October 2014 Issue
Free Writing Downloads
Workshops Starting October 2nd
Writer’s Digest Popular Fiction Awards—Deadline Coming Soon!
Writer's Digest Popular Fiction Awards—Deadline Coming Soon!
Hurry—submit your short story by October 15!
Submit your best short stories in the Romance, Thriller, Young Adult, Crime, Horror or Science Fiction genres for a chance at the Popular Fiction Awards Grand Prize of $2,500 cash and a trip to the 2015 Writer’s Digest Conference!
Enter as many stories as you like in multiple genres, but all entries must be fewer than 4,000 words. Don’t delay—this could be your winning year!
Writing Short Stories & Essay Writing
Writing short stories, fiction and essays isn’t easy – in fact, the relative brevity of these pieces can make them even more challenging to create. Inside you’ll learn the best techniques for doing it well, and using those pieces as a springboard for lengthier works.
Creating characters’ backstories before you start writing is crucial because you’ll want to determine each one’s past experiences and the repercussions these experiences will have on your story before you begin. Here’s a close look at the different ways you can introduce backstory.
by Rachel Ballon
Here are 4 simple exercises to help you invent characters for your fiction.
by Nancy Kress
We’ve all been there: basking in the glow of a finished manuscript, only to read it over and realize something is wrong with the plot. Finding ourselves unable to identify the problem only makes matters worse. But take heart! Here are some common plot gaffes and sensible ways to revise without starting over.
by Laura Whitcomb
Here are some simple techniques for revising scenes so your edifice will stand the test of time.
by James Scott Bell
Karen Dionne, author of Freezing Point, reveals what her late hero, Michael Crichton, taught her about crafting solid fiction.
Read chapter 9, "Beginnings," from The Glimmer Train Guide to Writing Fiction, Volume 1: Building Blocks Read more
Bestselling thriller writer Steve Berry says there are eight key rules that all writers must know and follow. Read more
Learn how adjective and adverbs create redundancy and promote lazy writing and see how you can make your writing direct, vivid, and descriptive without making your readers want to get rid of your book.
by William Noble
How many times have you heard this around the workshop table: “Why don’t you consider a new point of view?” (Actually, the term used more often is “POV” because it sounds a lot cooler, I suspect.) Everyone then agrees that a new POV might help matters, including the writer, who knew something was wrong and is now relieved to have a likely suspect.
by Steve Almond Read more
Anti-heros are the bastards of fiction—those bad guys readers love to hate and hate to love. Find out whats makes a memorable anti-hero tick in this excerpt from Bullies, Bastards & Bitches by Jessica Page Morrell. Read more
Marsha Brantley of Cleveland , Tenn., took second place in The 8th-Annual Writer’s Digest Short Short Story Competition. Read more
Robert Brandt’s riveting story of an E.R. resident trying to save the life of a teenager took this year’s grand prize. Read more
Who says publishing is a young person’s game? Here are an agent’s tips for writing and publishing well into your golden years.
By Scott Hoffman
Benefit from the experience of sharing your journal writing with others. Read more
Combine visual details with your words and add even more appeal to your favorite journal. Read more
From choosing a topic to weighing your words, here’s a start-to-finish guide to writing an essay that makes a clear point without skimping on personal insight. Read more
Create, collect and share happiness in a book where friends, family—and even strangers—write about what makes them smile. Read more
Letting go of the past can be the first step toward living better in the present. Read more