Becoming a masochist early on – embracing the pain to the point of enjoyment - may be the single best investment an aspiring writer can make. The pain takes many shapes, all of them useful along the writer’s path.
Here are 10 smart, yet simple ways for every writer—from novelists to journalists to poets—to enrich his or her mind and become better at cultivating ideas and putting them to the page.
I've always been a big nerd. But for one shining moment, one GLORIOUS MOMENT, when I finished writing my book, OH BOY, YOU'RE HAVING A GIRL: A Dad's Survival Guide to Raising Daughters, I felt like a complete and utter badass. Here's why.
All the editors on Writer’s Digest staff aren’t just 9-5 editors, we are also writers and storytellers—which is why we are so passionate about writing and publishing. “WD Editors Are Writers Too” is a column on this blog to give you a sneak peek at the folks who lead the WD community—including their quirks,...
Meeting characters in a novel is very much like meeting people in real life. When we start reading a book, it’s as if we moved to a new town and were meeting a whole bunch of new people at the same time. Your job as a writer is to create that town and populate...
After you publish any short piece, consider taking steps in two main categories (other than just Facebook or Twitter) to help your work reach an audience.
Dimensional characters are born from drama—not description. Here’s why (and how) to delve into your characterizations one defining scene at a time.
The process of finding a literary agent or publisher is grueling and filled with rejection land mines. And, once published, there is no guarantee a book will be successful or that an author will sell a second book. A writer must be prepared for rejection every step of the way.
I was forty-three when I wrote my first novel and realized I’d found my passion. Several years and four novels later, I finally decided to land an agent and get published. Here's how I found success.
The story of meeting my agent, Barbara Poelle, takes place over an afternoon webinar -- and it changed my life forever. Here's how a webinar helped me land my agents (and, eventually, a book deal).
On a chilly winter’s eve back in 2013, my forlorn, un-agented self was perusing Janet Reid’s blog. I kept noticing the Query Shark speak in a teasingly scathing tone of another agent. An agent who had been driving her mad of late, yanking riches out from under her well-primed nose. That agent’s name was...
Well, hello there! I'm an agent. Aloof and hard to snare, like this season's Prada bag or a yeti. I know what you're wondering: How do you stand out in a query in box along with the 497 other queries? I have the secrets here.
Stranded on a mountaintop? Shipwrecked on a deserted island? Can a story actually thrive with only two characters on the page for long stretches in a novel? Well yes. But it’s tricky. Here are some techniques I learned while writing my new release, Summer by Summer.
I should probably start by saying that the question of target audience is never in my mind as I write a novel. I make sure it’s not. If I let it creep in, it will do nothing but trip me up.
Many novelists give little thought to how they bring their protagonist onstage for the first time. But this is very important.
When I wailed, “I want to be a writer!” my husband gave me the tough news. “Linda—a writer writes.” I had not made writing a priority. Here's what I did and what you can learn.
Getting in one’s own way is a problem I think most writers suffer with from time to time. Here's how to get out of your way and get writing.
The year I turned 20 I sat down and made out my bucket list, jotting down the decade birthdays—30th, 40th, 50th, and so on—and beneath each entry what I hoped to have accomplished by that date. Longevity not being a strong family trait, I figured I had maybe five decades to make my life’s...
Here’s how to use the world’s biggest online reader hub to grow your audience exponentially.
Former agent and children's book expert Laura Backes Bardwants offers up some advice for budding children's book writers and more.
If you’re waiting for your muse, guess what? It’s inside you, just waiting for you to let it shine bright. Here are five ways to flex your writing muscle and get something accomplished now.
I recently attended a literary event where several writers read their work. I sensed polished pearls buried deep in there somewhere but honestly, I couldn’t hear them. The writers mumbled, stumbled, ran sentences together and acted as though their words were on a bullet train to a faraway station. Their verbs may have been...
Highly readable books are polished, refined, sophisticated, and mature on all three levels. To fulfill the potential of your book, develop and sharpen the following top ten elements.
Even though Renewable was my third book, it took several rewrites to find the right tone. Here’s what I learned along the way about writing to change the world.
So you want to be a bestselling YA author? Let New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Lauren DeStefano and her agent Barbara Poelle walk you through the steps.