November/December 2013 Issue
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Complete 1st Draft
One of the hardest things about being a writer is actually finishing that first draft. We often linger on the details, editing as we go, which in many cases causes us to run out of steam and quit. In this section, you’ll get the help you need for completing that first draft once and for all.
“Your novel is lacking tension.” “I understand the reason for this scene, but my mind kept wandering while I was reading.” “This chapter is missing a hook … I’m just not interested.” … Read more
Kerri Majors is the editor and founder of YARN, the Young Adult Review Network, an online literary journal of YA short stories, essays, and poetry. As if this role doesn’t keep her … Read more
Writers are often worriers. We’re plagued with indecision about the choices we make for our stories. We doubt the quality of our writing. We wonder if we’ll ever break through into the … Read more
There’s no question about it: The young adult (YA) audience is a hot market, one that is steadily growing in popularity and garnering attention from young readers as well as literary critics. … Read more
In your novel, the inciting incident is the first sign of trouble for your protagonist: it’s the catalyst, the chemical reaction, that sets the plot into motion. But the inciting incident isn’t … Read more
Donald Maass, bestselling author of Writing the Breakout Novel and The Fire in Fiction, now takes an in-depth, comprehensive look at the craft and method of writing 21st century fiction. You might … Read more
There are a lot of ways not to do something. Like the new boat owner a few years ago who was filling up his pleasure craft with fuel for that first time … Read more
Joseph Bates, author of The Nighttime Novelist, shares tips for editing and proofreading a novel or book. Creating A System For Editing & Proofreading Revision is really about seeing your book as … Read more
Not all characters are created equal. You must know—and let your readers know—which characters are most important to the story (i.e. the major characters), so they’ll know which are worth following and … Read more
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle gave Sherlock Holmes a full panoply of supporting characters. There was Dr. Watson, the quintessential “sidekick,” to act as a sounding board; Scottish landlady Mrs. Hudson, to cook … Read more
In learning how to end your novel with a punch, it’s important to know what you can and can’t do to write success novel endings that attract agents, publishers and, most important, … Read more
Your closer is the most important incident in the novel, bar none. Yes, the opener is critical, but only second in importance to the climax. The opener must impress an agent enough … Read more
It’s not enough to love our story ideas. We need to weigh their suitability as subjects for fiction, and then figure out how to go about making use of them. This means … Read more
Trash the brownies. Nix the wine. Cut the Coolatas. Dang. Is it that time of year again? Soon enough, everyone will be turning to those grim New Year’s resolutions. That roll call … Read more
The writing life presents endless opportunities to meet fear. Facing the blank page, sending work out for publication, and reading to an audience can all be triggers. Fear is neither good nor … Read more
You interviewed your sources for an article, wrote it up and turned it in. Done? Not yet. Often you need to provide backup info for the publication’s fact checkers, and requirements for … Read more
Download a free PDF of the checklists for each of the 20 master plots. About the Book Learn more timeless plots for your fiction in 20 Master Plots by Ronald B. Tobias.
Master Plot #6: Revenge from 20 Master Plots by Ronald B. Tobias If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us, … Read more
20 Master Plots by Ronald B. Tobias Writer’s Digest Books, 2011 ISBN-13: 978-1-59963-537-8 ISBN-10: 1-59963-537-2 $16.99 paperback, 288 pages Buy the Book at WritersDigestShop.com! Read an Excerpt! Find out more about … Read more
November is known by most literati as National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo for short. How it works: Start writing a 50,000-word novel on November 1 and finish by midnight on November … Read more
If you find yourself having a difficult time sustaining one tone over a long work, try these three tricks. 1. Find a paragraph that sounds exactly the way you want to sound … Read more
In Mexico there’s a popular tourist stop called La Bufadora. It’s billed as the world’s biggest blowhole. The tide rolls in to an underwater cave, and pressure blasts a huge geyser to … Read more