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.


Interview With Expert Freelancer Kelly James-Enger

Today I’m talking with author and freelancing expert Kelly James-Enger, whose work has appeared in dozens of national magazines, including Redbook, Fitness and Self. James-Enger says that her success as a full-time freelancer isn’t the result of persistence or luck, but of learning the “secrets” of freelancing. You can find all 101 of these...

The Best New Advice for Getting Published

You can always tell when it’s officially springtime here at the WD offices. Everyone is smiling because of the sunshine. Everyone is sneezing because of the pollen. And everyone is buzzing about the release of our most popular annual list: The 101 Best Websites for Writers. (There are also some unruly Canadian geese who...

How to Build Online Community

By Rob Eagar If you want to build a following, especially online, the key is to position yourself as someone who is worth following. The best way to attract a large group is by becoming an object of interest, which means the ability to draw people to you by dent of your expertise or...

Amazon Lets Authors Spy on Readers

By Rob Eagar, author of Sell Your Book Like Wildfire Did you know that Amazon lets authors see who is highlighting notes in their books and tweeting content to friends? When someone reads a book using a Kindle device or app, Amazon stores the information they highlight. Plus, Amazon displays who used Twitter to...

How to Write Effective Dialogue

Dialogue serves several key functions in your fiction: It reveals your characters’ personalities and beliefs, heightens tension, provides an alternative to lengthy descriptive passages and, most importantly, advances your plot. The key to writing effective dialogue is compression. Dialogue in fiction shouldn’t mimic the “everydayness” of actual speech, with all of its unnecessary details...

Things to Write About: Great Places to Find Ideas

Look around and you’ll find there’s no shortage of interesting things to write about—whether you’re in search of blog topics or creative story ideas. But in spite of that, I found myself sucked in to the advance copy of a book I recently happened upon in my inbox: 642 Things to Write About, by...

How to Find, Rather Than Make, Writing Time

I’m always drawn to articles about being more productive. I come to them with a hopeful expectation that some gem inside will hold the power to transform my writing time. And usually I’m left feeling disappointed—more than disappointed, actually. Guilty. Because while these articles are great at pointing out things that can be seen...

Steal from Yourself for Better Book Marketing

By Rob Eagar When I consult with authors on book marketing issues, a common complaint arises about the need to generate content for free resources, newsletters, and social media pages. The necessity to write new articles, blog posts, or updates gets labeled as a nuisance, because the client thinks it will be difficult to...

How to Edit Your Novel

Completing your novel is a momentous achievement. After months (or years) of hard work and sacrifice, your first impulse might be to start submitting it willy-nilly—time is of the essence, right? In reality, you shouldn’t even think about sending your novel to an agent or publisher (or publishing it yourself) before you’ve put it...

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Are Writers Born or Made? – Jack Kerouac Quotes

Every week, I spelunk into the Writer’s Digest archives to find the wisest, funniest, or downright strangest moments from our 92 years of publication. Today: A vintage article and quotes from Jack Kerouac (On the Road), who in January 1962 wrote a piece for WD asking, Are Writers Made or Born? (This week would have marked Kerouac’s 90th birthday....

Writing Advice From Famous Irish Authors

In anticipation of St. Patrick’s Day, I thought it might be fun to tap into the wit and wisdom of a few famous Irish and Anglo-Irish writers. While March 17 seems like a logical time to celebrate all things Irish, Ireland’s contributions to literature are worth noting anytime. From the Middle Ages to the...

Key Advice for Writing Fantasy

Paranormal writing is still hot… Whether you love the Twilight phenomenon or hate it, the buzz around teen vampires and werewolves is still going strong. If you’re into spooky writing—from the YA side of writing fantasy stories to things a bit darker (like horror writing)—times are both good and bad for you. Good because...

Amazon Reviews and the War of the Words

By Rob Eagar The power of the collective voice on Amazon works as a major influence over many people’s buying decisions, especially when it comes to books. For example, if someone recommends a book to me, my habit is to go find it on Amazon and read through some of the reviews. Many times,...

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13 Stephen King Quotes on Writing: Your Moment of Friday Zen

Every week, I spelunk into the Writer’s Digest archives to find the wisest, funniest, or downright strangest moments from our 92 years of publication. Today: An array of quotes from Stephen King, author of, err, well, mostly everything, from The Shining and Carrie to On Writing, The Dark Tower series and The Stand. I know, I know:...

How to Start a Book Project

  March seems like a good checkpoint for New Year’s writing goals: Two months into the New Year, you probably have a sense of whether a resolution made in January will become a reality by December. If “start a book” was on your January to-do list, how’s it coming? If you hit the ground...

Great Tips for Better Writing

To kick off last week, I wrote about How to Become a Better Writer and invited you to share your own favorite craft tips in the comments section. How to Write Better: Your Favorite Tips “Write the first draft for yourself, and the second draft for your readers.” —Melissa (Well put! When successful writers claim...

The Writing Process: Step One

Prewriting. Freewriting. Mind Mapping. Clustering. If you’ve taken a creative writing or English composition class, you’ve likely encountered these terms. They represent an important step in the writing process and, in my view, the easiest and most fun. The gist of prewriting is to let ideas flow directly from your brain to the page,...

When It Comes to Getting Published, There’s No Shortage of New Ideas

Today I’m talking with Jesse Potash, the founder of PUBSLUSH (www.pubslush.com), which presents a unique new model for getting published. Because it’s so unusual – and because they’re a non-profit – I thought you might find it of interest. Jesse was a panelist at last month’s Writer’s Digest Conference. Here’s the scoop: PUBSLUSH Press...

How to Become a Better Writer

We’re always excited when a new issue of Writer’s Digest hits newsstands—especially when it’s delivering something our readers have specifically been asking for. So we’re especially jazzed about this week’s release of our March/April issue and its theme, “Make Your Writing Stand Out.” Whenever we poll the writing community, time and again we find...