October 2014 Issue
Free Writing Downloads
Workshops Starting October 2nd
Writer’s Digest Popular Fiction Awards—Deadline Coming Soon!
Writer's Digest Popular Fiction Awards—Deadline Coming Soon!
Hurry—submit your short story by October 15!
Submit your best short stories in the Romance, Thriller, Young Adult, Crime, Horror or Science Fiction genres for a chance at the Popular Fiction Awards Grand Prize of $2,500 cash and a trip to the 2015 Writer’s Digest Conference!
Enter as many stories as you like in multiple genres, but all entries must be fewer than 4,000 words. Don’t delay—this could be your winning year!
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.
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
Turn your dream novel into a reality by using this Story Plan Checklist. Read more
Use a demand letter to save the day when you’re long overdue on being paid. Read more
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
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
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
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
Set aside 30 minutes, choose one of the following exercises and, as Tim Gunn from “Project Runway” would say, “Make it work!” Read more
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
Find pitch-perfect hooks for articles on virtually any topic by targeting anniversaries. Read more
Just like anyone else who builds things from scratch, writers need tools. And the more you use them, the better you become at using them. The more tools you’re exposed to, the … Read more
Around Thanksgiving I’m always reminded of how thankful I am for my wife, my kids, my family and my friends. One thing that I often overlook is how thankful I am that I am a writer. It’s a challenging profession, one that causes a lot of rejection, heartbreak and unintentionally condescending looks from others (“So you’re a writer? That’s nice, but what’s your real job?”). But the payoff is this: Read more
Here are the keys to writing and pitching a novel that crosses genres. Read more
We want to let you know about the new Writer’s Digest survey and encourage you to participate. Whether you’re an aspiring author, or one who’s already been published, the information you can provide is of great importance to the publishing industry, enabling you to tell publishers, editors, agents, and self-publishing service providers what really matters, why you write, and what you want. Read more below or just click here to participate. Read more
Powerfully portrayed settings seem to have a life of their own, but how is that effect achieved? Make your setting a character is a common piece of advice given to fiction writers, yet beyond invoking all five senses when describing the scenery, there’s not a lot of info out there about exactly how to do it. Here are 5 keys to doing it. Read more
There’s a new genre targeting readers who are outgrowing YA—but is it here to stay? Here’s what you should know about the New Adult trend.
A few weeks ago, I had never heard of National Novel Writing Month, although I’ve been somewhat lazily writing a book for a year in my free time (Lesson 1: don’t wait for free time). Then one day when I was busily browsing posts on Facebook, I got a notification; someone had shared a link on my timeline. How lovely! I clicked and saw a poster image of my local library’s NaNoWriMo events for the month. I had no idea what this meant, but was honored that my husband’s aunt had thought of me when she saw this; I know because that was her comment (Lesson 2 learned: once you tell people that you’re writing a book, they’ll hold you to it, for better or for worse.). Read more
Each person in the audience fights the bull along with the torero, not by following the flight of the cape, but by using another imaginary one that moves differently than the one … Read more
In a way, most successful writers I know remind me of my house cat Charlotte, says author Peter Brown Hoffmeister. They might be balding or have an average coat of hair. They might not be incredibly good-looking, large or small. They certainly won’t exude sex appeal in a bikini, and they might even have a hidden abscess that gives off an unpleasant odor, but they get their work done. Read on as Peter explains. Read more
Before you hire an editor, you need to know what kind of help you’re looking for. It’s important you know the following … Read more
International bestselling novelist Peter James reveals his secret to killer crime fiction: joining hands with the long arm of the law. Read more
What’s the difference between fewer and less? Here’s a simple explanation to help you use both correctly. Read more
Christian markets offer big readerships and big opportunities—and the best part is, anyone can write for them. Here’s how to break in. Read more