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...
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.
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.
The most essential part of revision is often the least discussed: the need to get in the mindset to effectively evaluate what you’ve written. These techniques will freshen your eye and sharpen your saw.
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.
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!
November is known by most literati as National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo for short. How it works: Start writing a 50,000-word novel on November 1 and finish by midnight on November 30th. I've participated in the event twice. First, let me share these three important takeaways from my experience.
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.
Whether or not you’re already an expert on your topic, it’s vital that you do all the necessary work to get accurate information. Here's how to guarantee you do that.
If you find yourself having a difficult time sustaining one tone over a long work, try these three tricks.
What are First North American Serial Rights, how do they work and what does it mean for you when trying to get your writing published? Find out here.
Take this 5-question quiz and find out how nerdy you are when it comes to your love of the English language.
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."
There are plenty of things writers should worry about—writer’s block, plagiarism, memoirs by the cast of “Jersey Shore”—but an agent who isn’t a member of the Association of Authors’ Representatives shouldn’t be high on the list. Here’s why.
If you’ve got a tablet or smartphone, you’re in business. Write on the go with the latest generation of apps.
So, it looks like over the weekend someone was tinkering with the WriterDigest.com system and accidently changed a setting to ban everyone. That's right, everyone. Heck, even I was banned—can you believe that, someone as awesome as me! Anyway, the setting has been restored and we're all back in business.
All the editors on Writer's Digest staff aren't just 9-5 editors, they are also writers and storytellers--which is why they are so passionate about writing and publishing. "WD Editors Are Writers Too" is a new column on this blog to give you a sneak peek at the folks who lead the WD community--including their...
A picture on your mantle unexpectedly falls and crashes to the floor. As you go to pick it up, you notice a note hidden behind the picture. The message is from the future—and written by you. It instructs you to do something important. What does it say?
Navajo clerks at the Circle K’s wouldn’t look Danny’s way if he took a couple of hot dogs from the rotisserie. They’d let him take big pretzels too, even the ones dripping with cheese and jalapeño peppers. He could have all the fountain drinks he wanted, and flavored coffees with names like French Vanilla,...
Meet John T. Biggs, the grand prize winner of the 80th Annual Writer’s Digest Writing Competition. John shares a little more about himself and his writing process, as well as “Boy Witch,” the short story that took home the gold in this year’s competition.
No idea how to create your own author website? Don’t worry: Hire a professional. Web guru Karen M. Rider offers some tips on how to do just that.
When genre-bending bestseller James Lee Burke switched from writing literary fiction to crime novels, he worried: Am I selling out? Burke shares his thoughts here.
We're writers, not legal experts—and yet, every time we put words down on paper a number of legal questions arise. How do I copyright my work? Do I need to? Am I allowed to quotes song lyrics? Can I use someone else's character in my book? And that's just the tip of the pencil....
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)...
You've developed a cold only to discover that instead of sneezing, you (blank) every time feel like you have to sneeze. This side effect proves to create a fairly entertaining scene at the office with coworkers during your weekly budget meeting. Write this scene.