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.
BY ELIZABETH SIMS What’s in a character’s name? Everything. Here’s how you, the writer, can master the neglected art of moniker-making.
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 be asking, “What exactly is 21st century fiction?” Read this exclusive sneak peek from Writing 21st Century Fiction to...
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 an opening line that intrigued me: “All writing is list-making. Nothing more. The trick is knowing what to...
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, meaningful description that will make your words come alive? This simple checklist, from The Writer’s Little Helper by James...
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.
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.
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 a whole–recognizing patterns you didn’t notice before, and reconciling any disparate parts into a unified whole. The best way...
While fad advice in the writing world comes and goes, some wisdom is so novel that it’s withstood the test of time. Culled from 91 years of WD articles, interviews and essays, here are 23 of our favorite writing quotes of enduring advice and inspiration. Enjoy.
Your cast of supporting characters should reflect what your protagonist needs. Here's how to craft strong supporting characters to make your novel jump off the page.
In learning how to end your novel with a punch, it's important to know what you can and can't do to write success novel endings that attract agents, publishers and, most important, readers. Here are the dos and don'ts of writing a strong closer.
So you have a great idea for a novel or nonfiction book but you just don't know where to begin? Have no fear: I've devised a pretty simple plan that will help guide you.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Should your story be fictionalized or be a true telling of your life? You have to decide. Here are 10 factors to consider.
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.
10 top conference organizers reveal the 10 common pitfalls they most often see writers tumbling into—and how to avoid them.
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.
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...
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.
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.
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...