Editors Blog

There Are No Rules Blog by the Editors of Writer’s Digest

Get on the cutting edge of today’s publishing trends and how authors can succeed in a world of fast-paced technological change, guided by the editors of Writer’s Digest. You’ll get an inside look at the work, play, and passion of the publishing business and find practical tools for success.


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Writing the Unlikable Character (and Why You Should)

We talk a lot about the importance of writing characters that readers like or can relate to—and by “we” I mean anyone who feels strongly about books, regardless of profession. It’s nice to know when the good guy is good and when the bad guy is bad. That’s what you expect from a story....

How to Pay it Forward Within the Literary Community

There’s something about the holiday season that puts people in a generous mood. From random anonymous acts of kindness to time-honored remembrances, it truly is the giving season. Heck, even the Grinch’s heart grew three sizes during the holidays. So what can writers do to pay it forward within the literary community? Here are...

How to Amp Up Your Story

Do you ever write something and immediately find yourself wanting to edit it (or worse—delete it)? Or are you struggling to really develop an idea? It’s tough not to immediately begin the rewriting process or automatically start second guessing yourself. Sometimes, as writers, we can get lost in continually improving a piece, trying to...

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Go There: Lessons In Writing From Dear Old Dad

BY ANDREW MARANISS People assume that when your father is a Pulitzer Prize–winning, bestselling author, he must have helped you a lot with your first book. For a while, I thought he might, too. I’d email first drafts of my chapters for “Strong Inside” to my mom and dad, and I soon discovered why...

How to Develop a Writing Plan

Sometimes, as a writer, it’s difficult to think about large, overarching goals when you’re working on a project or planning to start on something new. Thinking, “I’m going to write a novel and have it completed by XX date,” is ambitious. And maybe it’s too much of a reach. Instead, develop a plan. Write...

NaNoWriMo Reflections

With the buzz of National Novel Writing Month over, it’s now a time for reflection and introspection. Take a step back from your work before examining it. Did you meet your goal? Did your writing meet your standards? Will it ultimately meet your standards? Will you make something of what you’ve written this NaNoWriMo?...

Lessons Learned: Takeaways From NaNoWriMo

Whether you are successfully closing in on 50,000 words this National Novel Writing Month or decided to call it a month a little early, there’s always something you can take away from this experience and apply to your normal writing habits. For some writers, it may be that you need to spend that day...

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Wrestling Alligators: On Embracing Curiosity

BY LIZ CRAIN GIVEAWAY: Liz is excited to give away a free copy of the second edition of her just released book, Food Lover’s Guide to Portland, to a random commenter. Comment within 2 weeks; winners must live in the US to receive the book by mail. You can win a blog contest even if you’ve won...

When Your Novel Writing Clicks

Light-bulb moments. Aha moments. Flashes of recognition. Revelations. Call them whatever you like. I like to think of them as clicks. In the writing life, the best kind of click is that moment something makes you realize exactly what’s been missing from the not-quite-right scene you’ve been working on. Or the instant you put...

One More Week: Staying Motivated at the End of NaNoWriMo

Let’s face it, writing is hard. Trying to focus and write a novel in a month? It sounds impossible. And exhausting. Here’s the good news, though: If you’ve stuck with your schedule during National Novel Writing Month, you’ve only got a week left. Hitting the word count at this point should just be a...

The NaNoWriMo Progress Report: How Are You Feeling?

Just about three weeks of participating in National Novel Writing Month can leave even the best, consistently faithful writer sleep-deprived, ornery, and a little nonsensical. But if you’ve made it this far, that’s something worth celebrating. The question becomes, are you writing now just to hit your goal of 50,000 words? Are you simply...

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7 Things I’ve Learned So Far, by Mike Meginnis

BY MIKE MEGINNIS This is a recurring column called “7 Things I’ve Learned So Far,” where writers at any stage of their careers can talk about writing advice and instruction — by sharing seven things they’ve learned along their writing journeys that they wish they knew at the beginning. This is installment is from Mike Meginnis, author of...

Halfway There: Finishing NaNoWriMo Strong

You’re almost there; you’re halfway through National Novel Writing Month, at least based on the calendar. Whether or not you’re halfway through your goal to 50,000 words (or whatever your goal this month is) may be another story. These next two weeks now become as or more critical than the first two and a...

"Joe Hill (14778218361)" by Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America - Joe Hill. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Joe_Hill_(14778218361).jpg#mediaviewer/File:Joe_Hill_(14778218361).jpg

Interview: Joe Hill on HORNS, NOS4A2 and Stephen King

BY DREW TURNEY Author Joe Hill worked as a writer for nearly a decade before revealing his relationship to legendary horror author Stephen King. (For the uninitiated, Hill is King’s son.) Hill has stated that he wanted to prove himself on his own terms, and so chose to work under a semi-pseudonym. His three novels—Heart-Shaped...

Adapt Your Writing: How NaNoWriMo Changes Your Daily Writing Routine

National Novel Writing Month isn’t just a test of your writing prowess. In many ways, it’s more of a test of your determination, will power, and ability to hold yourself accountable. Are you going to stick to your 50,000 word goal? What are your daily goals? How do you handle potentially falling behind? Most importantly,...

Books Without Boundaries

If Bill Gates said it, I tend to believe it. The software tycoon-turned-philanthropisthas been proven right on just about everything. (If you forget the Zune and that CTRL-ALT-DEL thing.) At the dawn of the internet, Gates published an essay that started off with this line: “Content is where I expect much of the real...

Writer’s Block: Avoiding the Struggles of NaNoWriMo

At this point in the month of November, if you’ve stayed honest and true to your daily word count, you should be a third of the way to your 50,000 word goal. If you’re not, that’s still totally fine. There’s a lot of ways to pick up the pace on your word count, even...

5 Ways to Modify NaNoWriMo

It’s November, and that means many writers are well into their (first? second? 12th?) NaNoWriMo experience. But for many other writers, crafting a 50,000-word novel in 30 days is daunting, and they’d rather write a book over a span of a few months (or years), rather than just one. If you fall in the...

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A Book in 30 Days: What Writers Can Learn From Rapid Publishing

BY AMANDA L. BARBARA The Internet has brought about a new age of experimentation in publishing, and stepping into the literary laboratory is the prolific storytelling duo, Sean Platt and Johnny B. Truant. The authors’ recent project, “Fiction Unboxed,” was a crowdfunded experiment in writing and publishing a book live in 30 days. Platt’s...

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How to Write and Sell Your Fantasy & Science Fiction — Nov. 10 Boot Camp (w/Critiques) Taught by Fuse Literary

There has never been a better time to be a Sci-Fi / Fantasy author. With television shows like Battlestar Galactica, Game of Thrones and Outlander each in turn becoming massive pop culture phenomena, and Marvel's superhero films dominating the box office, SF/F has gone mainstream like never before. The SF/F literary marketplace has also...

3 Questions to Ask When Writing a Book Proposal

The nonfiction book proposal is a unique creature. It’s an essential package that you must create to attract the attention of publishers and “sell” them on your book, but most writers balk at the thought of spending weeks and even months developing and honing it. But what if you could accelerate the process of creating your nonfiction book...