Haven’t Written Anything Yet, Writing for Beginners

If you’ve only just begun to develop your writing talent, whether for fiction or nonfiction, you’ll find invaluable guidance on writing for beginners right here. You’ll learn how to start thinking like a writer, examine your work with a more critical eye, and turn it into something others will pay to read. You’ll also find resources to help you learn how to write a novel in three months or fewer.

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. You might also like:No Related Posts

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 connect with you emotionally. 2. You nudge them in a direction that offers the greatest possibilities for conflict. So...

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 to help you brainstorm for conflict. Online Exclusive Download a free PDF of Bell’s in-depth conflict analysis of his...

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 the Book Find out more ways to cross train your writing career in The Writer’s Workout by Christina Katz....

Writer’s Workout Excerpt

Excerpt from The Writer’s Workout by Christina Katz CULTIVATE CLARITY When you write something needlessly prolix and convoluted, there’s a reason for it, and that reason is usually a lack of clarity and purpose going on. —Robert Masello The reader shouldn’t have to do all the work. Recently I picked up...

Writer’s Workout

The Writer’s Workout: 366 Tips, Tasks, & Techniques from Your Writing Career Coach by Christina Katz Writer’s Digest Books, 2011 ISBN-13: 978-1-59963-179-0 ISBN-10: 1-59963-179-2 $19.99 paperback, 384 pages Buy the Book! Read an Excerpt! Learn how to cultivate clarity, inventory ideas, write richly, and serve up words. Online Exclusive Download a...

Word Savvy Excerpt

 Attacking the Wrong-Word Problem From Word Savvy by Nancy Ragno Create a definite plan for carrying out your desire and begin at once, whether you’re ready or not, to put the plan into action. —Napoleon Hill This is the age of the computer. Why be concerned about choosing the right homonym...

Word Savvy

Word Savvy: Use the Right Word Every Time, All the Time by Nancy Ragno Writer’s Digest Books, 2011 ISBN-13: 978-1-59963-303-9 ISBN-10: 1-59963-303-5 $14.00 paperback, 224 pages Buy the Book! Read an Excerpt! Learn how to attack wrong-word problems in your writing. Online Exclusive Download 3 free bookmarks with 10 nouns, adjectives,...

Write a How-to Article in 6 Easy Steps

A how-to is written as a sequence—first you do this, and then you do this. The essential question the writer asks herself when writing a how-to is, “What happens next?” If you are about to embark on a how-to, start at what you consider the beginning, and just keep answering that...

3 Tips for Consistent Tone

If you find yourself having a difficult time sustaining one tone over a long work, try these three tricks. Find a paragraph that sounds exactly the way you want to sound for this work, and tape it to your computer so that it’s always in front of you. Each time you’re...

Literary Journal Submissions 101

To submit your latest short story, essay or poem, you’ll need a cover letter—which is much different from a query. Use these tips from inside a creative writing program to help your letter make the grade.

How to Broaden Your Short Story’s Scope

Most short stories illumine a single dark corner, narrowly circumscribed. They follow the time-revered rule: Limit your short story to a specific time, place, event, interaction or character’s evolution. But the short story can be a more versatile genre than your high school English teacher sermonized. If we stick to too...

7 Ways to Structure Your Picture Book

Author and editor L. Rust Hills once said, “The sinister thing about writing is that it starts off seeming so easy and ends up being so hard.” If only this quote weren’t true. But it is. However, we picture book writers are lucky. We have seven wonderful techniques to help us...

One Simple Question All Writers Should Ask Themselves

In this brief exercise, Douglas Preston, co-author of the bestselling Pendergast novels (Relic) and The Monster of Florence, challenges writers to really write what they know to take their thrillers to the next level. Write what you know. Sure, we’ve all heard it time and again, but many writers still swear...

One Simple Way to Sharpen Your Pitch

As anyone who’s ever tried to come up with one of those vital one-sentence pitches for their book knows, getting it right can be maddening. Here, courtesy of bestseller Jon Land, is one particularly sharp strategy to take your elevator pitch to new heights. ThrillerFest’s AgentFest pitch slam took place yesterday,...