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    Writing Science Fiction & Fantasy

    Want to be the next George R.R. Martin or Jim Butcher? Here you’ll find information on writing for this specialized market, including world building, creating aliens and systems of magic, selling your work, and much more.

    Create Structure in Your Fiction Using Index Cards

    I was reading through some of our older science fiction titles, and I came upon Worlds of Wonder by David Gerrold (published in 2001). As I was flipping through the book, I … Read more

    Create Powerful Imagery in Your Writing

    We’ve heard the old montage “Show, don’t tell” so many times that it’s become stale–and what does it mean, anyway? It’s an easy phrase to utter, but how do you achieve resonant, … Read more

    7 Things That Will Doom Your Novel (& How to Avoid Them)

    You can doom your debut from the start with these 7 (tongue-in-cheek) strategies for flailing, and failing—or, you can do just the opposite. Read more

    What is a Minor Character: Understanding the Minor Characters’ Role

    So where is the dividing line between major and minor charactors? There isn’t one. The different levels shade into each other, and as you master the techniques appropriate to each level, you’ll be able to create each character at exactly the level of importance the story requires. Here’s how to master the techniques. Read more

    How to Write Effective Supporting Characters

    Your cast of supporting characters should reflect what your protagonist needs. Here’s how to craft strong supporting characters to make your novel jump off the page. Read more

    How to Resurrect a Stalled Manuscript

    Is your manuscript stuck? Take a break from completing your fiction project and diagnose it. Here’s how to take your manuscript into its next phase: completion. Read more

    50 Simple Ways to Build Your Platform in 5 Minutes a Day

    If you’re the kind of writer who prefers being read and selling your work as opposed to being an unknown starving writer (who doesn’t?), here are 50 quick, simple ways to launch your platform into action and climb your way to success. Read more

    Crafting Novels & Short Stories Exclusive

    Download a free PDF with interviews with novelists like Stephen King, Kurt Vonnegut, Anne Tyler, Margaret Atwood, and more. Find out more ways to make your fiction stand out with Crafting Novels … Read more

    Crafting Novels & Short Stories

    Crafting Novels & Short Stories by The Editors of Writer’s Digest Books Writer’s Digest Books, 2011 ISBN-13: 978-1-59963-571-2 ISBN-10: 1-59963-571-2 $19.99 paperback, 368 pages Buy the Book at WritersDigestShop.com! Online Exclusive Download … Read more

    3 Tips for Consistent Tone

    If you find yourself having a difficult time sustaining one tone over a long work, try these three tricks. Read more

    Write-A-Thon Poster

    Download a 26-day countdown poster with energy boosting ideas to fuel your marathon and track your accomplishments from Day 1 to Day 26. Write-A-Thon Poster 8.5×11 Write-A-Thon Poster 11×17       … Read more

    Write-A-Thon Interview

    Q&A with Rochelle Melander, author of Write-A-Thon Need a speaker? Contact Rochelle to speak by phone with your critique group, NaNoWriMo region, or book group: rochelle@writenowcoach.com How many books have you written … Read more

    Write-A-Thon Excerpt

    Need a speaker? Contact Rochelle to speak by phone with your critique group, NaNoWriMo region, or book group: rochelle@writenowcoach.com Avoid Overwhelm From Write-A-Thon by Rochelle Melander Being a poet is one of … Read more

    Write-A-Thon

      Write-A-Thon: Write Your Book in 26 Days (and Life to Tell About it) by Rochelle Melander Writer’s Digest Books, 2011 ISBN-13: 978-1-59963-391-6 ISBN-10: 1-59963-391-4 $16.99 paperback, 240 pages Buy the book! … Read more

    How to Be an Online Critique Geek

    Can a virtual critique group really be as good as meeting face to face? If you make the most of the format, it could be even better. Here’s how. Read more

    Science-Fiction Author John Scalzi Explains How Not to Be Boring

    JOHN SCALZI is the author of several science fiction novels, including the bestselling Old Man’s War series, comprising Old Man’s War, The Ghost Brigades, and The Last Colony. He is a winner … 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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    Twist Ending Tips From Harlan Coben

    Award-winning writing, quick-witted characters and the kind of suspense every reader craves—his books may be classified under mystery or thriller, but Harlan Coben seems to have it all. And he’s willing to share his secrets.

    by Jessica Strawser
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    How to Craft Compelling Characters

    To make characters seem real, you need to tap into what drives them. Use this foolproof method to bring the emotion of your story to life.

    by David Corbett
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    10 Ways to Start Your Story Better

    A good opening line is a powerful thing: It can grab an editor’s attention, set the tone for the rest of the piece, and make sure readers stay through The End. Here are 10 ways to steer your story toward success.

    by Jacob M. Appel
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    3 Secrets to Great Storytelling

    If you think you’ve heard all you need to know about what drives a plot, think again. Here’s the real stuff the best stories are made of.

    by Steven James

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    How to Balance Action, Narrative and Dialogue in Your Novel

    Most of the time, we want to balance our scenes using dialogue, action and narrative to engage readers at an emotional level and keep them hooked. Here’s how to do that.

    by Gloria Kempton
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    Novel in 30 Days Worksheet Index

    To help you successfully complete your book in 30 days, here are nine worksheets to help you keep track of plot, scenes, characters and revisions. All of these worksheets originally appeared in Book in a Month by Victoria Lynn Schmidt and were also featured in the special issue Write Your Novel in 30 Days.
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    The 7 Tools of Dialogue

    My neighbor John loves to work on his hot rod. He’s an automotive whiz and tells me he can hear when something is not quite right with the engine. He doesn’t hesitate … Read more

    10-Minute Fixes to 10 Common Plot Problems

    Structural problems can sink a novel. Let’s look at 10 common plot problems and how to quickly fix them.

    by Elizabeth Sims
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