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Writing Goal

Selling Your Book’s Movie and TV Rights – What You Need to Know

If you’ve ever wondered how something gets made into a film—and how your work can be tapped for one, too—here’s the inside scoop on options. Read more

The Ideas that Inspired The Hobbit, Animal Farm & 8 Other Famous Books

Ideas often percolate and simmer over time, but every once in a while lightning strikes—and a sudden flash of creativity can alter a writer’s career forever. Take, for example, these 10 famous works inspired by unexpected bolts of inspiration. Read more

Namedropping: Finding Solid Names for Your Unique Characters

What’s in a character’s name? Everything. Here’s how you, the writer, can master the neglected art of moniker-making. Read more

Writing 21st Century Fiction: A Sneak Peek

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

Questions to Ask (& Strengthen) Your Minor Characters

If your supporting characters aren’t working toward an understanding of the main character or situation in some way, you might ask yourself what they’re really doing there, hogging time and space in your book. Here are questions to ask about your minor characters to make sure they have a purpose. Read more

16 Blogging Tips For Writing Fresh Content & Attracting Readers

Get Published With an Author's Platform | Get Known Before the Book Deal by Christina Katz

If you already write a blog or are thinking of creating one, you’ll need to know how to attract and keep your readers interested. Today’s tip comes from Christina Katz’s book Get … Read more

Take Your Author Website to the Next Level

Is your online home ready for visitors—say, editors, agents and your future fans? Tidy up your digital den with our blueprint for success. Read more

3 Steps For Overcoming Writer’s Block

writing a life story | how to write nonfiction

This writing tip addresses overcoming writer’s block and is excerpted from You Don’t Have to Be Famous by Steve Zousmer.  Being stuck at the start creates a special kind of frustration. Before … Read more

4 Ways to Improve Plot/Climax in Your Writing

Many beginning novelists think of the climax of their story as one single, explosive event. While that’s true to a degree, the climax of a novel actually has four components. Here’s what they are and how to get them right. Read more

4 Techniques For Improving Your Writing Style

grammatically correct the essential guide | how to improve your writing skills

Today’s tip of the day comes from Grammatically Correct and describes some techniques for improving your writing style and for assessing how well your efforts are succeeding. Not all these strategies will … Read more

How to See Your Work Through an Agent or Publisher’s Eyes

Query letter writing is no doubt one of the hardest forms of writing to master. Here’s what agents and publishers need to see from you when you pitch your work. Read more

Create Structure in Your Fiction Using Index Cards

I was reading through some of our older science fiction titles, and I came upon Worlds of Wonder by David Gerrold (published in 2001). As I was flipping through the book, I … Read more

Marketing Essentials Every Writer Should Know About

Author and marketing guru (and former WD columnist) MJ Rose capped the day of ThrillerFest sessions off with “Buzz Your Book: And the New Reality.” So what’s the new reality? Rose explains, and gives the 411 on an modern marketing essentials. Read more

Thriller Writing Made Easy: 4 Steps to Starting a Thriller

Want to write a thriller, but stuck on the beginning? Novelist Daniel Palmer uses his own experience and that of his father (bestseller Michael Palmer) and lays out the essentials to get you on your way. Read more

Catherine Coulter: 9 Simple Ways To Be a Better Writer

Catherine Coulter—who has had a stunning 62 New York Times bestsellers—shared her wisdom on the basics you must master before you worry about finding an agent, or dive too deeply into your book. Read more

Create Powerful Imagery in Your Writing

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, … Read more

The 13 Trickiest Grammar Hang-Ups

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. Read more

The Rules of Storytelling, Pixar Style

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 … Read more

7 Simple Ways to Make a Good Story Great

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. Read more

5 Story Mistakes Even Good Writers Make

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.
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7 Things That Will Doom Your Novel (& How to Avoid Them)

You can doom your debut from the start with these 7 (tongue-in-cheek) strategies for flailing, and failing—or, you can do just the opposite. Read more

4 Editing & Proofreading Techniques For Your Novel

The Nighttime Novelist | writing plot

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

How to Sell Your Manuscript Without an Agent

First-time author Diane Kelly offers 4 strategies to connect with editors and sell your manuscript—without an agent. Read more

Top 10 Blogging Tips: How to Turn Your Blog Into a Book

If you’d like to quickly amass content for a book—without the pressure of actually having to work on one—consider blogging a book. Blogging is a fast and simple way to generate a … Read more

What is a Minor Character: Understanding the Minor Characters’ Role

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. Read more

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