62 of the Top Writing Articles from 2013 (That Can Help You in 2014)

Over the past year I posted articles on this blog that covered everything—from grammar to writing better characters to getting published and more. Here’s a cheat sheet linking to what I consider the 62 best articles that can help you reach your writing goals. I broke it down into categories, as you’ll see below. These articles can help you no matter what phase of the writing process you are in. My goal is to help you move your writing career forward, and, by making this easy-to-reference guide, you’ll have a chance to bookmark it and have a one-stop place to help you have a successful year of writing.

Here’s to your best year of writing yet! ~Brian

4 Articles on Grammar

Affect vs. Effect

Fewer vs. Less

Into vs. In To

Don’t Split Infinitives – Fact or Myth?

11 Articles on Writing Better Fiction

5 Ways to Develop a Book Idea

6 Secrets of Writing a Novel Without an Outline

How to Write a Novel Readers Won’t Put Down

The 5 Biggest Fiction Writing Mistakes (& How to Fix Them)

The Two Pillars of Novel Structure

7 Reasons to Write an Entire 1st Draft before Going Back to the Beginning

How to Prevent Predictable Plots

How to Create Tension Through Misdirection

6 Secrets to Creating and Sustaining Suspense

How to Improve Your Writing: Subplots and Subtext

5 Ways to Make the Ordinary Menacing in Your Suspense Novel

3 Articles on Novel Writing the End of Your Novel

How to Craft a Happy Ending

How to Structure a Killer Novel Ending

How to Write the Last 10% of Your Novel

2 Articles on Thriller Writing

10 Things to Remember When Writing a Legal Thriller

10 Things Shakespeare Can Teach Us About Writing Thrillers

7 Articles on Writing Better Characters

How to Write a Character From Start to Finish

4 Ways to Motivate Characters and Plot

How to Make Ordinary Characters Compelling

6 Ways to Write Better Bad Guys

How to Push Your Characters to Their Limits

How To Make Your Setting a Character

How to Write Better Heroes and Villains: Archetypes

4 Articles on Querying Agents/Query Letters

4 Things to Consider When Researching Literary Agents

The 10 Dos and Don’ts of Writing a Query Letter

Answers to 14 Questions You’re Too Afraid to Ask Literary Agents

Checklist: The 6 Essentials for Submitting Your Novel to Agents

7 Articles on Freelance Writing

5 Tips to Help You Land Freelance Assignments That Pay

How Not to Lose Assignments & Infuriate Editors

The 8 Secrets of Great Copywriting

How to Make Money Writing for the Web

What You Need to Know About Pitching Your Christian Writing

Freelance Writing: 5 Tips for Pitching Anniversary-Themed Articles

10 Things Your Freelance Editor Might Not Tell You—But Should

4 Articles on How to Get Published

3 Ways to Get Published: How to Turn Your Manuscript into a Published Book

4 Reasons You Need a Business Plan for Your Book

The 4 Best Strategies for Savvy Self-Publishers

Don’t Be Afraid of Indie Publishing

7 FAQs About Writing/Publishing

Book Contract: What’s Negotiable and What’s Not

How Much Can an Editor Edit My Work?

Can You Use a Book Title That’s Been Used Before?

The 411 on Contest Guidelines and Formatting for Writers

Memoir vs. Autobiography

Can You Copyright an Idea?

10 Questions Writers Must Ask Before Quitting Their Day Job

6 Articles on Inspiration for Writers

7 Reasons Writing a Book Makes You a Badass

How to Develop Any Idea Into a Great Story

5 Ways to Come Up With Great Story Ideas

7 Creative Writing Prompts To Spark Your Writing

5 Things That Should Be On Every Writer’s Bucket List

How to Turn Traumatic Experiences Into Fuel For Your Writing

2 Articles on Editing/Revision

The 7 Deadly Sins of Self-Editing

Cut Your Story Down to Size

2 Articles on Writing Advice from Legends

5 Quotes on Writing from Elmore Leonard

I Just Keep It Simple: Tell the Damn Story (RIP Tom Clancy)

3 Articles Everything Else Writing

8 Ways Any Writer Can Get Started in the Craft of Playwriting

How to Become a Travel Writer

Writing MEME of the Week – Keep that TV Away From Me!

Thanks for visiting The Writer’s Dig blog. For more great writing advice, click here.

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3 thoughts on “62 of the Top Writing Articles from 2013 (That Can Help You in 2014)

  1. littleface

    Thank you for creating this article. I’ve read some of the articles and know this is a great resource to come back to, so it’s been added to my favorites. It always helps to have resources all together in one spot, that way you can access and read the articles without much effort and at the times that you need to. Plus when they’re all together like this you’re more likely to read an article that you might not have otherwise simply because it’s right there in front of you. Before you know it you’ve learned what you didn’t know you needed to learn!

    I appreciate the diversity of topics as well. I’m a self-published poet but am working on some fiction as well as a second collection and marketing my first, so the topics on publishing as well as creating your characters are ones I look forward to. Thanks again!

    Take care,
    author of “That Which Lives Within”

  2. Jeff

    Grinder’s pickup truck rolled to a stop and he leaned over to unlatch the door so I could climb in, my head pounding from the previous night’s party.

    “Mornin’ sunshine,” he said around the cigar stub sticking out of his beard. I sat down. “You gotta slam it,” he added. I yanked the door shut and my hangover headache went to a whole new level. Too much Vodka.

    My hair hurt. “You wanna tell me where the hell we’re going?” I asked as we turned left out of the addition. His phone call was brief, saying only that he was picking me up in an hour and I better be ready or else. I knew better than to wait for else.

    He glanced at me over his shades. “You don’t remember our New Year’s resolution?”

    A wave of panic kicked my heartbeat up few notches as I searched through mental fog. This is not good, I thought to myself. Grinder’s twisted sense of humor was legendary. My silence gave the answer.

    Grinder laughed and the rally pins on his leather vest danced in the sunlight. He pointed to the styrofoam cup in the console and said, “I stopped at the donut shop. Have some coffee and think about it.”

    I removed the lid and sipped hot brew. What fuckin’ resolution? I couldn’t remember much of the night before. I had been ready to kill something after chasing down another dead lead. Dad’s old Harley was still just as gone as when it disappeared a month ago.

    He slowed the truck and turned in at my brother’s storage-rental business, punched in the entry code and the gate rolled open. The office was dark, no one around. We drove to the back row and parked at his unit.

    “Gotta get sumpn’” he said and stepped out. “Gimme a hand.”

    We headed to the overhead door but it rolled up before we got there. Jake stood just inside next to a bike like dad’s, same color and everything. Only this one looked showroom fresh.

    “Where’d you steal that, a museum?” I asked him.

    He smiled and said, “Happy New Year, bro.” Then he held up a key ring with a key dangling and tossed it to me. Our dad’s high school class ring hung next to the key. I looked at Jake, then at Grinder. Both had shit-eating grins. I looked down at the motorcycle. I could see it was dad’s, the very bike he left to me last year, the same bike I’d been chasing over three states on a wild goose chase.

    “We stole it so we could restore it,” Jake said. I was in shock.

    All I could think to say was, “Wow.” I looked at Grinder. “What was the resolution?”

    “Ride at least 1,000 miles every week this year, come hell or high water,” he said.

    Jake handed me a set of leathers. “Suit up, we’re going on a polar bear run.”


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