Are insure and ensure interchangeable? Here's what you need to know in the battle of insure vs. ensure and how to use each one correctly.
You receive a letter at your workplace from a high school classmate, who is now in prison. “I know I’ve caused you a lot of grief,” the letter says, “but there’s something I need that only you can get for me. Don’t tell anyone about this.”
As an online companion to our article in the October 2012 issue, read more tales about writerly drinking legends Oscar Wilde, Dylan Thomas, Edgar Allan Poe, and Dorothy Parker.
Delve deeper into the expansive universe of fan fiction with our bonus list of more popular websites you can visit to read—and post—fan work.
The battle over whether to use which or that is one many people struggle to get right. It's a popular grammar question and most folks want a quick rule of thumb so they can get it right. Here it is.
You’ve just been to the worst rock concert of your life. You’re at a bar with friends, drowning your disgust, when the lead singer of the band shows up and offers to buy you a drink. You agree to under one condition—and that deal leads to one memorable night.
The rules of resubmitting a revised manuscript are pretty simple, but it's important to take a few extra steps to ensure the editor remembers you and your story. Here's what you need to do.
Are there any literary agents who represent nonfiction writers looking to publish magazine articles? If so, how does a writer find one? Here's what you need to know about literary agents and magazine articles.
I've always thought that if I were to ever write a memoir, it'd be the most boring 80,000 words in the history of publishing (or at least a close second to this). My life has, thus far, been fun, entertaining and interesting to me, but how would that translate into an interesting...
Your best friend from college has invited you to his wedding. You haven’t seen him for years, so you’re excited to catch up. But when you arrive at the wedding, you discover that your best friend's bride is someone from your past—and you realize you must stop the wedding at all costs.
Many people get this rule wrong, including some of the most grammatically sound people I know. The real rule is this.
Over the past couple of decades, I believe grammar has taken a beating--and not just in an "LOL" kind of way, but in a "I'm too lazy to learn the difference between 'to' and 'too'" kind of way. So when the CEO of iFixit.com stood up for grammar in a recent piece he wrote...
Our July Mystery Kit sold out in record time, but I was given a handful specifically for readers of the No Rules Blog—including you! If you like writing mystery or thriller novels, this collection has everything you need to get your story started, in shape and ready to send to agents and publishers (and...
You are walking to your car when you pass a boy selling newspapers on the street. He doesn’t look like he’s getting any customers, so you buy a copy, only to discover that it’s dated a week from today. And one particular story makes you realize you need to take action—now.
Is it a good idea to get feedback before you've finished your first draft or should you wait until it’s completed? Here's what you need to consider before handing off your work to others for critiquing.
OK, so as a young writer many moons ago and as a weathered editor today, I can admit that, when it comes to the publishing industry, I've spanned the scale from naive to cynical to cautiously optimistic. But this video really, really made me laugh.
You’re a taxi driver in a one-light town. You’ve arrived at the county library to pick up your passenger, a girl no older than thirteen. She says, “You see that Mexican restaurant across the street? In about five minutes, a man is going to come out of that restaurant, and I want you to...
In a thought-provoking ThrillerFest panel provided by WD managing editor Zachary Petit, four popular authors shared what they believe to be the deadly sins of the writing craft. Here are seven of their offerings. Have you committed any of them?
You're on a golf course taking part in a fundraiser to cure a disease that's near and dear to your heart. On the 11th hole, you hit a ball into the woods. While searching for that ball, you see a white rabbit that stops, looks you right in the eye and says, "Follow me."...
A mad scientist approaches you with an offer: He has a secret potion that will help you get the thing you want most in this world—be it a person, a thing, an ability, etc. What you don't know (and won't reveal until the end of your story) is that there is one dire consequence...
Award-winning author Joe Meno (Hairstyles of the Damned) explores the differences of what a novel can do that other narrative forms—such as film, television, stages plays, video games—can’t or don’t necessarily seemed suited for. PLUS: Win a copy of his latest novel, Office Girl. Click through to learn more.
In the process of writing my own nonfiction book proposal earlier this year (thanks to my Year of Amazing pledge), I searched everywhere I could for tips and advice on how to write a nonfiction book proposal. Many were great, but super lengthy and time consuming to read. I found this advice...
When you go to get dressed one morning, you discover that there really is a skeleton in your closet. Write this scene—discover how it got there, why it is there, what to do with it now.
There are certain red flags that should catch the eye of any writer. Here are a couple simple ones that will save you time (and money).
"Sneaked" versus "snuck" is one of those classic grammarian conundrums that you'll hear word enthusiasts debate all the time. Here's a simple explanation to make sure you're using the right word.