Humor & Comedy Writing

Writing funny is one of the hardest forms of the craft. You may have a great sense of humor, but capturing that in your writing takes skill and practice. Here you’ll learn techniques for doing just that – comedy writing.

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)

How to Build a Marketing Platform

Here are 10 simple steps that will take your visibility from zero to standout in a short time, while also giving you ample opportunities to flex your expertise, carve out your niche topic and connect with your audience.

by Christina Katz

The Roeder Report:
You Can Write a Humor Book

Reader, you’re hilarious. This has been verified by your mother, a co-worker who says you’re one of the 20 funniest people he knows, and the stand-up comedy teacher who will tell you anything to get you to catch his set at the smaller of two mini-golf snack bars.

by Jason...

Anxiety Levels for Writers

What if the Office of Homeland Security developed a color-coded warning chart for the anxiety level of writers? Here's what we believe it'd look like.

by WC Vasquez

Miranda Rights for Writers

Sure, in the writer’s mind, everyone’s fair game for material. But just like run-ins with the law, all suspects—even those popping up in your fiction and memoirs—deserve a fair reading of their rights.

by Cindy Adams

The Roeder Report:
Who Needs an Outline

Wherever I go, everyone wants to know how I assemble the columns they occasionally skim once they’ve finished Writer’s Digest’s useful content. Well, I describe my writing process like this: “Writing is like driving. You never see further than your headlights, but you can make the whole trip—what the hell was...

The Roeder Report:
Just Trying to Be Nice

A few years ago, I shared a short story with my writing group. It was a speculative work that dared to ask, “What if the circus took over the world?” The comments above were the three most encouraging I received from my cohorts. Of the two remaining members of my group,...

This Writer’s Life:
Instant Blogification

In late 2006, my editor at Writer’s Digest called me with an idea. “We’re putting together some blogs for our website. Do you want in?” At the time, I was wary of the whole blogosphere. I’d been under the impression that blogs were just online dream journals for tech-savvy, angst-ridden teenagers...

The Four Commandments of Writing Good Sentences

If you want to write a good sentence, don’t pay any attention to your grammar. I don’t mean “a sentence this like OK is.” I mean don’t automatically think you’ve written a good sentence just because it’s grammatically correct. Lots of bad sentences...

Challenging the Limits of Memory

In this excerpt from Writing Life Stories, Bill Roorbach teaches you how to pay attention to and translate your memories and how to overcome your resistance to remembered places and events.

The Roeder Report:
Importance of Writing Environment

I’m writing this piece in a coffee shop. I know, I know, you think of a coffee shop as a place where people slurp down their lattes as fast as burn prevention allows before leaping from their seats to make room for the next customer; a place where, if you dawdle...