Author Archives: Brian A. Klems

Reject a Hit: Romeo & Juliet

Let’s step once again into the role of the unconvinced, perhaps even curmudgeonly or fool-hearted editor: What harsh rejection letters might the authors of some of our favorite hits have had to endure? For this special edition of Reject a Hit, WD readers took our online challenge to rebuff Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet—in just...


What Writers Need to Know About Formatting (FAQs)

When writing your future bestseller you don't want to have to waste too much time wondering if you should be leaving one space or two between sentences or worried that you're committing other style faux pas. Here I’ve collected a writer’s set of FAQs about formatting issues that will help you navigate the basics.


What Are Your New Year’s Writing Resolutions?

Every year after the ball drops, we make promises to ourselves--to lose weight, to read more fiction, to drink less coffee, to win the lottery, to finally finish writing our novels. But by February we're already back at Starbucks avoiding our novels (and playing on Facebook). It's time we made a pact. Who's with...

Taking Drastic Measures

Around mid-morning one day, you realize that everything that is happening seems really familiar. After much thought you discover that your life has fallen into a terrible rut and now you must take drastic measures to find a way out of it. Write the scene where you make a life-changing decision.

Unexpected Christmas Chatter

It's a few days after Christmas and you received everything you wanted, especially (fill in the blank). But things take an interesting turn when, in the middle of the night, the thing that you wanted, which had been sitting in the corner, starts talking to you.

Happy Holidays from the Writer’s Digest Team

Every year we have a small holiday party, generally held at our art director's house (she likes hosting, plus she lives minutes from our office). We eat lunch, chat about the worst Christmas presents we've ever received, play games and close things down with a White Elephant gift exchange. But the one thing that...


The 18 Most Popular Articles on Writing of 2011

We posted more than 1,300 articles to this year and, quite frankly, that's a lot. It's hard to sift through all of that, so I've gatherd the 18 most popular articles to share with you—a mix of fiction, nonfiction, writer's rights, agenting, publishing and a bit of humor. Bookmark these links and reference...

Christmas Ghost

While hanging up your Christmas lights, you are flagged down by a neighborhood kid who offers to help. As he helps you, he tells you about the Christmas ghost that haunts his house. What's odd is that you've noticed the same things happening around your house. Write this scene.


Humor Writing Basics (& a List of Funny Words)

Writing "funny" isn't easy. It's a skilled labor that can drive even the calmest of writers crazy. I've been writing my parenting humor blog, The Life of Dad (you should totally check it out!), for more than five years and I can tell you that I've lost quite a bit of sleep over things...

A Church-Mandated Penance

Needing to get something off your chest, you head to the confessional at church. After laying out your misdeed to the priest, you are given an unusual task to perform as penance—not creepy, just unusual. Write this scene.