Author Archives: Brian A. Klems

Your Family’s Life Depends on It

Your best friend knocks on your door one afternoon. You open it and he or she is dressed in a strange costume. Before you can say anything, your friend hands you a sword and says, "I need your help. Your family's life depends on it." Just then, your friend opens what looks to be...

Your Mom’s Unexpected Story

Your mom is in poor health and you spend extra time at her apartment taking care of her. While getting her out of bed and into her chair one day, she thanks you for all your help. Then she says that she needs to tell you a story about her past, one that you...

Snow Shoveling Showdown

You're outside shoveling your own driveway when you decide, as a kind gesture, to shovel your neighbor's driveway too. Just then a group of teenagers with shovels show up and threaten you, claiming that this is "their turf." What do you do?

Dentist Disaster

You go in for a rather complex dental procedure and the dentist has to put you under in order to complete it. When you wake up, though, you are no longer in the dentist office. You are on a train with a briefcase handcuffed to your wrist. Just as you are soaking in this...

Valentine’s Day Escape Plan

Your are going on a blind date for Valentine's Day. In case the date is a dud, you have your best friend on standby. Your friend is to call you at 9:30 on the dot. If the date is going well, you answer and use the phrase "I already took care of that." If...

Ghostbuster For Hire

You've been out of work for a few months and respond an unusual ad online that reads: "Team seeking full-time associate who isn't afraid of ghosts." They call and tell you to come in. Intrigued (and desperate for work), you go to their office and get hired on the spot. Moments later, there's a...

State of the Union (Writer’s Edition)

After a tough year where overall writing goals were not met and new challenges arose, your office supplies (your computer, pens, paperclips, stapler, three-hole-punch, desk lamp—anything else that could be used to support your writing efforts) have lost some faith in you. You've decided to rally the troops by giving a State of the...

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How to Write A Plausible Character – 3 Key Tips

There are many elements writers need to pay close attention to when creating a fictional world. There’s setting, plot, pacing, voice, imagery and so on. Everything is important, everything counts. That said, one of my favorite places to focus my writing attention is on my characters. How do your create a good character? Well,...

Letter to a Lost Loved One

Write a letter to someone in your life that has passed away. You can tell that person the things you wish you'd said, tell that person some of the highlights of your life, whatever you want. If that's too difficult, have one of your characters from your novel (or short story) write a letter...

Note on Your Car

There's a note on the windshield of your car. The note says, "I've taken your most prized possession. If you want to see it again, in tact, meet me tonight at baseball field around the corner of the local high school. And bring your glove." What makes this note so curious is that you've...

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50 Articles on Writing to Help You in 2015

Over the past year I posted articles on this blog that covered everything—from grammar to writing better characters to getting published and more. Here’s a cheat sheet linking to what I consider the 50 best articles that can help you reach your writing goals. My goal is to help you move your writing career...

Christmas Gone Awry

You've invited all your family members to celebrate Christmas at your house. Unfortunately, they all decline with different excuses, which seems highly unusual as you normally spend the holidays together. On Christmas day you decide to drop their gifts off at their houses. When you arrive at the first house, though, you see them...

Reading Selection of the Month: The Vintner’s Daughter

Writer’s Digest is particularly proud to highlight our recommended read of the month in December because the author, Kristen Harnisch, is member of the Writer’s Digest community. At our 2012 conference, she made connections that led to her agent. At the 2013 event, she connected with keynote Adriana Trigiani to secure a blurb for...

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How to Write Novels About Faraway Lands

In explaining why he wrote his novels, the great writer Joseph Conrad once told his readers that it was so they could “glimpse the truth for which you have forgotten to ask.” These words no doubt resonate with many writers, but especially with those of us who choose faraway places and times for our...