Let Your Writing Shine:Mastering Voice in Writing & Finding Your Niche - Writer's Digest

Writer's Digest March/April Issue: An Interview With Author Mary Kay Andrews & Writing Essentials to Master

Author Mary Kay Andrews talks about finding your niche. Plus, learn 5 tips for writing a good story, strategies to beat common writing mistakes, and much more!
Publish date:

The March/April issue of Writer's Digest magazine has hit the newsstands and the Web. Inside the issue you will find a feature story on author Mary Kay Andrews (who also appears on this month's cover), plus a guide to grammar and writing, quick tricks for writing a good story, tips for finding your voice in writing, ways to avoid common writing mistakes, advice on finding your niche and much more!

Writer's Digest Magazine | Mary Kay Andrews

Author Mary Kay Andrews Gives Writing Advice & Talks About Finding Your Niche

Before becoming a published author, Mary Kay Andrews worked as a journalist. Then she started writing mystery novels. But it wasn't until she started writing women's fiction and made the bestseller lists that she felt like she had found her niche in writing. In this Writer's Digest interview, she gives writing advice, offers tips for finding your niche, discusses being a part of a writer's group, shares her best publishing advice, and explains the importance of social media and connecting to your readers.

5 Tips for Writing a Good Story

Let's face it--every writer wants to impress both editors and readers with their writing. But often times it is easy to lose focus. Writer Steven James gives five examples of story mistakes. Avoid these common mistakes:

  • Overdoing Symbolism/Themes. If you describe your theme or insert symbolism into every part of your story, your readers will be distracted. Instead, try driving your narrative through tension and moral dilemmas. For example, instead of saying, "you should forgive others," ask the question, "how do you forgive someone who has done the unthinkable to someone you love?"
  • Trying too hard. Writing a good story is on every writer's mind, but if you try too hard, you will lose your readers. If your characters are funny, let the dialogue show this. Similarly, don't feel the need to use grandiose words unless it directly relates to the context of your story. Remember, readers want to be entertained.
  • Failing to Anticipate the Readers' Response. Part of being a writer, is having the ability to create believable situations. If you can take a step back and think like one of your readers, you will be able to fix plot points that just don't add up or fit within your story. After all, the main goal for writing a good story is keeping your readers engaged, and not distracted.
  • Using a Hook as a Gimmick. Don't write a scene specifically to grab readers' attention without introducing them to the world you've created. You want to move your plot forward, and one way to do this is by evaluating your hook. After all, having a good hook is one key to writing a good story.
  • Leaving Readers Hanging. Don't withhold information from your readers unless you hint that you're going to reveal what they need to know later on in the story. Often times, writers will not give readers all the information they need to know in an attempt to create suspense, but in actuality, they lose the reader. One of the ways to write a good story is to be consistent. For example, if you have one of the main characters get into an accident, start the next chapter describing the outcome of the accident.

Writer's Workbook: Mastering Voice in Writing

The Writer's Workbook from the March/April issue gives readers specific exercises and tips for mastering voice through three articles.The first article by Roger Morris (who is known for wine, food, and travel writing) talks about giving nonfiction an audible voice, including ways for matching voice to tone and topic and an exercise on summoning the perfect voice. The second article targets writing with a natural voice. Larry Brooks, author of Story Engineering, explains the difference between voice and style and covers why voice is a crucial part in dialogue. Lastly, Steven Harper, author of Writing the Paranormal Novel, gives 7 tips for finding your voice in writing through techniques and exercises. He also explains and defines voice and how voice is different from style. Having a unique voice is one way to make your writing stand out!

The Top 13 Common Writing Mistakes & A Helpful Guide to Grammar and Writing

One pet peeve of any editor or writer is improper use of nouns, verbs, capitalization, or adjectives. In this article, Grammar Girl gives you examples of 13 common writing mistakes that every writer has made at some point and how to master the basics of grammar. Learn how to avoid common writing mistakes from Grammar Girl's examples. Use this helpful guide to grammar and writing to improve your writing skills and master the basics!

Buy the Writer's Digest March/April issue now!

See more recommendations on writing from the Writer's Digest editors.


Bearing vs. Baring vs. Barring (Grammar Rules)

Learn when to use bearing vs. baring vs. barring on with Grammar Rules from the Writer's Digest editors, including a few examples of correct usages.


15 Things a Writer Should Never Do

Former Writer's Digest managing editor Zachary Petit shares his list of 15 things a writer should never do, based on interviews with successful authors as well as his own occasional literary forays and flails.


Evie Green: Imaginary Friends and Allowing Change

Author Evie Green explains why she was surprised to end writing a horror novel and how she learned to trust the editorial process.

writer's digest wd presents

WD Presents: The 3 Prime Rules of Horror Writing, Contest Deadlines, and More!

Welcome to the first installment of a new series! There's always so much happening in the Writer's Digest universe that even staff members have trouble keeping up. So we're going to start collecting what's on the horizon to make it easier for everyone to know what's happening and when.


Lenora Bell: When Fairy Tales Meet Reality TV

Bestselling historical romance author Lenora Bell discusses researching, avoiding info-dumps while still charming readers, and how her latest book was inspired by her life.


Three Keys to Crafting Chemistry Between Characters

Romance author Michelle Major explains her three go-to tips for ensuring your characters have believable chemistry.

Saving Money on Your Screenwriting Career

Take Two: Saving Money on Your Screenwriting Career

No one wants to break the bank to learn how to write a screenplay. Jeanne Veillette Bowerman shares practical tips on saving money on the pursuit of a screenwriting career.


10 Epic Quotes From Watership Down, by Richard Adams

Here are 10 epic quotes from Watership Down, by Richard Adams. The story of a group of rabbits who escape an impending danger to find a new home, Watership Down is filled with moments of survival, faith, friendship, fear, and hope.

WD Poetic Form Challenge

WD Poetic Form Challenge: Quintilla Winner

Learn the winner and Top 10 list for the Writer’s Digest Poetic Form Challenge for the quintilla.