• THE
    Writing Prompt
    Boot Camp

    Subscribe to our FREE email newsletter and get the Writing Prompt Boot Camp download.

Brian Klems’ The Writer’s Dig

Brian A. Klems is a published author and the online editor of WritersDigest.com. His blog, which covers everything writing—from grammar rules to publishing—is one of the most popular in the writing community. Follow him on Twitter @BrianKlems.

How to Create an Antihero That Readers Love

brian-klems-2013

If you dare to write about less-than-charming characters, you don’t need to always redeem them with an ending in which they see the error of their ways, mend their faults and allow their flinty hearts to be transformed into a choir loft of goodness. You see, Hollywood movies have greatly influenced audience expectations to such a degree that bad people are expected to become good, endings are expected to be tidy and hopeful, and outcomes are expected to be laced with sunshine. Fiction can, and should, mimic life, with all its messes and discomfort and disquiet. Fiction should also prove just how complicated and troubled many people are. Read more

Is Your Partner a Shadow Writer?!

Take this quiz to determine if your beloved is joyful or jealous of your way with words. Read more

Call for Submissions: What Makes Your Writing Group Work?

brian-klems-2013

Are you a member of a helpful and creative writing group? Do you meet with fellow writers to share your work, receive thoughtful feedback, get a boost of inspiration, and hang out with others who love the craft? We’d love to hear from you! Read more

The 5 Differences Between Professional and Amateur Novelists

Finch-author photo C#18626A

There are some crucial differences between the professional ones and the ones who want to be professional. These are the five that I’ve noticed during my career. Read more

13 Survival Reminders for Writers

brian-klems-2013

One writer says to survive as a writer you need to allow yourself to accept these 13 things. Read more

28 Simple Steps to Write, Raise Funds and Publish a Children’s Book

brian-klems-2013

If you’re reading this, you’re probably asking yourself “how do I published my children’s book idea?” Well, I have good news for you. It’s simple! Just follow these 28 steps, and your book will soon be available to customers all over the world! Read more

How Hugh Howey Turned His Self-Published Story “Wool” Into a Success (& a Book Deal)

brian-klems-2013

It’s not just an amazing success story, it’s a new precedent for authors everywhere: Thanks to Hugh Howey, you don’t have to choose between the allure of self-publishing and your dreams of big book deals. You can have both. Read more

Write Better: The 7 Qualities of High-Concept Stories

brian-klems-2013

Stumped by submission guidelines calling for “high-concept” romance, suspense, young adult or other popular fiction? These 7 qualifiers will help you gauge how (and where) your work fits in. Read more

Tales From the Writing Life: You Can’t Go Home Again (5-Minute Memoir)

5MinMemoir

5-Minute Memoir is exactly what it sounds like—a personal essay on some facet of the writing life, be it a narrative or a reflection, pensive, touching or hilarious. Enjoy this installment from Peter Jurich. Read more

6 Insider Tips for Finding and Applying to Writers’ Colonies

brian-klems-2013

Writers’ colonies are little-known treasures: they exist all over the United States and abroad, but many writers have never heard of them. Here are six ways to find (and apply for) these hidden gems. Read more

The Real Story Behind Low-Residency MFAs

brian-klems-2013

If you think low-res writing programs are second-rate, think again. Here’s why they might just be the best way to become a better writer. Read more

A 12-Day Plan of Simple Writing Exercises

brian-klems-2013

It’s the perfect time to restart your engine and get back into writing. Here, I offer up a 12-day plan of simple writing exercises to help you keep your creative juices flowing without eating up too much of your time. Follow this plan and in less than half a month, you’ll not only be impressed with what you’ve accomplished, but you may also have something worth publishing. Read more

Writing Fiction or Nonfiction: Make Your Choice

brian-klems-2013

As a writer, are you going to write fiction or nonfiction?. The latter spans a wide range of subjects. This category is made up of literary works that can retell events that … Read more

7 Ways to Create a Killer Opening Line For Your Novel

brian-klems-2013

Writing a dynamite first line that captivates readers and encourages them to read on is difficult. Here are several different approaches to writing a killer opening line (and examples from classic novels to accompany each). Read more

Important Writing Lessons From First-Time Novelists

brian-klems-2013

Writing and publishing your debut novel can take three months or 30 years. In this roundtable discussion, five very different breakout authors share what they’ve learned about how to position yourself for success. Read more

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

brian-klems-2013

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. Read more

Your Novel Blueprint

wd-Brian-web-19.jpg

Turn your dream novel into a reality by using this Story Plan Checklist. Read more

Freelance Writing: What to Do If You Haven’t Been Paid Yet

wd-Brian-web-19.jpg

Use a demand letter to save the day when you’re long overdue on being paid. Read more

How to Use Profanity And Other Raw Talk In Your Fiction

wd-Brian-web-19.jpg

The expletive known in polite circles as “the f-word” was most famously used in a major novel, Norman Mailer’s The Naked and the Dead, published in 1948. Except it wasn’t. Let me explain. Read more

Freelance Writing: 10 Ways to Satisfy Editors & Land More Assignments

wd-Brian-web-19.jpg

Getting assignments right the first time is key to a successful freelance career. Here are 10 ways to satisfy editors from the start. Read more

Into vs. In To

wd-Brian-web-19.jpg

Using “into” and “in to” interchangeably is a very common grammar faux pas—heck, my sister commits this grandiose error in e-mails at least twice a day and, despite my attempts to sick the grammar police on her, she continues to write recklessly. But if you understand their individual definitions, it’s easy to pick the right word to convey your true meaning and avoid the grammar police altogether. Read more

QUICK TIP: Save Your Story From Coming to a Bad End

wd-Brian-web-19.jpg

Too many stories end badly. And yet they somehow get published and even succeed to some degree. That’s because the rest of the story—the structure of it and the compelling essence of the character—triumphs to an extent that the ending doesn’t make or break the story at all. It just is. Your goal is … Read more

An Interview with Charles Finch, Author of the Charles Lenox Mysteries

wd-Brian-web-19.jpg

I recently had the opportunity to talk to popular mystery author Charles Finch, author of the Charles Lenox mysteries, during my Writer’s Digest Presents: An Author Hangout series. He was a wonderful guest, answering questions about the writing process, the keys to writing a series, what writers looking to get published need to focus on and more. Read more

Try These 30-Minute Writing Challenges

wd-Brian-web-19.jpg

Set aside 30 minutes, choose one of the following exercises and, as Tim Gunn from “Project Runway” would say, “Make it work!” Read more

How to Write a Biography: Writing from the Heart

wd-Brian-web-19.jpg

The most important thing that you as a biographer can do is to write from the heart. You can take a number of approaches to writing from the heart. For example … Read more

Page 2 of 1512345...10...Last »