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Author Archives: Brian A. Klems

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

The Reaction

You are in the chemistry lab late at night, working on experiment with your lab partner. When a chemical reaction goes wrong, you appear to be just fine. Your partner on the other hand, he is looking ________. Describe what is happening to him. Read more

Don’t Split Infinitives – Fact or Myth?

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Grammarians will often tell you not to split infinitives, but you see writers do it all the time. Is it against the grammar rules or are the grammar teachers off base? Here’s the answer. Read more

How to Think and Write like Nabokov

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Learning how Russian novelist Nabokov thought might improve the way you write. Practice thinking in images to uncover the hidden details in your story. Read more

The Fortune (Or Not)

A fortune teller at the local county fair tells you two things. She tells you something good that will happen, and something awful that will happen. What are these events or incidents? Read more

7 Reasons You Should Consider Publishing Personal Stories

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Personal writing might sometimes feel too private to publish—but documenting your low points can rocket your byline to the top. Read more

The Movie Confrontation

You’re at the movie theater and it’s the climax of the summer’s big blockbuster hit. And someone is talking on their cell phone. When you go to confront them, you find that it is your boss. What do you say to them? Read more

Can You Copyright an Idea?

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Learn the copyright rules you need to know to protect your idea from copyright infringement. Read more

What’s in the Barn?

Late at night you awake to find your wife/husband out of bed. Exploring the farmhouse, you find no lights on and the kids are still sound asleep. Past the fields, you see light shining out of the barn. When you walk out there and open the door, what do you find? Read more

How to Make Money Writing for the Web

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There are thousands of online writing opportunities for freelancers, many of which pay well. Follow these best practices, and soon you’ll be turning pixels into paychecks. Read more

Why Did You Do It?

At work, you’ve been getting a post it note on your desk every morning that says, “Why did you do it?” You’ve talked to your boss, the night cleaning crew and your co-workers. No one seems to know who is putting the note there, or why. You decide to work through the night one evening, in hopes of catching the person. Write this scene. Read more

How to Get Your Writing Noticed

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Throughout the year we bundle together several writing resources that focus on something specific—something that could really, really help you forward your writing career. Oh, and we offer the bundle up for a ridiculously discounted price. There is one catch, though: There’s only 100 bundles available, and once they’re gone, they’re gone. This month’s bundle is … Read more

EARLY BIRD DEADLINE 7/19: Join Us in LA (& Meet Agents)!

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Come see many popular authors, including Tim Powers, author of 13 novels, including THE ANUBIS GATES, DECLARE, HIDE ME AMONG THE GRAVES, and ON STRANGER TIDES (which was adapted for the fourth … Read more

Free Webinar Monday @ 1:00 EDT – Learn How to Write Compelling, Authentic Dialogue

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If you’ve never tried a webinar before or have been hesitant to try because you’re not sure how it works and don’t know whether it’d be a right fit for you, you … Read more

How to Write Better Heroes and Villains: Archetypes

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Knowing character archetypes and their traits is key to decoding what motivates your characters—and bringing them to life for readers. Here are some of the main archetypes. Read more

Twitter Stalker

Your friend recently signed up for twitter and is still getting the hang of it. He says that someone he doesn’t know has been tweeting at him. You tell him it is probably a fake account. Then, he receives a tweet that has a picture of you both, in his house. Then, there’s a knock on the door. What happens next? Read more

Winners of the June “OH BOY” Giveaway

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Thanks to everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, who commented, tweeted and participated in my June contest. Hope you enjoyed the articles about my path to writing and publishing. I also hope they help you on your path to writing and publishing your book. (I plan to write more over the coming months, so stay tuned.) If you missed any of the articles, here they are … and here are the winners of the OH BOY giveaway. Read more

The Wedding Pawn

You are about to get married at the wedding ceremony of your dreams. Absolutely everything has gone perfectly, until the best man says that he pawned the ring a couple of days ago. Write this scene. Read more

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