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Writing Your First Draft

You have a great opening. You’re pretty sure you have a terrific ending. But the middle? It drags! Maybe you’re even starting to lose interest. Well look here for the help you need in making that middle just as compelling as the rest of the story – exciting enough that you’re compelled to finish, and finish well! We’ll also teach you how to write a novel in three months or fewer.

How to Resurrect a Stalled Manuscript

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. Read more

5 Simple Steps on Creating Suspense in Fiction

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. Read more

Writing Rules: 10 Experts Take on the Writer’s Rulebook

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. Read more

10 Tips to Avoid Clichés in Writing

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. Read more

10 Ways to Tell if Your Story Should be a Memoir or a Novel

Should your story be fictionalized or be a true telling of your life? You have to decide. Here are 10 factors to consider. Read more

10 Ways to Improve Your Writing While Thinking Like a Comedy Writer

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. Read more

How to Avoid 10 Common Conference Mistakes That Most Writers Make

10 top conference organizers reveal the 10 common pitfalls they most often see writers tumbling into—and how to avoid them. Read more

6 Simple Ways to Reboot Your Writing Routine

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. Read more

10 Ways to Harness Fear and Fuel Your Writing

If we let the fear of rejection prevent us from pitching or querying or submitting, we are ensuring that we’ll never realize our aspirations. But when we consciously work with fear, we can actually harness this energy source in ways that support our writing goals and enhance our writing experience. Here are 10 ways to do it. Read more

50 Simple Ways to Build Your Platform in 5 Minutes a Day

If you’re the kind of writer who prefers being read and selling your work as opposed to being an unknown starving writer (who doesn’t?), here are 50 quick, simple ways to launch your platform into action and climb your way to success. Read more

How to Use an Outline to Write a First Draft

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. Read more

The 90 Top Secrets of Bestselling Authors

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 rituals), to writing with the readers in mind (or ignoring them entirely). Read more

The Fact-Check Checklist

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 for that second assignment. Read more

How to Gain Perspective on Your Work

The most essential part of revision is often the least discussed: the need to get in the mindset to effectively evaluate what you’ve written. These techniques will freshen your eye and sharpen your saw. Read more

How to Avoid Parenting Your Characters

There are a lot of ways that writers parent their characters, but no matter how you do it the end result is the same—a story that just doesn’t work and ultimately won’t sell. Fortunately, it’s a habit you can break. Read more

20 Master Plots Exclusive

Download a free PDF of the checklists for each of the 20 master plots. About the Book Learn more timeless plots for your fiction in 20 Master Plots by Ronald B. Tobias.

20 Master Plots Excerpt

Master Plot #6: Revenge from 20 Master Plots by Ronald B. Tobias If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us, … Read more

20 Master Plots

  20 Master Plots by Ronald B. Tobias Writer’s Digest Books, 2011 ISBN-13: 978-1-59963-537-8 ISBN-10: 1-59963-537-2 $16.99 paperback, 288 pages Buy the Book at WritersDigestShop.com! Read an Excerpt! Find out more about … Read more

Conflict & Suspense Exclusive

Download a free PDF of Bell’s in-depth conflict analysis of his novel No Legal Grounds. Find out more about Elements of Fiction Writing: Conflict & Suspense by James Scott Bell.

Conflict & Suspense Excerpt

Brainstorming for Conflict from Elements of Fiction Writing: Conflict & Suspense by James Scott Bell How do you begin to write a story with conflict? 1. You come up with ideas that … Read more

Conflict & Suspense

Elements of Fiction Writing: Conflict & Suspense by James Scott Bell Writer’s Digest Books, 2011 ISBN-13: 978-1-59963-273-5 ISBN-10: 1-59963-273-X $16.99 paperback, 256 pages Buy the Book! Read an Excerpt! Learn surefire techniques … Read more

How to Prepare for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo)

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November is known by most literati as National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo for short. How it works: Start writing a 50,000-word novel on November 1 and finish by midnight on November 30th. I’ve participated in the event twice. First, let me share these three important takeaways from my experience. Read more

3 Tips for Consistent Tone

If you find yourself having a difficult time sustaining one tone over a long work, try these three tricks. Read more

How Smartphones and Tablets Can Help You Write More

If you’ve got a tablet or smartphone, you’re in business. Write on the go with the latest generation of apps. Read more

Writer’s Workout Exclusive

Download a free motivational poster to keep you moving as your build your writing career. Read an Excerpt! Learn how to cultivate clarity, inventory ideas, write richly, and serve up words. About … Read more

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