October 2014 Issue
Free Writing Downloads
Workshops Starting October 2nd
Writer’s Digest Popular Fiction Awards—Deadline Coming Soon!
Writer's Digest Popular Fiction Awards—Deadline Coming Soon!
Hurry—submit your short story by October 15!
Submit your best short stories in the Romance, Thriller, Young Adult, Crime, Horror or Science Fiction genres for a chance at the Popular Fiction Awards Grand Prize of $2,500 cash and a trip to the 2015 Writer’s Digest Conference!
Enter as many stories as you like in multiple genres, but all entries must be fewer than 4,000 words. Don’t delay—this could be your winning year!
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.
Your closer is the most important incident in the novel, which is why you must know it inside and out so you know how to end a novel that agents want to rep. Read more
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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 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
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
If you find yourself having a difficult time sustaining one tone over a long work, try these three tricks. Read 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