirate and a captain. Recently you ransacked another ship and found a treasure map. After weeks of following it, you’ve finally found the island where “X” marks the spot. Write a scene where you find the buried treasure, only it’s not exactly the treasure you expected to find. Read more

WD Editors Are Writers Too: Meet Adrienne Crezo, Managing Editor of Writer’s Digest

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All the editors on Writer’s Digest staff aren’t just 9-5 editors, we are also writers and storytellers—which is why we are so passionate about writing and publishing. “WD Editors Are Writers Too” is a column on this blog to give you a sneak peek at the folks who lead the WD community—including their quirks, what inspires them and what they are writing outside of the Writer’s Digest world. Today’s pick is Writer’s Digest Managing Editor Adrienne Crezo, who is the newest member of the WD team. (Hopefully she knows that the newest member sponsors Donut Fridays.) Read more

Back in Time

You wake up one morning to find that you are your three year old self, with your parents again, with all of the memories and experiences of your current life. Write this scene and express the emotion and frustration your character undergoes as you internally try to sort this out. Read more

Are Subjects Joined by “And” Singular or Plural? – Grammar Rules

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If you’re uncertain whether subjects joined by and should be singular or plural, you’ve come to the right place. The simple answer is here. Read more

The Discovery

When you return to school for a conference, you bump into one of your old professors, who is rambling on excitedly about a new discovery. He asks you to follow him to his office—he has something he wants to show you. What is the new discovery? Why is your professor so excited? Write this scene. Read more

What Magazine Editors Want (& Don’t Want)

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What are editors’ pet peeves? What can you do to get more and more assignments tossed your way by editors? Do editors expect you to know SEO? (Do you know what SEO means?) I was honored to be interviewed by Laura Pepper Wu, editor of The Write Life magazine, where we discussed many important topics that relate to freelance writers. It’s a lot of great info packed into a relatively short conversation, so it’s worth checking out (not to mention I look incredibly dashing in my bright blue headphones). Here’s the clip. Read more

A Mind of its Own

Your computer won’t shut down when you are getting ready to leave work at five. Instead, it is looping a message, and then attempts to tell you something. What is your computer doing? Write this scene. Read more

5 Tips for Writing Historical Fiction

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BY VICTORIA PATTERSON The Peerless Four, based on the historical precedent of the first women allowed to compete in the 1928 Amsterdam Olympics in track and field on a trial basis, was a departure from my previous story collection and novel, Drift and This Vacant Paradise, both set at the end of the 20th century in my fictionalized home-turf of Newport Beach, California. This is what I learned about writing historical fiction. Read more

The Confrontation

Daydreaming on your way to work, you get into a car accident. Frustrated because you will be late for an important meeting, you curse and yell as you get out of the car. When you go to confront the other drive, you find out it is your boss. Write this scene. Read more

Winners of our 2014 #AprilFools4Writers Contest

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Thanks to everyone who participated in our #AprilFools4Writers content. If you missed it, here are the details. There were tons of hilarious and clever entries this year and I enjoyed reading through all of them. More than 400 people participated, which is amazing! Anyway, without further ado here are the winners (chosen at random, as promised). Read more

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