writing

Better Off Dead: Prepare Your Writing Legacy

For those who want a hand in how their writing is handled posthumously, preparation is essential. Building on Jennifer Roland’s steps for securing your digital assets in the January 2018 issue of Writer’s Digest, Richard D. Bank advises how to manage your writing estate in your will. 

Your Writing Voice: The Tools of the Trade

We hear the word “voice” a lot in appraisals of writing. The term can be confusing. You might hear, “Aden’s voice is just so original!” or “The voice of this piece really punched me in the gut.” These are terrific compliments, but what exactly is voice? Most commonly, voice refers to...

5 Things the Screenwriting Business Taught Me About Writing

A confession: I bristled at being called a “screenwriter” while jacket copy for Magicians Impossible, my debut novel, was being finalized. Everyone else wanted that facet of my biography in; I wanted it out. I didn’t want to be “screenwriter with debut novel,” which to most reading pegs said debut novel...

Eric Scott Fischl

7 Things I’ve Learned So Far, by Eric Scott Fischl

“7 Things I’ve Learned So Far” (this installment written by Eric Scott Fischl, author of Dr. Potter’s Medicine Show) is a recurring column where writers at any stage of their career can talk about writing advice and instruction as well as how they possibly got their literary agent—by sharing seven things they’ve learned...

6 Tips for Reading Like a Writer

I’m willing to offer this generalization: whatever level we’ve attained in our development as readers, we always lag behind that standard as writers. I’ve never met a good writer who wasn’t also a great reader. The more broadly and deeply we read, the more we recognize excellent writing in its endless guises and...

#ThrowbackThursday: Kurt Vonnegut in WD in 1985

At Writer’s Digest, we’ve been fortunate to have the opportunity to speak with some of the world’s bestselling and most beloved authors. Back in 1985, one of those authors was Kurt Vonnegut. Over his 50-plus-year career, he published 14 novels—among the most notable, Slaughterhouse-Five, Cat’s Cradle and Breakfast of Champions—along with five...

7 Things I’ve Learned so Far, by S.B. Divya

You reap what you sow, and while it's true that we're all competing for market share, there are plenty of readers out there. Give supportive critiques to others. Cheer their successes and commiserate over their rejections. Support projects like anthologies or new magazines by contributing to and promoting their efforts.

7 Things I’ve Learned so Far, by Jenn Bishop

4. Make time for writing, because promotion can and will take over. My debut book came out in late June and I feel like I’m still recovering from the launch and subsequent promotional activities. It’s a real shift to go from primarily focused on the creation of a thing and then...

5 Easy Steps to Writing a Bestseller

1. Write a good book. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? Yet it can be difficult to accomplish. A good book is unique, with compelling characters, voice, and plot. It’s not easy to come up with something original when you’re writing within the confines of a genre like romance, where the tropes are...

7 Things I’ve Learned so Far, by Julie Falatko

Kindness matters. Be nice. Celebrate the books you love. Help others when you can. Be gracious when you can’t. It never hurts to be kind to others. I suppose sometimes being mean might get you something, but mostly it gets you a reputation as a jerkface that no one wants to...

Self-Care Makes Better Writers

I've been more curious about myself, which, I believe, has directly led to seeing other people more clearly. This also translates to character writing: in my new book, my characters are more accessible to me, though no less complex. I find I write with more joy. It's the self-work that has...

Train Your Brain and Make Writing a Priority

Finding the time to write is a universal struggle for writers. Day jobs, kids, pets, presidential elections, to-do lists…there are a million things that require our time and attention before we can give anything to writing. When I was in college, I wrote a terrible young adult novel. I worked on it...

3 Imperfect Rules for Writing

I’ve been thinking a lot about perfection recently. As a creative writing teacher, I often hear statements about the writing process from my students—statements that involve one of my least favorite words: should.

Friday Reads: Chart Your Course with Author in Progress

Let me set the scene: You’re sitting at home, perhaps in your office or at your kitchen table, maybe sipping some coffee or tea. You’d like to start writing your novel … but instead you’re staring at the cursor on your laptop screen as it blinks back at you. You’re suddenly possessed of a...

How Does a Word Get Into the Dictionary?

It’s not uncommon for 1,500–2,000 new words to be added to the dictionary every year—and while most additions we barely register (“cold turkey,” “meet-cute”), others (“FOMO,” “hella,” “ICYMI”) can seem less … dictionary-y. To find out just how words nab the high honor of being dictionaried, we went to the pros at Merriam-Webster. The process, it...

7 Things I’ve Learned So Far, by Steve Toutonghi

This is a recurring column I’m calling “7 Things I’ve Learned So Far,” where writers (this installment written by Steve Toutonghi , author of JOIN) at any stage of their career can talk about writing advice and instruction as well as how they possibly got their book agent — by sharing seven things they’ve learned along their writing...

The Constant Gardener

Before I had a garden, I remember how desperately and urgently I craved success. I remember staying up all night, writing as fast as I could, or agonizing over the same few paragraphs. I would do anything to get published. And all of that was profoundly unhelpful. What I needed to...

33 Common Words & Phrases You Might Be Saying Wrong

This infographic is courtesy of Jennifer Frost of GrammarCheck. Visit them online at grammarcheck.net or check out the free online grammar checker at grammarcheck.net/editor for proofreading help.  Baihley Grandison is the assistant editor of Writer’s Digest and a freelance writer. Follow her on Twitter @baihleyg, where she mostly tweets about writing (Team Oxford Comma!), food (HUMMUS FOR PRESIDENT, PEOPLE), and Random Conversations With...

7 Things I’ve Learned so Far, by Amy Gustine

This is a recurring column I’m calling “7 Things I’ve Learned So Far,” where writers (this installment written by Amy Gustine, author of YOU SHOULD PITY US INSTEAD) at any stage of their career can talk about writing advice and instruction as well as how they possibly got their book agent — by sharing seven things they’ve...

5 Ways to Be a More Mindful Writer

Great writing flows most easily from a place of inner clarity and calm. But with all the stimulation and stress in our overscheduled lives, it’s hard to slow down long enough to think clearly, much less creatively. Mindfulness can help. Column by Deborah Sosin, MSW, MFA, author of CHARLOTTE AND THE...

3 Questions to Ask When Revising

When I reached the end of my first draft of ASSASSIN’S HEART, the story was in place, but I knew I had to bring out and uncover other elements, like themes, setting, and especially character arcs. Column by Sarah Ahiers, author of ASSASSIN’S HEART (Feb. 2, 2016, HarperTeen). Sarah has an MFA in...