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How to Start Writing a Book, 1st Chapter

Sometimes there’s nothing worse for a writer than a blank screen, just waiting to be filled in. Here you’ll find guidelines, advice, and inspiration for taking those first steps from blank page to finished piece. You’ll also find resources to help you learn how to write a novel in three months or fewer and practical tips on writing a book made easy.

3 Exercises For Tapping Inspiration

Sometimes writers need a little inspirational nudge. Try these exercises to help get you started.
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179 Ways to Save a Novel

Matters of vital concern to fiction writers.
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Rescuing Your Story From Cliche

In this excerpt from 179 Ways to Save a Novel, author Peter Selgin discusses ways to defeat the writer’s sworn enemy: the cliche.  Read more

How to Make Your Novel a Page Turner

Never underestimate the power of suspense—in any genre. Use these surefire techniques to make your  book one readers won’t be able to put down.

by Elizabeth Sims

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Writer’s Digest Guide to Science Fiction and Fantasy

Everything needed to learn invaluable and timeless techniques for writing science fiction and fantasy, as well as tips for building an entirely new and believable world.
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How to Channel Passion in Your Writing

Transposing your own powerful feelings, opinions, joys and sadness to your characters, every day, is the way to instill in your pages the wisdom that is living inside your novel—and you.

by Donald Maass Read more

Write Personal Without Hurting Your Relationships

Concerned that friends and family will be upset by what you write about them (even if it’s in the context of your life)? These tips gleaned from top essayists may keep you from ending up in a sticky situation with your writing.

by Kim Schworm Acosta
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7 Tips to Land The Perfect Title for Your Novel

The trick to a great title is to find a happy balance between the all-too-forgettable and the truly over-the-top. You want to choose something that makes your readers think: What a fantastic title! Why didn’t I come up with it? Here’s how to do just that.

by Jacob M. Appel
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Audrey Niffenegger Explains How To Create a Good Story

How do you follow up a smash hit like The Time Traveler’s Wife? For artist and author Audrey Niffenegger, it all comes down to embracing the freedom to create—on your own terms.

by Jessica Strawser

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Publishing 101: What You Need to Know

Here’s your step-by-step guide to the publishing process–how it works, why you need to know and how you can play an influential role in your book’s success.

by Jerry D. Simmons
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Anne Tyler’s Tips on Writing Strong (yet Flawed) Characters

With a body of work spanning five decades, a Pulitzer Prize and membership in the Academy of Arts and Letters, Anne Tyler is a testament to the best kind of longevity—and the purity of the written word.

by Jessica Strawser
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How to Weave in Backstory to Reveal Character

Creating characters’ backstories before you start writing is crucial because you’ll want to determine each one’s past experiences and the repercussions these experiences will have on your story before you begin. Here’s a close look at the different ways you can introduce backstory.

by Rachel Ballon
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Creating Characters: 4 Simple Exercises

Here are 4 simple exercises to help you invent characters for your fiction.

by Nancy Kress
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The Constant Art of Being a Writer

The Life, Art and Business of Fiction
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9 Ways to Write Yourself Out of a Slump

Push forward your writing (and your career) even when the phone isn’t ringing.

by Art Spikol
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5 Easy Tips to Strengthen Your Scenes

Here are some simple techniques for revising scenes so your edifice will stand the test of time.

by James Scott Bell

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Michael Crichton’s Top 5 Writing Lessons

Karen Dionne, author of Freezing Point, reveals what her late hero, Michael Crichton, taught her about crafting solid fiction.

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Get Messy With Your First Draft

Rough up your first draft to get to the good stuff.

by Elizabeth Sims Read more

A Boot Camp for Creative Writing (Uncut)

What should you expect from a worthwhile fiction workshop? Here’s the inside scoop.

by Charles Johnson Read more

The Anatomy of a Writer’s Website

Whether you build it yourself or hire a designer, your website can do more than bring you into the 21st century—it can be an invaluable part of your marketing arsenal.

by Linda Formichelli Read more

Beginnings

Read chapter 9, "Beginnings," from The Glimmer Train Guide to Writing Fiction, Volume 1: Building Blocks Read more

What is Plot, Anyway?

Read chapter 1, "What is Plot, Anyway?" of Write Great Fiction: Plot & Structure. Read more

10 Basic Ingredients of a Successful Thriller

At the 2008 Maui Writers Conference, bestselling thriller writer Gary Braver (Skin Deep) said that dread drives thrillers. You know who the good guys and bad guys are. Dull moments will lose an audience, and writers can’t afford to lose an audience, even for one page. To captivate an audience (and agents and publishers), Braver offers these 10 essential ingredients for a successful thriller. Read more

Steve Berry’s 8 Rules of Writing

Bestselling thriller writer Steve Berry says there are eight key rules that all writers must know and follow. Read more

Don’t Use Adverbs and Adjectives to Prettify Your Prose

Learn how adjective and adverbs create redundancy and promote lazy writing and see how you can make your writing direct, vivid, and descriptive without making your readers want to get rid of your book.

by William Noble

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