Author Archives: Brian A. Klems

Caught Pants Down

You wake up feeling refreshed, a new day a new--- wait your favorite pair of pants is missing. Darting up from bed you hear a noise outside. A woman is wearing them and looking straight at you. What do you do?

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How to Write and Publish Nonfiction Premium Collection – 11 Great Resources Bundled in One Low Price

There are many resources out there for writing nonfiction, which can be confusing for writers trying to decide which one fits their needs. Here, with our new Writer's Digest How to Write and Publish Nonfiction Premium Collection, you get 11 great writing resources covering everything—from writing better nonfiction to crafting your query letter to...

College Introduction

It's your first day of college and, in your first class, your professor does something unusual—she has you all sit on the floor in a big circle and introduce yourself, as if you were in kindergarten. When it gets to be your turn, you say, "My name is _____. Every day I like to...

One Shot

The click of the pistol’s hammer wakes you. A velvety voice lilts out of your vision, “Give me a good one liner and I just may let you live.” You can see two of your friends hiding outside the door, signaling to you that they are working on saving you. What do you tell...

Fantasy Brawl

The wizard’s terror bolt lances overhead. You shout back to your party that you’re going in. Dagger held high and ice shard at the ready you tear towards the dastardly spell caster. How does your fight play out?

I Think I’m a Clone Now

Ah, back home and time to relax. Long weeks are brutal. Is that the television you hear? Well you haven’t been home all day so you decide to check it out, thinking you left it on. As you enter the room you see the television is indeed on. And you’re already sitting there watching...

The Board of Education

The fight has been raging for three days. The teachers on their end, toting rulers, eraser canons and textbook grenades, and the students on the other, with only school-approved items found in their bookbags. Both sides have suffered casualties and people are wondering, what happened three days ago at Winston Waters High that started...

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A List of Upcoming Online Courses From Writer’s Digest University

Interested in improving your writing skills? Your blogging skills? Want to become a copywriter master to make a good living on the side (to support your creative writing)? It's time you checked out Writer's Digest University slate of online courses, designed to help you improve your technique and reach your writing goals. Here's a...

A Few Sips Off

You take a sip from your drink and feel different. That may be because your torso has an extra arm protruding from it. Another sip, another arm. Then a wing. What happens if you finish the drink?

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Are Subjects Joined by And Singular or Plural?

Q: I’m writing a letter and am uncertain which sentence is correct: Your passion and commitment to my company HAVE inspired many, or, Your passion and commitment to my company HAS inspired many? —Carrie G. This kind of thing used to trip me up, too, as a subject with multiple nouns in it seems...

PUNch Out

You’re in an epic pun off; whit is spewing out of your mouth and your opponent's mouth with punishing purpose. What are some sweet puns you could use to really wipe the smile off your opponent's face? Make sure not to frown on the worst of puns either—they’re all beautiful. Write this scene and...

WD Online Exclusive: Book Proposal Basics

The October 2014 Writer’s Digest lets you in on “The Secret to a Stronger Nonfiction Book Proposal”—but if you need a refresher on how to put the whole proposal together, we’ve got that covered, too, on The Writer’s Dig blog with 8 Essential Elements of a Nonfiction Book Proposal. 

8 Unexpected Lessons From Working with a Literary Agent

I had two full manuscripts and one partial out with various interested agents when I got the email. The email that said Stacey read my manuscript and wanted to set up a time to discuss it. I’d been rejected by 14 other agents already, so I wasn’t even sure what that meant. Then I...

Writer’s Digest Article Index 2013

All feature articles and columns published in Writer’s Digest during 2014 are indexed by topic. Abbreviations for regular columns: Inkwell—IW; Meet the Agent—MTA; Breaking In—BI; Questions & Quandaries—QQ; Your Story—YS; Standout Markets—SM; Conference Scene—CS; Reject A Hit—RAH Writer’s Digest Article Index 2013   Business/Legal Matters “Querying vs. Pitching,” QQ, Brian A. Klems, Feb, p....

Captain off Deck

The ocean is a vast and beautiful thing. Taking a quick peak off the side of your boat you realize something strange. The tentacles slowly creeping up the hull aren’t your imagination and the captain’s nowhere to be found. Where do we go from here?

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How to Plot and Structure Your Novel – AUG 7 WEBINAR WITH Cheryl Klein

In this live 90-minute webinar — titled "How to Plot and Structure Your Novel: Learn Important Principles, Patterns, and Practical Revision Techniques" — editor Cheryl Klein will guide you through the principles that underlie traditional narrative plotting—a framework on which you can build all sorts of variations. You'll learn about the three main types...

The Open Window

You had that dream again. The one where the beast with the drooping hands and wicked fangs stares you down from your window. Except the windows open this time—and you’re awake! What happens next?