Author Archives: Brian A. Klems

Wrong Bathroom

You head into the bathroom at work, walk into a stall and close the door. Moments later, as you leave the stall, you notice two people standing there and there's one major problem: They are of the opposite sex. On the spot, you make up an excuse as to why you are in their...

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6 Things to Keep in Mind When Gathering Testimonials/Book Blurbs

Testimonies are a long-established method of spreading the word about our good words. Today more than ever, testimonies are a necessity for your “platform”—incorporation on the front and back covers of your book, in the first pages, and, of course, on your website. Gathering effective testimonies depends on several things. Here are six aspects...

Zombie Killer

It's the last day of school and you're clearing out your locker when your best friend runs up to you out of breath. "You have to come with me right now," your friend says. "It's a matter of life and death." So you rush with your friend to the cafeteria, only to find several...

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Live Chat with Thriller Writer David Morrell, June 5, 2014

Booktrib is hosting a live chat with high action thriller writer David Morrell, author of First Blood (the award-winning thriller where Rambo was created) on June 4, 2014, at 4 p.m. Eastern time. The event is sponsored by Writer's Digest. You're welcome to submit questions ahead of time here or just join the chat...

Spelling Bee

You've entered a national spelling bee competition only to find out that your neighbor—and arch rival—has also entered the competition. You've both made it to the final three, along with a person neither of you know. Your arch rival comes to you with a plot to sabotage the third person, but aside from the...

Tough Decision

Pick one moment in your life where you had to make a tough decision—picking a college, quitting a job, going on a diet, putting a parent in a retirement home, etc. Now write about a fictional character who was faced with the same situation and choose to make the opposite decision. How did things...

Saving a Life

You're walking to grab lunch when you see a crowd gathered around a building. You look up and see that someone is standing on the ledge, looking to jump. You hear a police office close to you mention that the person is about to commit suicide. He also mentions the person's name: and it's...

X Marks the Spot

You're a pirate on a small pirate ship, that consists of only you, one other pirate and a captain. Recently you ransacked another ship and found a treasure map. After weeks of following it, you've finally found the island where "X" marks the spot. Write a scene where you find the buried treasure, only...

Back in Time

You wake up one morning to find that you are your three year old self, with your parents again, with all of the memories and experiences of your current life. Write this scene and express the emotion and frustration your character undergoes as you internally try to sort this out.

The Discovery

When you return to school for a conference, you bump into one of your old professors, who is rambling on excitedly about a new discovery. He asks you to follow him to his office—he has something he wants to show you. What is the new discovery? Why is your professor so excited? Write this...

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What Magazine Editors Want (& Don’t Want)

What are editors' pet peeves? What can you do to get more and more assignments tossed your way by editors? Do editors expect you to know SEO? (Do you know what SEO means?) I was honored to be interviewed by Laura Pepper Wu, editor of The Write Life magazine, where we discussed many important...

A Mind of its Own

Your computer won’t shut down when you are getting ready to leave work at five. Instead, it is looping a message, and then attempts to tell you something. What is your computer doing? Write this scene.

brian-klems-2013

5 Tips for Writing Historical Fiction

BY VICTORIA PATTERSON The Peerless Four, based on the historical precedent of the first women allowed to compete in the 1928 Amsterdam Olympics in track and field on a trial basis, was a departure from my previous story collection and novel, Drift and This Vacant Paradise, both set at the end of the 20th...

The Confrontation

Daydreaming on your way to work, you get into a car accident. Frustrated because you will be late for an important meeting, you curse and yell as you get out of the car. When you go to confront the other drive, you find out it is your boss. Write this scene.

brian-klems-2013

Winners of our 2014 #AprilFools4Writers Contest

Thanks to everyone who participated in our #AprilFools4Writers content. If you missed it, here are the details. There were tons of hilarious and clever entries this year and I enjoyed reading through all of them. More than 400 people participated, which is amazing! Anyway, without further ado here are the winners (chosen at random,...

When a Stranger Taps You on the Shoulder

You’re leaving your favorite restaurant after eating breakfast when a stranger taps you on the shoulder. But this tap leads to a conversation—and adventure—that leaves you with one item that you never thought you’d ever own.  Start your story with “I hate to bother you, but I have something important to ask.” And end...

Double Down on Dave Barry

Bestselling humor writer Dave Barry discusses more about writing, including what career path today’s aspiring humorists should take (if they want to find success) and how he handles writing about his family in our online-exclusive outtakes.

Frozen Solid

The phone rings. It's your mother and she's upset. "What's wrong?" you ask. "It's your father. A spell has been cast upon him and he's been frozen solid." You pause, knowing two things that your mother doesn't: 1) This is your fault and 2) you're the only one who can fix it. "Don't worry,...