Writing Goal

The Temporary Expert

Need to get an insider's viewpoint on a specialty topic? You don't need no stinkin' expert. Immerse yourself in the subject at hand, then be your own insider. These three writers prove the efforts are well worth it.

Colin Beavan’s Fingerprints

"For me, research was the easy part because you know you're getting results. And so you procrastinate the scary part, which is the actual sitting down and writing the story by convincing yourself that you're being productive by doing more research ... I researched for seven months."

4 Tips for Choosing the Right Word

How do you choose the right word for the right situation? The most powerful words tend to be the shortest and, not coincidentally, the ones most basic to the English language. Words like kin, thanks and small, for instance, are deeply rooted in Old English before A.D. 1000, while words like relatives (from the...

Hitting the Mark

A little R with a circle around it—and a world of questions attached: Here's what you need to know about using brand names in your stories.

Build a Better Source List

Lining up article sources—especially when you're tight on time—doesn't have to be a harrowing task. Here's a five-step plan to find the right quote when you need it.

Your Grand Finale

Hang in there! You can finesse your way to the end of your first draft with advice from novelists who've been there and lived to tell another tale.