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.
Life of Pi Academy Award nominee David Magee shares his insights and tips. Read more
Many writers consider dabbling in writing about food—I mean, we all like food, don’t we? Before diving in, it’s important to ask yourself these 5 questions to make sure you’re taking your role as food writer seriously. Read more
Larry Brooks is a story coach. And it isn’t always pretty. Which is a good thing, because the whole point, the reason this has value, is to learn from the mistakes of others. Here’s what you can learn from others. Read more
Most manuscripts start out a little messy. Try these thoughtful approaches to polishing your prose. Read more
When it came time to launch my own book, The Listeners, I had a pretty good working knowledge of what had to be done, certainly more so than most first-time authors. But just as being an editor has informed the publishing experience, so is the publishing experience informing my role as editor, and I wanted to take a little bit of time to share with you what I knew, what I’ve learned, and what I will continue to learn. Read more
Get an easy-to-understand breakdown of the difference between literally and figuratively, and why their definitions may be evolving. Read more
A friend alerted me to an interesting infographic posted on Goodreads. The subject: Why readers abandon a book they’ve started. Among the reasons … Read more
We’re saddened to hear about the passing of literary legend Elmore Leonard (I absolutely loved his book Get Shorty when I read it in high school). He was a great writer and will be remembered through his wonderful work for years and years to come. In honor of Leonard’s passing, we’ve pulled five memorable quotes on writing from our Writer’s Digest interviews archive, as we were fortunate to get to speak with him several times over the years. Here they are. Read more
Try all you want to make the words unrecognizable—misspell them, cut them in half, throw in a fistful of apostrophes, sound out every groan the character makes—but the truth is, they are still words you’re dealing with. Here’s how successfully write characters who have dialects. Read more
Do interesting characters run through your thoughts that you want to know better? Are there places in your head you would like to explore? Have events happened in your life that you … Read more
Kerri Majors is the editor and founder of YARN, the Young Adult Review Network, an online literary journal of YA short stories, essays, and poetry. As if this role doesn’t keep her … Read more
Start your revision by addressing these, and you’ll immediately change your story for the better. Read more
Over the next few weeks many of the presenters of the upcoming Writer’s Digest West Conference (Sept. 27-29 in L.A.) will be dishing out pre-conference writing and publishing tips. Here’s our first installment thanks to Eva Shaw who will be teaching the workshop “Write Your Novel in 20 Minutes.” Read more
Grammarians will often tell you not to split infinitives, but you see writers do it all the time. Is it against the grammar rules or are the grammar teachers off base? Here’s the answer. Read more
Learning how Russian novelist Nabokov thought might improve the way you write. Practice thinking in images to uncover the hidden details in your story. Read more
Personal writing might sometimes feel too private to publish—but documenting your low points can rocket your byline to the top. Read more
Learn the copyright rules you need to know to protect your idea from copyright infringement. Read more
Avoid these 8 freelancing gaffes that even the sharpest pros make. Read more
A literary agent shares a real-life novel pitch that ultimately led to a book deal—and shows you how to query your own work with success. Read more
There are thousands of online writing opportunities for freelancers, many of which pay well. Follow these best practices, and soon you’ll be turning pixels into paychecks. Read more
Throughout the year we bundle together several writing resources that focus on something specific—something that could really, really help you forward your writing career. Oh, and we offer the bundle up for a ridiculously discounted price. There is one catch, though: There’s only 100 bundles available, and once they’re gone, they’re gone. This month’s bundle is … Read more
Here are the principles of story structure that you need to apply to your writing in order to get the ending of your fiction right. Read more
Guilty that you spent some time last night watching TV instead of writing? Don’t feel too bad. As a handful of authors discussed in the “Is Reading Really Considered Working?” panel at ThrillerFest Saturday, writers can learn from more venues than just books—there’s literary merit in taking in some TV.
“Lawyers can make brilliant heroes,” as author Meg Gardiner pointed out in her ThrillerFest panel “Boxers or Briefs? Making Your Attorney Stand Out.” With that in mind, here are some lessons we drew from the panelists to help you sharpen your protagonist, and bring your legal thriller to life for readers. Read more