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    How to Improve Writing Skills

    You have the drive, you have the passion, and you’re more than willing to put in the time it takes to finish a manuscript. But you also want to make sure your work is clean, compelling, and perfectly structured. Help for doing just that can be found right here.

    The 5 Essential Story Ingredients

    Forget three-act structures, formulas for plot, and even beginnings, middles and ends. Write better stories by propelling your protagonist through a transformation your readers will never forget. Read more

    7 Grammar Blunders to Avoid

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    Nothing is worse than getting in the first edition of our new issue, opening it up and finding a giant grammar mistake plain as day. This doesn’t happen often, but when it does it blows my mind. “How did that happen? We read the issue 5 times each, hired an extra copy editor and even used the Microsoft WORD’s spell check (which never misses a mistake, right?).” Read more

    One Simple Question All Writers Should Ask Themselves

    In this brief exercise, Douglas Preston, co-author of the bestselling Pendergast novels (Relic) and The Monster of Florence, challenges writers to really write what they know to take their thrillers to the … Read more

    One Simple Way to Sharpen Your Pitch

    As anyone who’s ever tried to come up with one of those vital one-sentence pitches for their book knows, getting it right can be maddening. Here, courtesy of bestseller Jon Land, is … Read more

    Science-Fiction Author John Scalzi Explains How Not to Be Boring

    JOHN SCALZI is the author of several science fiction novels, including the bestselling Old Man’s War series, comprising Old Man’s War, The Ghost Brigades, and The Last Colony. He is a winner … Read more

    Selling Short Story Short: An Interview with ZZ Packer

    ZZ Packer is the author of the short-story collection Drinking Coffee Elsewhere, a PEN/Faulkner finalist that was selected for the “Today” show book club by John Updike. Her stories have appeared in … Read more

    When the Story You’re Writing Isn’t Working: An Interview with Donald Miller

    Donald Miller is the author of multiple New York Times Bestsellers including Blue Like Jazz and A Million Miles in a Thousand Years. He has served on the Presidential Task Force on … Read more

    Memoir Spotlight: Jeannette Walls

    Jeannette Walls is the author of The Glass Castle, a memoir with more than 3 million copies in print, and Half Broke Horses, a bestselling true-life novel based on her grandmother. She … Read more

    Women’s Fiction Spotlight: Kristin Hannah

    Kristin Hannah (kristinhannah.com) is The New York Times bestselling author of 18 novels, including the blockbusters Firefly Lane, True Colors and Winter Garden, and, most recently, Night Road. You’ve said the seed … Read more

    Historical Fiction Spotlight: Paula McLain

    Paula McLain’s latest book is the bestselling The Paris Wife, a fictional account of Ernest Hemingway’s first marriage and upstart years in 1920s Paris, told from the point of view of his … Read more

    Humor Phenom Justin Halpern’s (Sh*t My Dad Says) Uncensored Insights Into Writing

    In 2009, Justin Halpern created a Twitter account to archive his father’s expletive-ridden words of wisdom. Within a month, @shitmydadsays was an Internet sensation. Halpern’s first book, Sh*t My Dad Says, a … Read more

    8 Ways to Write Better Characters

    Depicting convincing relationships could just be the key to writing better characters. Try these 8 ways to do it.

    by Elizabeth Sims

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    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 … Read more

    4 Ways to Make Every Word Count

    Getting the full value out of every word you write is especially important when it comes to the short story. Here are four techniques to help you make each word count.
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    How to Let Plot Guide Your Short Story

    In crafting a short story, let’s begin by taking our definition of plot and letting it guide us. This approach can guide you in composing a short story that creates the emotional and intellectual experience your reader hopes for.

    By John Dufresne
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    The Artist

    Spotlight author Julia Cameron made her mark on writing workshops everywhere with her ground-breaking guide, The Artist’s Way. Boost your creativity with a peek at a few of her famous techniques.  Read more

    WD Interview Bonus Q&A: Sarah Dessen

    Don’t miss the chance to learn even more of No. 1 New York Times bestseller Sarah Dessen’s insights on what it takes to make it writing for today’s young readers.
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    Winner of the 6th Annual Writer

    Read the grand-prize short story from the sixth annual WD Popular Fiction Awards, and learn more success strategies from winning thriller writer Marissa Gabel.
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    Read the grand-prize short story from the sixth annual WD Popular Fiction Awards here.
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    Should You Write a Novel or Short Story?

    You’ve got a great idea—but how can you tell if it’s weighty enough for a novel, or would work best as a short story? Here are five key factors to consider.

    by Elizabeth Sims

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    Get Paid to be a Word Nerd

    Writers who leverage their skills as copy editors can earn bigger paychecks, diversify their portfolios and spend more time doing what they love. Learn how you could be one of them.

    by Rebecca Smith Hurd

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    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
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    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
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    18th Annual Self-Published Book Awards Winners – Inspirational

    Announcing the Inspirational winners of the 18th Annual Writer’s Digest International Self-Published Book Awards.
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    More from Nancy Kress, author of Beginnings, Middles, & Ends

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