Author Archives: Brian A. Klems

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Thank You, Steve Jobs

It's unclear to me how to properly thank someone I never personally knew, but considering Steve Jobs changed the way I live, work and even dream, I feel I need to find a way. Apple's head honcho wasn't just a spark that pushed the envelope of technology; he completely changed the way I (we)...

Living the Dream

Bestselling Columbine author Dave Cullen shares his advice on what you can do to make a living from your writing—and how to get your work read.

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October is National Book Month (Show Your Support Here)

I really hate it when doom and gloomers say, "No one reads anymore." October is National Book Month and I'm asking everyone to pick up that book they've been "meaning to read" and read it. Or go to your local bookstore, roam around a section, pick a book with the most interesting cover, and...

Unusual Anniversary

A special anniversary is coming up and you've decided to go all-out to celebrate. The only thing is, this is an anniversary of something unusual and there's only one other person who knows what it's about—and he's uncomfortable celebrating. Write this scene.

From Worst Day to Best Day

You are having the worst day of your life when someone calls and changes it for the better. Who calls, what's it about and what series of events follow that call to help brighten your day?

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Pseudonym Winner!

Thanks to so many people for sharing their clever and fun (and often funny) pseudonyms with me. As promised, I randomly selected a commenter to receive a 1-year free subscription to Writer's Digest magazine. And the winner is ...

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In Your Words: Remembering 9/11

Today marks the 10-year anniversary of the tragic attack on the World Trade Center Towers. Like most people, I remember exactly where I was and what I was doing that day. I was just three weeks into my first post-college job as an associate editor for Plumbing & Mechanical magazine, whose office sat a...

3 Tips for Consistent Tone

If you find yourself having a difficult time sustaining one tone over a long work, try these three tricks. Find a paragraph that sounds exactly the way you want to sound for this work, and tape it to your computer so that it’s always in front of you. Each time you’re about to return...

Anonymous Love

You've been playing Scrabble with an anonymous person online. After some Internet chatting, you realize that the two of you live in the same town and decide to meet at a local pub. What you didn't expect was to fall in love.

Reject a Hit: Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein

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 hit books have had to endure? This issue's contribution comes from Kerreanna DiMauro of Waltham, Mass., who had WD editors in stitches over her fictional editor's...

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Should You Quit Your Day Job to Write?

I often get asked from readers if it's feasible for them to quit their day jobs and make writing their full-time career. The answer, of course, is: I have no clue! The reason I don't know is because everyone's situation, desires and goals are different. Some folks have a mindset for writing 70 hours...

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Replace Book Titles With Bacon

A close friend (and poet) named JanuaryFairy dropped me a note on Twitter this morning: "Come on, @BrianKlems .. this is right up your alley! Trending topic: #replacebooktitleswithbacon." And she's right! I love books. I love bacon. This is totally up my alley. So I jumped in a came up with a few.

Is it E-mail or Email?

Everywhere I turn I see "email" (or is it "e-mail"?) punctuated differently. Can you tell me which is correct? —Kate T. WD online guru Brian A. Klems says that punctuating "e-mail" with or without a hyphen is ...