Tag Archives: mystery

An Exclusive Kit For Writing Mystery Novels or Thrillers

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Whether you are just starting to brainstorm a story idea or have a finished manuscript, the Writing Mysteries and Thrillers That Sell Premium Collection helps you plot, structure, write and sell a mystery novel or thriller! Read more

Writer’s Digest Annual Competition

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 ! Read more

3 Ways to Know When to End Your Chapters

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
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How to Organize and Develop Ideas for Your Novel

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
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How to Improve Your Writing Style in 10 Minutes or Fewer

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
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How to “Up the Stakes” for Your Main Character

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
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How to Write Intriguing Male and Female Characters

Understanding gender differences can improve your writing in any genre. Here’s how.

by Leigh Anne Jasheway

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Quick Tip: How to Develop Your Characters

Here are 4 quick exercises to make sure your characters speak to readers (and agents).
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Best Writing Advice in 10 Words or Fewer

Several Writer’s Digest contributors share their best advice in 10 words or fewer.
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The Best and Worst of Writing Advice

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.

by Jessica Strawser, reporting from ThrillerFest 2010 (New York City)

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5 Steps to a Great Female Protagonist

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)
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Motivate Your Characters Like a Pro

In his session “The Psychology of Character Motivation,” Edgar-nominated author D.P. Lyle, MD, shared this invaluable exercise for developing your characters’ motivations as your story unfolds.

by Jessica Strawser, reporting from ThrillerFest 2010 (New York City)
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How to Give Your Character the Perfect Name

What you call your characters could influence your readers’ perceptions of them. Here are some factors to consider in finding the perfect match.

by Devyani Borade
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Sue Grafton’s Advice for Writers: Put in the Time

Five books from the end of her alphabet series, Sue Grafton says it doesn’t get any easier—and there’s always another lesson to learn about the ABCs of writing.

by Diana Page Jordan
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From Idea to Page in 4 Simple Steps

Nothing is more exciting than the promise of a story in your head, but in order to get it on the page you need to figure out exactly what you need to do to make it work. Here are 4 steps to help you build the framework of your story.

by N.M. Kelby
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Rescuing Your Story From Cliche

In this excerpt from 179 Ways to Save a Novel, author Peter Selgin discusses ways to defeat the writer’s sworn enemy: the cliche.  Read more

Audrey Niffenegger Explains How To Create a Good Story

How do you follow up a smash hit like The Time Traveler’s Wife? For artist and author Audrey Niffenegger, it all comes down to embracing the freedom to create—on your own terms.

by Jessica Strawser

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Michael Crichton’s Top 5 Writing Lessons

Karen Dionne, author of Freezing Point, reveals what her late hero, Michael Crichton, taught her about crafting solid fiction.

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Using Parallelism in Your Writing

The Sentence Sleuth says you need to balance all the elements of your sentences.

by Bonnie Trenga Read more

What is Plot, Anyway?

Read chapter 1, "What is Plot, Anyway?" of Write Great Fiction: Plot & Structure. Read more

10 Basic Ingredients of a Successful Thriller

At the 2008 Maui Writers Conference, bestselling thriller writer Gary Braver (Skin Deep) said that dread drives thrillers. You know who the good guys and bad guys are. Dull moments will lose an audience, and writers can’t afford to lose an audience, even for one page. To captivate an audience (and agents and publishers), Braver offers these 10 essential ingredients for a successful thriller. Read more

November is National Novel Writing Month

NaNoWriMo’s Chris Baty shares five tips for writing your book in a month.

by Chris Baty Read more

9 Tricks to Writing Suspense Fiction

A veteran suspense-fiction author shares nine killer tricks to help you improve a genre that can be difficult to master.

by Simon Wood
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Principles of Building a Story

Read "Principles of Building of a Story" from From First Draft to Finished Novel. Read more

Bulllies, Bastards & Bitches

With Jessica Page Morrell’s Bullies, Bastards & Bitches, you’ll be able to tap into your story’s dark side by creating realistic and memorable anti-heroes, villains, antagonists, and difficult protagonists. Read more

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