writing technique

5 Nifty Google Writing Tools

Hi, writers, Maria is likely sipping exotic neon cocktails and hanging out with top writers as the Maui Writers Conference wraps up in Hawaii, so this week I’m taking over The Writer’s Perspective and the WD fort in Cincinnati, wearing an old lei from a luau-themed office party. I originally planned...

Writer's Digest TV: Lee Child

Hi Writers,Another video today–I know, I spoil you. Today’s video is an interview with Lee Child, author of the spectacular Jack Reacher series. Here Lee talks about why he switches between first and third person point-of-view in his novels. Keep Writing,Maria You might also like:No Related Posts

Writer's Digest TV: Interview with David Baldacci

Hi Writers,If there’s one thing I’ve learned from spending time with all the thriller writers at ThrillerFest 08, it’s that the adage, “write what you know” holds little merit. Here’s another short Q&A I did with David Baldacci, in which he discusses the merits of writing what you don’t know. Keep...

Writer's Digest TV: Sandra Brown

Hi Writers,Remember back last month when I was at ThrillerFest, the great writing conference/party thrown by the International Thriller Writers? Well, I got the chance to do some video interviews with a few thriller luminaries, including the amazing Sandra Brown. So here’s a a short (around 4 minutes) Q&A I did...

Random stuff overheard from New York literary agents

Hi Writers,Sorry for the lame headline. I’m putting the October issue of Writer’s Digest to bed and my clever headline writing capacity is shot. But I wanted to share some of the notes I kept during my recent trip to New York to accompany our annual competitions winners to meet agents...

I'm in New York!

Hi Writers,I’m reporting live from New York City, where I’m accompanying our annual competitions winners Alegra Clarke and Mary Feuer. So Alegra and Mary and me are making the rounds to meet literary agents. This is part of their prize for winning our annual competition for the past two years. I...

Ian Frazier on Humor Writing

Hi Writers, I read this great piece in The New Yorker May 26, “Tales from a Chelsea Soup Kitchen” by Ian Frazier. It’s a feature about how he started a writing workshop that operates in tandem with a NYC church-based soup kitchen. I thought it had a lot of interesting things...

Kill Your Darlings (and other terrifying advice)

Hi Writers,Following up on my previous post, the Ira Glass storytelling video, there were some interesting comments on the forum. I mentioned that I really took to what Glass had to say about killing much of your work so that the best can live. And this brought up the anxiety-inducing advice...

Ira Glass on Storytelling

Hi Writers,I want to share this wonderful, instructional video I came across: Ira Glass on the art of storytelling. I’m a huge NPR “This American Life” fan and I also recommend “This American Life” on Showtime, which I suppose you might call short video stories of real people. The following video...

In honor of National Poetry Month

Hi Writers,It’s National Poetry Month, so I thought I’d offer up an excerpt courtesy of our wonderful new Poetry columnist Dorianne Laux. This is from the June 08 issue of Writer’s Digest (on newwstands 4/15), from a column on word choice:There’s something in the name Romeo—those three sweet, open syllables—that our...

Laurell K. Hamilton on her fantasy series

Hi Writers,There seems to be some blogosphere chatter surrounding a quote from the Laurell K. Hamilton interview in our April issue. So I’m posting that particular Q&A here. The full interview will be available on our website next week. Do you work on only one series at a time? Yes, especially...

Blogs: Handling sensitive subjects

Hi Writers,Anyone who blogs and is interested in learning how to write about a very serious topic should check out Patry Francis’ blog Simply Wait. I wrote about Patry in my previous post. She’s an author who’s battling cancer. She’s been chronicling that battle on her blog recently. Here’s a brief...

Blogs: Cutting words in your posts Part 3

Hi Writers,Since there seems to be a great deal of angst surrounding my advice to try to keep your blog posts short, I’m going to do one final post on the subject and then move on to more creative, less-irritating topics. My advice to try and keep the majority of your...

Cutting words in your posts: Part 2

Hi Writers, I’ve noticed, in my web wanderings, wordiness is a rampant problem in the blogosphere. So to continue the theme of my previous post on cutting down wordiness, I’ve taken a recent post by one of my favorite writers, fellow WD blogger Kevin Alexander (with his permission), and cut out...

Blogs: How to Keep your Word Count Down

Hi Writers,Several people commented specifically on tip #10: Keep it Short from my “20 Tips for Good Blogging” article. They remarked that it’s difficult to keep posts to 300 words, and that word limit is perhaps too strict. But I stick with my original advice to keep it short. Most successful...

20 Tips for Good Blogging

Hi Writers, If you’ve been a regular reader here, you know that I spent much of 2007 perusing writer’s blogs for my Project 20/20: Build my Blogroll Project. I spotlighted 20 writer’s blogs (one a week for 20 weeks) and added them to my Blogroll, where you can still find the...

Is it time to ditch Word?

Hi Writers,I enjoyed this essay from Sunday’s New York Time’s magazine, about options beyond Microsoft Word for writers. It’s definitely worth reading this short, amusing essay: An Interface of One’s Ownby Virginia Heffernan. Here’s an excerpt: Our redeemer is Scrivener, the independently produced word-processing program of the aspiring novelist Keith Blount,...

The Best of WD Interviews CD

Hi Writers, I’ve never made a secret of the fact that the WD Interviews are my favorite feature in Writer’s Digest. It’s a rare privilege to get first-hand advice on the craft and business of writing from some of the finest writers of our times. We’ve done some amazing interviews over...

10 Great Mistakes with Story by John Truby

Hi Writers,As promised, in follow up to yesterday’s online-exclusive interview with Hollywood script doctor John Truby, here are 10 Great Mistakes writers make with story: Great Mistake 1: The story idea isn’t original.Great Mistake 2: Writers often use the wrong genre to develop the idea, or they impose the pre-determined genre...