Guest Columns

How to get published — read hundreds of helpful Writer’s Digest guest columns from published writers teaching the craft and business of writing.

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Blow-By-Blow: Writing Action and Fight Scenes

Conflict, as we all know, is the lifeblood of a story. And nothing quite epitomizes raw conflict like a thrilling fight scene. If you’re like me, you crave those climactic moments in prose or on the screen, when, the hero and villain finally find themselves facing each other, circling, ready to duke it out...

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4 Things to Avoid When Finishing Your Novel

**GIVEAWAY! Emily is excited to give away a free copy of her novel to a random commenter. Comment within 2 weeks.** Emily Adrian, author of 2015 debut novel LIKE IT NEVER HAPPENED, shares 4 things to avoid at all costs so you can finally sit down and finish that novel.

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13 Things You May Not Know About Agents

You’ve read lots of articles about literary agents, but here are 13 things you might not have heard yet. 1. We really hate how often we have to say “no” to writers. It’s one of the most excruciating parts of our job! So don’t imagine us gleefully rubbing our hands together and cackling happily...

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What I Learned from Attending Writers’ Conferences

Before teaming up with a new publisher to release both my poetry compilation ATL Fire and California travel memoir Golden State Misadventures over one quarter of a year in 2015, I frequented writers’ conferences and grew from those experiences. Column by Han Vance, author of memoir GOLDEN STATE MISADVENTURES (August 2015, Silver Stone Press). His...

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How to Make a Book Trailer

Making a book trailer is no easy feat, but to stay competitive in a highly saturated book market, it needs to be done. Recently, Tara Lynne Groth of Write Naked found my book trailer on Google+ and contacted me about doing a interview. And afterwards, guess what? She bought the book! Book marketing is...

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6 Tips for Switching Genres

Ask any author, agent, or editor—heck, ask the publishing house intern who fetches the coffee—and they’d all agree: the most important factor in writing (successfully) is finding one’s voice. After writing eighteen mysteries in three different series, I decided to pen a standalone mainstream novel—THE PARIS KEY—and though I knew my non-mystery voice had...

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How to Write About Your Pets

You want to write about your pets. You know you do. And your pets are all for it. The cat’s been walking across the keyboard for days now. Even the dog, curled up in bed next to you while you work, looks longingly at you. You know he’s thinking: “Make me a star!” People...

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4 Pieces of Advice for Struggling Writers

My debut novel, Tracked, recently hit shelves, and I’m often asked for advice about the publication process. How long did it take you to sell your book? Should I shelve this project? Should I keep going? Did you ever feel like giving up? And so often, buried in these questions, there’s a palpable tremor...

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Why Write a Collaborative Novel? Why Not?

When we tell people we’ve co-authored a literary novel, the first thing almost everyone says is: “And you’re still friends? How on earth did you manage that?” It’s as if they imagine collaborative fiction as a kind of three-legged race: goofy and fun at an office picnic, but ill suited to a serious runner....

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On Pencils and Process

**GIVEAWAY! Benjamin is excited to give away a free copy of his novel to a random commenter. Comment within 2 weeks.** I love pencils. I wrote every draft of The Last Pilot using Staedtler’s traditional HB; a fantastic pencil.