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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.

Copywriting: A Crash Course for Writers Looking to Break In

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BY ATHENA SCHULTZ The market for freelance copywriting is bigger than ever—and so is the potential to break in. Put your writing skills to work on the side, and you might just hit the jackpot. Read more

The Pros and Cons of Writing a Novel in Present Tense

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BY DAVID JAUSS The best writers almost always seem to know, either consciously or intuitively, when to use present tense. Many of us, however, do not. Present tense has become something of a fad, and we often use it even when past tense would serve the story better. Whatever the causes for the prevalence of the present tense in today’s fiction, it is important that we understand its advantages and disadvantages so we can better decide when to employ it. Read more

6 Tips for Writing About Music

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You know more about music than any of your friends and can hold your own with all of these so-called critics. But where to begin? How do you break through to the printed page and music blogosphere? Here’s how. Read more

25 Tips To Make You a Better Nonfiction Writer

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Try these 25 tips out for size and your nonfiction writing will improve almost immediately. Read more

5 Writing Lessons Inspired by Famous Writers

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Visits to literary landmarks reveal powerful lessons every writer can carry home. Read more

Tales From the Writing Life: Fear and Loathing and Fitzgerald (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 Steven Rowland. Read more

Getting the Details Right in Your Novel: Psychologist vs. Psychiatrist

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Although both professions study and treat people with psychological and behavioral issues, there are big distinctions between psychologists and psychiatrists. Fortunately, you don’t need to feign emotional trauma and lie on a couch for hours to get it right in your work. Here’s a breakdown. Read more

How Book Advances Work – A Simple Explanation for Writers

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Here’s the breakdown on what you need to know when signing a book contract that includes an advance, including what it means and how it works. Read more

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

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