I had a dear friend who had a gift for telling stories about her day. She’d launch into one, and suddenly everyone around her would hush up and lean in, knowing that whatever followed would be pure entertainment. A story of encountering a deer on the highway would involve interludes from the deer’s point...
BY ANDREW MARANISS People assume that when your father is a Pulitzer Prize–winning, bestselling author, he must have helped you a lot with your first book. For a while, I thought he might, too. I’d email first drafts of my chapters for “Strong Inside” to my mom and dad, and I soon discovered why...
BY LAURA PRITCHETT The greatest truth about the greatest writing, if you ask me, is this: The author never, ever averts her eyes. Easier said than done, of course, and I’ve not always lived up to my own dictum – for the sake of avoiding collateral damage, I’ve let my gaze waver; or, worse,...
I've always thought that if I were to ever write a memoir, it'd be the most boring 80,000 words in the history of publishing (or at least a close second to this). My life has, thus far, been fun, entertaining and interesting to me, but how would that translate into an interesting...
If you’re interested in sharing your personal experiences through writing, consider learning more about the memoir essay. The following excerpt is taken from Crafting The Personal Essay by Dinty W. Moore. You’ll learn what exactly a memoir essay is and three essential tips to writing one of your own. What is a memoir essay?...
Learn what a memoir is and how to create memories with today’s tip of the day taken from Writing Life Stories by Bill Roorbach, with Kristen Keckler. What is a memoir? Memoir is rendering of a lived life, as filtered through memory and the wider net of the needs of narrative. Memoir just tells...
Should your story be fictionalized or be a true telling of your life? You have to decide. Here are 10 factors to consider.
5-Minute Memoir is exactly what it sounds like—a personal essay on some facet of the writing life, be it a narrative or a reflection, pensive, touching or hilarious. Enjoy this installment from Kathleen Cleberg.
5-Minute Memoir is exactly what it sounds like—a personal essay on some facet of the writing life, be it a narrative or a reflection, pensive, touching or hilarious. Enjoy this installment from N.M. Kleby.
5-Minute Memoir is exactly what it sounds like—a personal essay on some facet of the writing life, be it a narrative or a reflection, pensive, touching or hilarious. Enjoy this installment from Robert B Robeson.
Jeannette Walls is the author of The Glass Castle, a memoir with more than 3 million copies in print, and Half Broke Horses, a bestselling true-life novel based on her grandmother. She lives in the Virginia piedmont with her husband, John Taylor. Does the type of writing you’re doing (nonfiction, memoir, fiction) alter your...
Paula McLain’s latest book is the bestselling The Paris Wife, a fictional account of Ernest Hemingway’s first marriage and upstart years in 1920s Paris, told from the point of view of his wife, Hadley. The author of two poetry collections, a memoir and an earlier novel, McLain holds a Master of Fine Arts in...
For 80 years, the Annual Writer’s Digest Competition has rewarded writers just like you for their finest work. We continue the tradition by giving away more than $30,000 in cash and prizes! Win a trip to the Writer's Digest Conference in New York City !
At some point in writing your novel, you have to start thinking about “chaptering,” the process of deciding exactly when and where your chapter breaks will go. Here are three simple, essential techniques that can help you make effective chapter pauses.
by Aaron Elkins
With so many great ideas, how do you organize them into some sort of coherent outline that will guide your writing? Here's how.
by Laura Whitcomb
Literary agent Paula Balzer discussed finding your voice in this excerpt from her book WRITING & SELLING YOUR MEMOIR.
Everyone can benefit from the occasional reminder of the principles of strong writing. Below are 10 tips and exercises designed to make your writing more clear and concise. Think of them as a 10-minute refresher course.
by Brandon Royal
Years have passed since Frey was fried, but as the poster boy for stretching the truth in the genre, his name is still the one that comes up during such discussions. But did he (and counteless other writers) do anything wrong and should memoirists be allowed some factual flexibility?
by Jenny Rough
Build your story around this foolproof framework to keep your memoir afloat.
by Adair Lara
Don’t be afraid to make things hard on your characters. You should always come up with several different problems to choose from. Here are 3 ways to do that.
by Victoria Lynn Schmidt
Understanding gender differences can improve your writing in any genre. Here’s how.
by Leigh Anne Jasheway
Here are 4 quick exercises to make sure your characters speak to readers (and agents).
Several Writer's Digest contributors share their best advice in 10 words or fewer.
When you gather a panel of writers to discuss the best and worst writing advice they’ve ever received, the conversation promises to be as colorful as it is informative—and this one with spy novelist Alex Dryden, mystery novelist Lisa Gardner, author Alex Kava, and debut author Daniel Palmer, did not disappoint.
According to bestselling authors JT Ellison, Alex Kava and Erica Spindler, there are 5 key ways to make your heroine shine. Here they are.
by Jessica Strawser, reporting from ThrillerFest 2010 (New York City)