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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.

Interesting New Tool for Self-Published Authors

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I came across this new resource for writers from a company called Vook. It looks like a fascinating tool for self-published authors, allowing authors to track book sales that are reported through most of the major players in the ebook and POD business–Amazon, Amazon KDP, iBooks, Barnes & Noble, Nook Press, Kobo Writing Life, CreateSpace, Smashwords, Google, and Samsung. Here’s more info. Read more

8 Reasons Every Book Needs a Business Plan to Achieve Success

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No matter how you want to publish, and whether you write fiction or nonfiction, you should produce a business plan for each and every book you write and publish—before writing a word of your manuscript. Let me offer you eight good reasons why I believe this is an important practice if you want to achieve success as an author. Read more

Where Should You List Your Manuscript’s Word Count?

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There are a couple of places where your manuscript’s word count needs to appear. Here they are. Read more

Is a Freelancing Career in Writing Feasible?

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So you’re thinking about a freelance career in writing? Consider this information before diving in and becoming a freelance writer. Read more

When Flaws Go Too Far: Avoiding Unlikeable Characters

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Here are a few tips to make sure you don’t go overboard with negative personality traits. Read more

3 Most Common Complaints About Agents by Scriptwriters

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Television writer Chad Gervich breaks down the most common complaints made by scriptwriters about Hollywood agents. Read more

5 Lessons I Learned From Writing A Memoir

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So how does one approach the monster once you’ve decided to write a memoir? Following are some lessons memoirist Nancy Spiller learned from writing her own. Read more

CONFERENCE SPOTLIGHT: Mad Anthony Writers Conference, Hamilton Ohio, April 4-6

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Come join me this spring at a great writing event in Southwestern Ohio — The Mad Anthony Writers Conference, happening April 4-6, 2014. I will be a keynote speaker at the event and will be teaching several sessions too. The conference also features multi-genre workshops, pitch appointments, critiques, advice appointments and more. Read on for more details. Read more

Alright vs. All Right

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Here’s the difference between alright and all right (hint: one of them technically isn’t a word). Here’s a simple explanation. Read more

How to Create an Antihero That Readers Love

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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?

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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

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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

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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

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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)

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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

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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)

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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)

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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

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