November/December 2013 Issue
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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.
A car engine breaks the stillness of the night … the smell of seaweed intrudes on an afternoon chess game … an unopened letter slips behind couch cushions. These are what we … Read more
When I decided to write The Freedman and the Pharaoh’s Staff from the perspective of former slaves and African-Americans, some people asked how could a white Jewish guy relate to or understand … Read more
Whether you’re a professional writer, a part-time freelancer or a self-starting student, here’s your chance to enter the premier self-published competition exclusively for self-published books. Writer’s Digest hosts the 21st annual self-published … Read more
Doug Richardson may be best known for his scriptwriting and producing chops on Die Hard 2, Bad Boys and Hostage, but he’s a successful thriller writer as well. His new novel, Blood … Read more
Did you know that at one time, many books in the U.S. were actually published by their authors? It wasn’t until book publishing consolidated in response to industrialization and grew into a … Read more
Now you’re to the point where you’re ready to start crafting your book. You’ve done a bit of brainstorming, and perhaps you’ve done some writing. But there’s something about brainstorming that’s only … Read more
From our good friend Ben LeRoy, publisher of Tyrus books (pictured right): I met Reed Farrel Coleman in 2004 or so. He was up and coming author enjoying critical buzz, fresh off … Read more
When your writing wins an award, it gives it more credibility. It’s a badge that says to others, “My writing is good and I have proof.” One competition worth checking out is … Read more
Word repetition can really weigh down your writing and slow down readers. Try out these five simple ways to tackle word repetition and improve your writing skills. 1. Develop Your Ear I … Read more
Man I hate writer’s block. We all get stuck in a writing rut from time to time. Sometimes it gets so bad for me that I can’t even come up with a … Read more
First off, thanks to everyone who participated in our April’s Fools “Write Your Best Fake Headline” contest. (If you missed it, you can get the details here.) Second I had a blast … Read more
Q: When submitting a story via email for a contest, how should it be formatted? Text format? Single or double spaced? You get the idea.— D. Holcomb Competition submission guidelines—much like all … Read more
Want to be featured in an upcoming issue of Writer’s Digest? Here’s your chance. We’re busy putting together an issue about how to “Take Control of Your Career,” and we want to … Read more
As an agent of more than five years with the Irene Goodman Agency, I am oftentimes approached at writing retreats, conferences, children’s birthday parties, nail salons, shooting ranges and quinceañeras, and asked … Read more
Recently at the Writing 3.0 Conference, a panel of editors surprised attendees when they said that while plot and character development are important, the key to getting their attention—and a book contract—is … Read more
Awhile ago I attended an inventors’ club meeting. Some of the members had already launched successful products and were working on more, while others were merely beginners with great ideas. The beginners … Read more
Every story, like every sequence of memorable events in life, has its own chronology; that is, significant happenings with a beginning, middle, and end. As we have said, they may not however … Read more
If you’ve never tried a writing boot camp, you’re missing out: three days of instruction, deadlines and discipline all wrapped into one weekend that will force you to forward your writing career. … Read more
Some of your characters will change during the course of your story—let’s call them changers. Others—stayers—will not change significantly in personality or outlook, but their motivations may nonetheless change as the story … Read more
Getting published isn’t easy—it’s hard. The key is to put your energy in the right places in order to give yourself the best shot at landing a book deal. But where to … Read more
Structure is translation software for your imagination. You, the writer, have a story you want to tell. You feel it, see it, populate it with characters. But turning all that raw material … Read more
We’re most likely to sin when we’re at our most vulnerable—and for creative writers, there may be no more vulnerable time than the delicate (and often excruciating) process of editing our own … Read more
Think of your rejections as reactions from first dates: Some will be very general (“Sorry, I’m just not that into you”), some will offer minimal feedback (“You talked nonstop about your ex; … Read more
I wrote a novel whose two main characters are lesbians. This confuses some people because I am not a lesbian. Because I am also not a woman. And because I am not … Read more
Searching the Internet, I found a published thriller with the same title I plan to use for my own thriller. Can I still use it, or is that illegal? —Gilbert G. Much … Read more