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Author Archives: Brian A. Klems

Your New Home

Your spouse wants to move out of your new apartment, saying that there is a large space you both can move into. When you go to visit the new digs, you find it’s an abandoned warehouse at an old train yard. Clearly you can’t live there. Only your spouse just spent your life savings to buy it. What do you say? Read more

Secrets of Successful Self Publishers

This free sponsored webinar is brought to you by Speedy Publishing. Learn more about self-publishing and view the full recording below. When it comes to making more money most self-publishers have seen, … Read more

Fewer vs. Less

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What’s the difference between fewer and less? Here’s a simple explanation to help you use both correctly. Read more

The Journal

Flipping through your library books for research, you find one of the books you incorrectly checked out. It’s a handwritten journal authored by someone you know. Who wrote it and what does it say? Read more

Garfield in Real Life

You are trying to read the morning newspaper when your cat begins pawing at your leg. You brush it away, but it jumps on the table and begins meowing. Finally, the cat speaks. What does she say? Write this scene and what she is trying to tell you. Read more

Writing MEME of the Week – My Novel is Out There

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While we are a community of writers, it doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy some of the finer points of funny and clever images shared throughout today’s social media world. I’ve decided share some of my favorites. This one comes from Mary Zisk. Hope you enjoy. Read more

Your Arch Enemy

Everyone has an arch enemy, but until now, you never knew who your enemy was. That all changed one grueling night when, while on vacation, your evening was ruined by your enemy. What’s more peculiar is that your enemy is a famous celebrity! Write about your evening, who your famous arch enemy is and what you did to redeem the night. Read more

Writing MEME of the Week – Keep that TV Away From Me!

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Occasionally I will share funny graphics that I’ve found on the Web (or were created by members of the Writer’s Digest staff). Here’s a great one that I think many book lovers will enjoy. Read more

My Problem

Finish these sentences: “I have a little bit of a problem. I like to ______. It all started when I was ______, when _______.” Use this as a jumping point into a fictional story. Read more

I Just Keep It Simple: Tell the Damn Story (RIP Tom Clancy)

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The writing world lost a legend with the passing of Tom Clancy. To honor the author of the Jack Ryan novels, we dove into our archives and found this wonderful Writer’s Digest Interview with Tom Clancy from 2001. Read on. Read more

The Letter in the Alley

Walking to catch the bus, you see a young boy look both ways before entering an alley. When you follow him into the alley, he has disappeared. Instead, there is a neatly folded note lying on the pavement. What does it say and how do you react? Read more

#BannedBooksWeek: Why Banning Books is Wrong (& Better Solutions)

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This week I helped celebrate #BannedBooksWeek by moderating a Google On Air panel of popular authors discussing why banning books does a disservice to readers everywhere (You won’t believe the screengrab of my giant head that Google picked as the promo image. Anyway, the discussion led to some amazing points about the problems with banning books, other solutions to dealing with kids reading mature content and why parents should put less emphasis on getting books banned and more emphasis on reading with their kids. Watch and enjoy. Read more

Join our Banned Books Week Discussion Today at 4 p.m. Eastern

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Today at 4 p.m. (Eastern) I’ll be moderating a free Google Hangout Event in honor of Banned Books Week, where we celebrate the freedom to read whatever we want! I’ll be joined by bestselling author Jaime Ford (Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet), as well as authors Deb Caletti, Sean Beaudoin and Kathleen Alcalá. Should be a fun, lively discussion. (Though forgive my hoarse voice–I’ve been battling a nasty cold for days.) Find out how to join here. Read more

The Never-Ending Dream

At an old bookstore, you find a book that helps you interpret your dreams. But something is strange about it. You fall asleep reading the book, and find yourself in a dream that you cannot wake up from. What is it? And how will you snap back to reality? Read more

Don’t Delete Chain Mail

You delete a chain email that says if you don’t forward it to ten people, you will have bad luck for ten years. On your way out of the office, a black cat passes you. Then you find a parking ticket on your car. And, to top it off, your car won’t start. Was it actually the email? Write your response to the bad luck, as well as other ensuing events that make you wonder about hitting the delete button. Read more

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AGENT LISTINGS UPDATE

Much like any business, people move and things change. And the same is true for agents. Since the time our October 2013 issue hit newsstands, a few agents in our annual “Meet … Read more

The Contract

The used car salesman seems a little fishy, and it takes some serious convincing on his part to get you to sign the contract. And once you do sign, he seems to have a smug look on his face – more so than usual. He says you should have read the fine print. When you look at it now, what does it say? Write this scene. Read more

5 Tips from Ann Crispin, Co-Founder of Writer Beware

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It’s with a heavy heart that we mourn the passing of bestselling author Ann Crispin, co-founder of Writer Beware (you can read a short note about it here from Ann’s close friend and Writer Beware counterpart Victoria Strauss). Ann contributed to Writer’s Digest on several occasions and has long been an advocate of writers’ rights. To honor her, we’ve pulled 5 excellent tips from our archives that she shared with us over the years. Read more

The Worst News is No News

You are a local news reporter for a failing network. Your boss tells you to ramp up the news by getting “creative” and constructing your own stories. What’s the first fake news story you create and broadcast on air? Read more

Literally vs. Figuratively

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Get an easy-to-understand breakdown of the difference between literally and figuratively, and why their definitions may be evolving. Read more

The Face Outside

You’re awoken from your midnight sleep in your favorite chair to your dog barking wildly in the living room. Pulling her aside, you look out the window, only to see a face staring right back at you. Whose is it? Why are they there? Read more

The Best Part About Being a Writer Is …

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How would you finish this sentence? Read more

5 Quotes on Writing from Elmore Leonard

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We’re saddened to hear about the passing of literary legend Elmore Leonard (I absolutely loved his book Get Shorty when I read it in high school). He was a great writer and will be remembered through his wonderful work for years and years to come. In honor of Leonard’s passing, we’ve pulled five memorable quotes on writing from our Writer’s Digest interviews archive, as we were fortunate to get to speak with him several times over the years. Here they are. Read more

Someone Else is Living Here

Your kids love watching CSI, so you buy them a forensic starter’s kit for Christmas. They begin running simple, fake experiments, collecting DNA, and dusting for fingerprints around the house. When you look at all of the powder and prints they pull, you find there are more fingerprints there then just you and your family’s. Whose are they? Read more

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