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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.

How to Write the Last 10% of Your Novel


How can you tell when your novel is really finished? Learn the final-draft factors that most often make or break a novel. Read more

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


Playwriting can be a terrific outlet for any writer’s talent—it not only serves as an excellent new venue for your work, but it can also sharpen your style and boost your overall writing ability in innumerable ways. Interested, but unsure of how, exactly, to get your feet wet? Here are eight things any writer can do to get a jump-start writing for the stage. Read more

Writing MEME of the Week – My Novel is Out There

Writing Meme Writer's Digest October 17 2013

While we are a community of writers, it doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy some of the finer points of funny and clever images shared throughout today’s social media world. I’ve decided share some of my favorites. This one comes from Mary Zisk. Hope you enjoy. Read more

6 Secrets of Writing a Novel Without an Outline


If you’ve ever wanted to throw away your outline and uncover a story word by word, here’s how to get started. Read more

Benefits of Writing a Fast First Draft


One of the greatest predictors of successfully pre-plotting and writing a novel or memoir in a month is the ability to write in the zone. When you’re in the flow of your … Read more

Why Writers Wallow in the Beginning and Resist Writing to the End


Writing and plotting the beginning of a story are like meeting people for the first time. We wonder if the other people like us. We wonder if we like them. We show only so much of ourselves, as we determine how we feel about these other persons. We are in control––and being in control at the beginning sounds far superior to being out of control in the middle and the end, places where you must dig deeply into emotions … Read more

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


There are important benefits of writing a novel or memoir from beginning to end before going back and starting again. Here are seven of them that you should know. Read more

How to Build Subplots From Multiple Viewpoints


Subplots and multiple points of view make novels longer and more work, but rewards for that effort are there for writer and reader alike—that is, if they are successful. Here’s how to pull it off. Read more

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


Occasionally I will share funny graphics that I’ve found on the Web (or were created by members of the Writer’s Digest staff). Here’s a great one that I think many book lovers will enjoy. Read more

The Novelist’s Guide to Writing (Only) What you Know


Transform personal experience into powerful fiction, and you’ll tell stories like no one else can. Read more

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


The writing world lost a legend with the passing of Tom Clancy. To honor the author of the Jack Ryan novels, we dove into our archives and found this wonderful Writer’s Digest Interview with Tom Clancy from 2001. Read on. Read more

Do You Believe This?


Television can give us great breaks from the work of writing, even if we feel slightly guilty for watching. But we can temper our guilt by inviting our Inner Editor to sit beside us and show us what to avoid in our writing. Read more

#BannedBooksWeek: Why Banning Books is Wrong (& Better Solutions)


This week I helped celebrate #BannedBooksWeek by moderating a Google On Air panel of popular authors discussing why banning books does a disservice to readers everywhere (You won’t believe the screengrab of my giant head that Google picked as the promo image. Anyway, the discussion led to some amazing points about the problems with banning books, other solutions to dealing with kids reading mature content and why parents should put less emphasis on getting books banned and more emphasis on reading with their kids. Watch and enjoy. Read more

Cut Your Story Down to Size


Is your manuscript too long? Many of the queries I receive begin, “In my 200,000-word novel….” I stop right there. As I tell all of my clients, I can’t sell anything over 120,000 words by a first-time writer. “Help me cut it,” they say, knowing that I spent some 15 years as an editor before becoming an agent. Read more

Don’t Be Afraid of Indie Publishing


Let me be clear­—I don’t take sides. I appreciate the self-published author, the author published by a small press, and the New York-published author. Because you know what? No matter what publishing route any of us decide to take, we are all still authors. Read more

Join our Banned Books Week Discussion Today at 4 p.m. Eastern


Today at 4 p.m. (Eastern) I’ll be moderating a free Google Hangout Event in honor of Banned Books Week, where we celebrate the freedom to read whatever we want! I’ll be joined by bestselling author Jaime Ford (Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet), as well as authors Deb Caletti, Sean Beaudoin and Kathleen Alcalá. Should be a fun, lively discussion. (Though forgive my hoarse voice–I’ve been battling a nasty cold for days.) Find out how to join here. Read more

Author Tim Powers Says “Trust the Cats”


Whenever there’s a loud noise outside my little back-room office, the cats all instantly look at me. (Somehow there are always at least two or three cats napping on my desk or … Read more

Fact-based Fiction


Everyone loves to pick up an escapist novel and just drift away into a world of romance, intrigue, or mystery. This was especially true for me while working as a correspondent and anchor for CNN for more than two decades. I would always grab a paperback on my way through the airport. The more outrageously fictitious, the better. You see, I had quite a good dose of reality every day: bombings and school shootings, wars and financial ruin, natural disasters. I wanted fun and enjoyment in my reading. Here are a few rules I adhere to when I write my own romantic thrillers. Read more

How to Turn Traumatic Experiences Into Fuel For Your Writing


Writing can be inspired by many things. But for this author, a sudden bout with anemia really put things into perspective and motivated her to write. Read more

4 Reasons You Need a Business Plan for Your Book


No matter how you want to publish your book, a business plan helps you produce a marketable, which equates to a successful, book. Here’s what you need to consider. Read more

6 Ways to Write Better Bad Guys


With the following tips in mind, reread your manuscript with an eye toward making your antagonist as compelling as your protagonist. Read more

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5 Tips from Ann Crispin, Co-Founder of Writer Beware


It’s with a heavy heart that we mourn the passing of bestselling author Ann Crispin, co-founder of Writer Beware (you can read a short note about it here from Ann’s close friend and Writer Beware counterpart Victoria Strauss). Ann contributed to Writer’s Digest on several occasions and has long been an advocate of writers’ rights. To honor her, we’ve pulled 5 excellent tips from our archives that she shared with us over the years. Read more

Tapping Your Inner Villain


I find that writers are usually nice people. Nice people have a hard time understanding nasty people, let alone liking them. Let alone loving them! You must overcome this. Here’s how. Read more

5 Things Novelists Can Learn From Screenwriters


Life of Pi Academy Award nominee David Magee shares his insights and tips. Read more

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