Few authors have better embedded believable and/or accurate scientific information within an engrossing story like Michael Crichton. This article explores the tactics Crichton used to craft realistic science fiction within one of his most popular novels, Sphere.
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 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.
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.
Pitching high concept fiction can be the key to skyrocketing to the top of agents' slush piles, according to Angie Hodapp of Nelson Literary Agency. But what is (and isn't) high concept, and how do you go about framing your story as high concept?
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.
Here are three writing techniques from traditional visual arts training that can help you find a deeper, truer and more vivid writing voice.
Memoir structure is as crucial as structure in fiction and no good memoir will be able to stand tall without it. Several ingredients can be used to create a structure that works for your book.
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.
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 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.
Your characters’ views of the world can do much more than simply define who they are. Here’s how to use character perspective to propel your plot.
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.
In her setting-centric novels, bestselling mystery author Cara Black shows the seamier side of the City of Light.
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.
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.
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.
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.
In this excerpt from the book Writing Fantasy and Science Fiction, Orson Scott Card explains why exposition can present particular challenges when you're writing science fiction, and tips for overcoming those challenges.
The following is excerpted from the online course The Art of Storytelling 101: Story Mapping and Pacing by Terri Valentine, which explores style, concepts, characters, and how to write strong scenes. Learn more about the course and register at Writer’s Digest University. Practically speaking, scenes are the irreducible matter of novels. The...
What is anaphora? This literary device, which appears in biblical verses as well as the works of Walt Whitman, can be used to build up tension or energy in rhetoric, poetry and prose. Here, Aaron Bauer uses Walt Whitman's "I Hear America Singing" to explore anaphora.
For the last two decades, we’ve scoured the web for our annual 101 Best Websites for Writers, a comprehensive collection of online resources for writers. This selection represents this year's creativity-centric websites for writers. These websites fuel out-of-the-box thinking and help writers awaken their imaginations.
Writing from multiple POVs allows you to zip around to new settings, cut away from scenes, leave cliffhangers unresolved for longer in ways that don’t work as well if you’re following one character’s perspective through the whole thing. Here are a few tips for getting started.
Practicing this type of imitation is useful because displacing characters and putting them in new settings and situations helps clarify how character voice affects a story as much as (or more than) plot.