July/August 2013 Issue
Free Writing Downloads
Website of the Week
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.
Never underestimate the power of suspense—in any genre. Use these surefire techniques to make your book one readers won’t be able to put down.
by Elizabeth Sims
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
What’s the secret to finding great personal stories for articles when you’ve run out of usual suspects? Learn to make your writing up-close and personal by scoping out these four sure-fire resources. Read more
Carve out a time and place for writing amid the rush of life. Learn to honor soul time. Read more
Time introduces a new character to our lives each season, one with a temperature and temperament that affects our own. Take the time to record the details of your life in winter. Read more