Tip of the Day, Creative Writing Tips

Our creative writing tips are short, helpful tidbits of information that you can apply to your writing right away. Use our Tip of the Day for easy-to-apply advice that you can use to improve your writing or help you get published.

Novel writing tips | Nighttime Novelist

The Best Ways to Find Ideas For a Good Story

It’s fairly simple–in order to write a novel or story, you must have a solid idea first. Most writers struggle at one time or another coming up with the right story idea. After all, you want an idea that can sustain an entire story. If you’re wondering where to find creative story ideas, read...

Core Competencies | Story Engineering Larry Brooks

Spotlight on Story Engineering & The Six Core Competencies

Before you start writing your next story, consider reading Story Engineering by Larry Brooks. In the following excerpt, you’ll discover the elements of storytelling and how to achieve success in writing! Get an overview and definition of what the six core competencies to writing are, and how you can use them in your next...

Writing Life Stories

Realistic Expectations For Writing a Memoir

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...

You Can Write Children's Books

10 Misconceptions About Writing Books For Children

Learn what it takes to achieve success in children’s book publishing as well as essential information about the publishing industry from You Can Write Children’s Books by Tracey E. Dils. Read on to discover some of the misconceptions about writing a children’s book. Misconceptions About Writing for Children Let’s start with what you think...

formatting-and-submitting-3rd-edition

How to Submit Short Stories & Formatting Basics

Today’s Tip of the Day comes from Formatting & Submitting Your Manuscript by Chuck Sambuchino and the WD Editors. The following excerpt teaches you how to submit short stories and gives tips on formatting a query letter. Fiction short story markets are mostly in magazines, literary journals, anthologies, and some online websites. And, like...

The Productive Writer | Inspiration for writing

The Author Platform Explained

It’s essential these days for authors to have a clear understanding of writing platforms. Learn what an author’s platform is and ways to build a writing platform from today’s tip of the day, taken from the book The Productive Writer by Sage Cohen. What is an Author Platform? Platform is the turf you claim...

Exploring the Inner Journey of a Character’s Transformation

One key element in writing fiction is creating characters with which readers can identify. Today’s tip of the day is taken from Plot Versus Character by Jeff Gerke. The excerpt below, from chapter five, explains the inner journey of a character and why a character’s transformation can make or break your story. Learn Why...

Expert Tips on Writing Sensory Details in Setting & Description

Today’s tip of the day comes from Write Great Fiction: Revision and Self-Editing by James Scott Bell, in which he discusses the importance of setting and description, and explains how including sensory details within a story can not only benefit your writing but also engage your readers. What to Avoid When Writing Description It’s...

100% Wrong Ways to Choose Fictional Character Names

Today’s tip was taken from 70 Solutions to Common Writing Mistakes. Learn how to make your fiction book or novel stand out from the others. Since the world of publishing is so competitive these days, it’s important to do what you can to make your writing stand out from the crowd. Creating awesome character...

How to Overcome Writer’s Block Like a Bestselling Author

Writers everywhere have or will lack writing inspiration. Whether you need help to overcome writer’s block, or are simply looking for inspiration for writing, read our today’s tip, taken from Write Great Fiction: Revision and Self-Editing by James Scott Bell. We all have times in our writing when the words get stuck, or the...

Effective Writing Strategies & Motivation- Be Productive!

Whether you are seeking inspiration for writing or want to know how to get motivation to write, today’s tip, provided by The Productive Writer, will give you effective writing techniques to be productive. There is no other writer in the world who is trying to accomplish exactly what you are striving for, in the...

About the Author

In the “About the Author” section of your proposal, you want to explain why you are the perfect person to write this book. Or because there might be (probably will be) more than one perfect person, why you are among them? Some of the elements of that question’s answer are straightforward. “I am the...

Openings That Will Grab Your Reader

Here are just three of the many ways to open your nonfiction article or book for a juvenile audience: Anecdotal The evening is silent except for the rhythm of the cricket’s song. Out of nowhere, a giant black glider soars from the darkening clouds toward the ground. There’s a slight scratching sound followed by...

Mistake 70: Quitting

from 70 Solutions to Common Writing Mistakes by Bob Mayer, from The Writer’s Digest Writing Kit Why this is a mistake: If you quit, then you’re rejecting yourself. I’ve seen many people with a lot of talent simply pack up and go home. They quit. I’ve seen others with perhaps less talent keep plugging...

Mistake 66: Getting Scammed

from 70 Solutions to Common Writing Mistakes by Bob Mayer, from the Writer’s Digest Writing Kit Why this is a mistake: Many writers feel frustrated. And desperate. They look at other writers who get published and they tend not to see much difference between their own work and published authors’ work. Frustrated and desperate...

Mistake 69: Not Having a Professional Website

from 70 Solutions to Common Writing Mistakes by Bob Mayer, from the Writer’s Digest Writing Kit Why this is a mistake: A Web presence is a must for a writer. Yet too many writers have none, or they consider it a secondary priority and put forth a presence that shows minimal interest or effort....

Mistake 68: Not Respecting Yourself as a Writer

from 70 Solutions to Common Writing Mistakes by Bob Mayer, from The Writer’s Digest Writing Kit Why this is a mistake: Some people almost seem apologetic when they say they’re writers. Especially if they’re not yet published. If you don’t respect yourself as a writer, who will? The solution: Writing is a strange job....

Mistake 67: Not Marketing Yourself and Your Book

from 70 Solutions to Common Writing Mistakes by Bob Mayer, from The Writer’s Digest Writing Kit Why this is a mistake: Writers tend to think that promotion and marketing is the job of other people, and in a perfect world it would be. Unfortunately, this isn’t a perfect world. Sometimes you may find you’re...

I’m writing a novel about two central characters. How do I decide which to use as my viewpoint character?

from The Beginning Writer’s Answer Book, edited by Jane Friedman If you’re using third-person point of view, you can include the viewpoints of both. When both of your central characters become viewpoint characters, you can more easily develop subplots and suspense, as well as the personalities and histories of those characters. Care must be...

How important is research in the novel?

Many beginning writers know a novel is a work of imagination, but seem unaware that the factual material in a novel must be as accurate as that in a nonfiction work. The fiction writer uses the same research tools as the nonfiction writer—particularly sources on the period he is writing about, whether he’s writing...

An editor said my exposition in the first chapter is too long. Can you tell me how much exposition I should have?

from The Beginning Writer’s Answer Book, edited by Jane Friedman You’ve heard the old writing directive Show, don’t tell; think of exposition as the telling part of writing—the scene-setting explanation that provides back story, context, or description. The reason writing instructors caution against too much telling is that readers are generally more interested in...

I’ve heard editors say how important it is for a character to be well rounded. What makes a character well rounded?

from The Beginning Writer’s Answer Book, edited by Jane Friedman Well-rounded characters are distinctly individual; you come to understand their motivations, flaws, emotional traits, and other distinctive qualities. These can be related through a character’s actions, his reactions to situations and other characters, dialogue, and also through narrative. A flat character, in contrast, usually...