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, meaningful description that will make your words come alive? This simple checklist, from The Writer’s Little Helper by James V. Smith, Jr.,...
Even the best of us can stumble over rough grammar patches now and then. Grammar Girl shows you how to navigate 13 top trouble spots.
Anyone whose ever seen a screening of a Pixar movie (Finding Nemo, Up, and the Toy Story trio come to mind for me) knows that the writers of these charming, funny and often heartbreaking movies know a thing or two about the art of storytelling. Recently, Pixar storyboard artist Emma Coats was asked to...
To stand out to the gatekeepers who hold the keys to publication, it’s not enough for your story to be good. Use these techniques to take your fiction to new heights.
Sometimes it’s too easy to get caught up in the so-called rules of writing and forget what’s really important. Here’s how to avoid the traps that can steer your story off-course.
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 a whole–recognizing patterns you didn’t notice before, and reconciling any disparate parts into a unified whole. The best way to accomplish this...
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.
While fad advice in the writing world comes and goes, some wisdom is so novel that it’s withstood the test of time. Culled from 91 years of WD articles, interviews and essays, here are 23 of our favorite writing quotes of enduring advice and inspiration. Enjoy.
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.
Whether you’re working on an article or researching your book, steal a page from the psychology world using these 10 methods to get the most from your interviews.
Two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Gene Weingarten shares his thoughts on writing, reporting and how, exactly, to capture the meaning of life
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, readers. Here are the dos and don'ts of writing a strong closer.
Your closer is the most important incident in the novel, which is why you must know it inside and out so you know how to end a novel that agents want to rep.
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.
Whenever you cause readers to be curious about what comes next, you’re creating suspense in fiction writing. Here are five simple steps you can take to increase the level of suspense in your scenes.
Learn how to write a synopsis with quick and easy tips for synopsis formats, see synopsis examples from fiction writing, and become a pro at writing a synopsis!
Is it always better to show than tell? Do you really have to write every day? Experts prove there's merit in both playing by the book and staging a writing rebellion.
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 steering clear of cliché and its sappy cousin—melodrama. Here are 10 tips to help you do just that.
Should your story be fictionalized or be a true telling of your life? You have to decide. Here are 10 factors to consider.
Do you have the SWEATS: Serious Writer Experiencing Anxiety and Timidity Syndrome? If so, you don’t need medication to cope with your ailment—all you need is a shot of Comedy Writing 101. Here is a 10-part breakdown of how to write better and avoid the SWEATS.
Hilarious! Scary! Terrifyingly prolific! Meet middle-grade horror legend R.L. Stine.
Abandoned manuscripts, dwindling writing time, stubborn computers—sometimes your writing life can feel like it’s lost the plot. It’s time to recenter and refocus—and start 2012 off right.
Once you’ve completed an outline, it’s time to put it to use and get to work on your first manuscript draft. Chances are, you'll face a lot of questions. Let us help you answer them.
Here, some of the most successful writers in recent (and not-so-recent) memory share their take on everything from how they get ideas (or go find them), to the best way to start a manuscript (or why the only important thing is that you start at all), to their most methodical writing habits (and quirkiest...
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 doing so vary. With that in mind, here’s a checklist to keep even the toughest fact checkers happy—and to pave the way...