Author Archives: Brian A. Klems

Worst Memoir Opening Line

You've been tasked with ghostwriting a memoir for an extremely unusual person. You come up with many opening lines to the book, but one of them you write as a joke just to amuse yourself at how absurd the person's story is. But now that person wants you to use that line. Share it...

New Year’s Resolutions for 2017

What are your New Year's resolutions for 2017? Post them here and then at the end of the year, I'll feature this in the newsletter and ask you to check in to see which ones you've accomplished and reflect on your writing year.

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...

Rudolph’s Revenge

After years of teasing and name-calling, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer has finally had it. Write a strongly-worded letter to all the other reindeer from Rudolph, allowing him to air his grievances and announce that he is quitting to join (fill in the blank).

Mystery Cookie

One day you come into work and find a cookie mysteriously placed on your desk. Grateful to whoever left this anonymous cookie, you eat it. The next morning you come in and find another cookie. This continues for months until one day a different object is left–and this time there’s a note.

Steps Challenge

In an effort to improve the health of the office, your company has issued a steps challenge—who can take the most steps in a week. The winner gets a free trip to the Bahamas (something you are determined to win). It’s come down to the final day and it’s between you and one other...

Smartphoney

After weeks of secret detective work, partners Barbara and Nolan are on the verge of cracking the case. They’ve been posing as employees at a high-profile financial firm named MoneyMakers LLC., trying to prove that the CEO named (fill in the blank) has been ripping customers off. After hearing him say incriminating things into...

Coupon Cutter

You’ve been an extreme coupon cutter for years, to the point where you have gained national recognition for it. But you’ve developed a rival coupon-er named (fill in the blank). He/she has challenged you to an extreme coupon-off, with a list of specific groceries, a budget and only one day to see who can...

6 Must-Attend Sessions at the Writer’s Digest LA Conference

Writing a novel is a challenge. Whether you’re in the beginning stages or have a completed draft, you can really benefit from a writing conference, especially one dedicated specifically to novel writing. Good news for you: We’ve got you covered! This year we’ve launched a brand-new event on the West Coast. The Writer’s Digest...

Revolution Radio

You’re a local disc jokey with a morning radio program. On your show you often take phone calls from commuters to talk about music and celebrity gossip, but on this particular morning you pick up a caller who says he’s going jump off the top of your building unless you play every song he...

Headless Halloween

You and two of your friends are working at a Halloween haunted house. You each get into costume, representing scary creatures. On the first night, hundreds come through the house. You scare them over and over again. As you jump out to scare one of the people, you hear her scream and then feel...