Author Archives: Brian A. Klems


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.

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.


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...