Craft & Technique
Third-Person Limited: Analyzing Fiction's Most Flexible Point of View
From fast-paced action to intimate drama, third-person limited POV can be adapted to any scene or situation.
A Nest of Words: What Kind of Writer-Bird Are You?
What kind of writer-bird are you? Gayle Brandeis looks at different species of birds and their nest building techniques and considers how our fine feathered friends’ creative processes might intersect with our own as writers.
Paperback Writer: 10 Writing Lessons from Vintage Paperback Books
The advice to read widely is sound, but are you broadening your horizons enough? Forgotten paperback books from decades past can offer essential writing lessons as capably as any new hardback.
Grand Finale: Two Strategies for Writing Great Story Endings
Powerful, unexpected story endings will leave readers hungry for your next novel. Consider the following techniques to help your story resonate long past the last page.
4 Essential Steps to Making Your Protagonist Real, Even When They’re Nothing Like You
Writing your protagonist always requires deep thought and consideration, but crafting believable, realistic protagonists who are nothing like you presents unique challenges. Author Donna Levin offers four essential tips to help you work through these challenges.
How to Incorporate Procrastination into Your Writing Schedule
Kathy Edens finds that she can write content all day every day, but when it comes to fiction, she's terrified of the blank page. Her secret? Scheduling procrastination into her writing schedule.
Surprise vs. Suspense and How to Pair Them in Your Writing
What's the difference between suspense and surprise, and how is each one powerful? Jane Cleland explains how to pair these two elements in your writing in this excerpt from her book Mastering Suspense, Structure & Plot.
How to Turn Your Writing World Around, Part 1: Setting and Detail
In this series, you'll discover five ways of practicing just that type of turnaround for your existing works-in-progress. This edition focuses on setting and detail.
Graphic Novel Best Practices: 4 Ways to Blend Text and Art to Create a Storyline
If you're writing a graphic novel or a comic, you need to consider how your images and text work together to spin the story. Here are a few ways to play with combining words and pictures in sequential art from author-illustrator Whitney Gardner.
What Is (and Isn't) High Concept Fiction, and How Do You Pitch It?
Pitching high concept fiction can be the key to skyrocketing to the top of agents' slush piles, but what is it, and how do you go about framing your story as high concept?
3 Layers of Writing Mastery: Which One Is Most Important?
Writing requires three layers of mastery: Mastery of stories, craft and emotion. But which one of these three is the most important? William Kenower weighs in.
Train Your Eye for Better Writing: 3 Writing Techniques Adapted from the Visual Arts
Three writing techniques from traditional visual arts training that can help you find a deeper, truer, and more vivid writing voice.
Superhero Sauce: Blending Pop Culture & Academic Disciplines in Nonfiction (+ a Quiz!)
In his book 'Superhero Ethics,' Travis Smith blended his knowledge of political philosophy with superhero mythos. By outlining his writing process and what he learned, he demonstrates how combining pop culture topics with academic disciplines can make for fun and accessible nonfiction books.
What a Coincidence: 7 Clever Strategies for Harnessing Coincidences in Fiction
Well-timed coincidences can catapult a story forward, but a poorly planned one can bring your readers to a dead stop. Use these 7 strategies to harness the power of this storytelling tool while steering clear of common missteps.
Zetta Elliott on Starting Her Own Imprint & Character Development in Children's Fiction
Zetta Elliott discusses addressing complex topics in children's fiction, starting her own imprint, Rosetta Press, and what she'll address in her upcoming keynote at indieLAB.
The Perception Gap: Using Character Perspective to Propel Your Plot
Your characters’ views of the world can do much more than simply define who they are. Jane Cleland discusses how to use character perspective to propel your plot.
The Power of Theme: Turning Books Into Movies
Books to Movies: Barri Evins reveals how to harness the power of theme to entice publishers, captivate readers, and attract the film and television industry.
4 Benefits of Joining a Writing Group
As a preview of their Writer's Digest Annual Conference panel, a thriving writing group composed of of Kimmery Martin, Bess Kercher, Trish Rohr and Tracy Curtis offer their thoughts about how the power of connection can propel your writing career, and the role a writing group can play in your journey.
Curtis Sittenfeld on Choosing Beta Readers, Outlining and Creating Complex Characters
Bestselling author Curtis Sittenfeld (Eligible) explains how her characters keep it “real,” and why plumbing the awkward and uncomfortable can lead to the richest social commentary.
18 Ways to Write Funnier Fast
We're not all comedy writers, but many of us want to write a funny story or incorporate funny scenes into a novel. In this excerpt from The Byline Bible, Susan Shapiro offers 18 quick and easy ways to improve at eliciting laughs from your readers.
Maximize Your Setting: Bringing Locations, Eras and Worlds to Life on the Page
When the reader can feel as if they are physically in your story's setting, they will be more inclined to let themselves experience what the characters are seeing and hearing. Here, author Curt Eriksen offers considerations for bringing the locations and eras in your fiction to life.