Author Archives: Brian A. Klems

Breaking Out of the Hospital for Christmas

Thanks to a chronic illness, a coworker has been trapped in the hospital for weeks and is bummed he's going to miss the company Christmas party—that is, until you and another coworker unexpectedly show up to bust him out and take him to the celebration. Write this scene.

Killing Your Best Friend’s Wife

A close friend asks you to help him kill his wife and, to his surprise, you agree without hesitation—not because you particularly dislike his wife, but because she's the only person who knows this one deep, dark secret that could ruin your life forever. Write about how you confront her and how the murder...

The Ghost of Your Grandmother

You are dealing with a bout of insomnia due to a reoccurring nightmare that started two days after the loss of your grandmother. Suddenly, you see a ghost who claims to be her spirit. Her spirit orders you to take care of something she wasn't able to before she passed. If you do, she'll...

Map Your Novel

After you read Nancy Ellen Dodd’s piece on all the key essentials of a novel, print off her blank story map worksheet to chart your own course through your book.

Get More Gabaldon

For fascinating details on how Outlander series author Diana Gabaldon writes scenes and constructs her stories, check out these exclusive outtakes from this month’s cover story.

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The Q: What’s The Best Song to Listen to When Writing?

When I'm writing, I usually have music on in the background. Sometimes it's classical. Sometimes it's pop. Sometimes it's a sad song like REM's "Everybody Hurts" and sometimes it's an upbeat song like OK GO's "Here We Go Again." Sometimes it's an energetic song like "Nitro" by The Offspring and, on occasion, it's something...

Office Move Gone Wrong

Your move to a new office building hits a major hurdle when you arrive for your first day only to find out your name wasn't on the move list. Write this scene.

Reject A Hit: The Very Hungry Caterpillar

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 Kristina Wojtaszek, who tackled Eric Carle's children's classic, The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

Concerning Item in Coworker’s Desk

Your company is moving office buildings and you've been asked to stay after hours and help pack up the desks. While clearing through one particular coworker's desk, you find something extremely concerning in his bottom drawer. Call one of your friends and ask for advice on what to do about it.

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Happy Halloween!

The Writer's Digest staff knows a thing or two about horror, so we decided to embrace the Halloween spirit and dress up (it helped that there was a company-wide prize at stake). Here are a few photos of the "WD Skeleton Crew" and the spooky burial ground of cubicles. Enjoy!

Halloween Revenge

For the last 10 years, kids have been toilet papering your house on Halloween night. Unfortunately for them, this is the year you finally decided to get even. Write about your night of retaliation.

Pumpkin Carving Gone Wrong

You're attending an annual pumpkin-carving party with your friends when one of them stands up and makes a shocking announcement. Start your story with the announcement and end with "And that's how I got my head stuck in the pumpkin."