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.

Writer’s Workout Exclusive

Download a free motivational poster to keep you moving as your build your writing career. Read an Excerpt! Learn how to cultivate clarity, inventory ideas, write richly, and serve up words. About the Book Find out more ways to cross train your writing career in The Writer’s Workout by Christina Katz.

Writer’s Workout Excerpt

Excerpt from The Writer’s Workout by Christina Katz CULTIVATE CLARITY When you write something needlessly prolix and convoluted, there’s a reason for it, and that reason is usually a lack of clarity and purpose going on. —Robert Masello The reader shouldn’t have to do all the work. Recently I picked up a magazine and...

Writer’s Workout

The Writer’s Workout: 366 Tips, Tasks, & Techniques from Your Writing Career Coach by Christina Katz Writer’s Digest Books, 2011 ISBN-13: 978-1-59963-179-0 ISBN-10: 1-59963-179-2 $19.99 paperback, 384 pages Buy the Book! Read an Excerpt! Learn how to cultivate clarity, inventory ideas, write richly, and serve up words. Online Exclusive Download a free motivational poster...

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         Need a speaker? Contact Rochelle to speak by phone with your critique group, NaNoWriMo region, or book group: rochelle@writenowcoach.com About the...

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 in 26 days or less? Five! I wrote Write-A-Thon in 26 days during National Novel Writing Month in 2009. Of course, I...

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 the unhealthier jobs—no regular hours, so many temptations! —Elizabeth Bishop In a study on choice, students reported better satisfaction with their work...

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 an Excerpt! Find out how to avoid getting overwhelmed in the midst of your writing marathon. Free Webinar: September 27! Are...

Write a How-to Article in 6 Easy Steps

A how-to is written as a sequence—first you do this, and then you do this. The essential question the writer asks herself when writing a how-to is, “What happens next?” If you are about to embark on a how-to, start at what you consider the beginning, and just keep answering that question over and...

Plot Like a Bestseller: 8 Things You Should Know

What’s the key to plotting a hit book? Well, just ask William Bernhardt, who hit The New York Times bestseller list with his Ben Kincaid series. As Bernhardt revealed in his CraftFest session “Plotting the Bestselling Thriller”: 1. Plot is the writer’s choice of events to tell the story of the character’s progression toward...

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

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

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 are grammatically correct....

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.

3 Tips for Writing Successful Flashbacks

Most writers try to avoid flashbacks, but if you just can't resist sending your readers back in time, fiction columnist Nancy Kress has some advice. Kress explains what makes a flashback work, and how to perfect your own time traveling techniques.