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 V. Smith, Jr.,...
Even the best of us can stumble over rough grammar patches now and then. Grammar Girl shows you how to navigate 13 top trouble spots.
Anyone whose ever seen a screening of a Pixar movie (Finding Nemo, Up, and the Toy Story trio come to mind for me) knows that the writers of these charming, funny and often heartbreaking movies know a thing or two about the art of storytelling. Recently, Pixar storyboard artist Emma Coats was asked to...
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.
Are you new to freelance writing or perhaps having trouble selling your work to editors? Today’s tip of the day can help. Kelly James Enger, author of Writer For Hire, explains the importance of writing a query letter and gives an example of one. When you think successful freelancer, what skill first comes to...
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 to accomplish this...
Your story’s opener is your one opportunity to capture an editor’s or agent’s attention. Learn how to avoid the critical mistakes (such as providing too much backstory) that lead to rejection and write a great beginning for your story. Today’s tip of the day, taken from Hooked: Write Fiction That Grabs Readers At Page...
First-time author Diane Kelly offers 4 strategies to connect with editors and sell your manuscript—without an agent.
If you’d like to quickly amass content for a book—without the pressure of actually having to work on one—consider blogging a book. Blogging is a fast and simple way to generate a body of targeted content and build your platform, which are key components of landing a book deal in today’s competitive marketplace. When...
So where is the dividing line between major and minor charactors? There isn’t one. The different levels shade into each other, and as you master the techniques appropriate to each level, you’ll be able to create each character at exactly the level of importance the story requires. Here's how to master the techniques.
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.
Did you know that April is National Poetry Month? I have never considered myself to be a poet, but I've learned that writing poetry can be fun. That's why a couple of years ago I participated in Robert Lee Brewer's Poem a Day challenge. It was one of the best decisions I ever made...
Whether you’re working on an article or researching your book, steal a page from the psychology world using these 10 methods to get the most from your interviews.
Two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Gene Weingarten shares his thoughts on writing, reporting and how, exactly, to capture the meaning of life
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.
No writers conferences in your area? No worries. Follow these 10 foolproof tips to launch your own regional writing conference.
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.
The most important thing when when understanding how to publish short stories is to follow the publisher's writing guidelines carefully. Here are some general rules.
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.
To create a marketable product—in this case, a salable manuscript—you need to follow these five steps. Although they may seem obvious, many writers ignore them.
Learn how to write a synopsis with quick and easy tips for synopsis formats, see synopsis examples from fiction writing, and become a pro at writing a synopsis!