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My Best Posts From 2010

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Here's the very best advice I offered here at NO RULES in 2010. This can serve as a handy guide, or share this link with writers who might be new to NO RULES. (What a good Christmas gift, right?)

Above: my cat Zelda. She approves of this list. Plus I don't think I posted one cat photo all year. I think there's a law that every blog needs to use at least one cat photo each year (if not each month).

Craft & Technique

The Biggest Bad Advice About Story Openings

Story Openings: What Constitutes Significant/Meaningful Action?

Your No. 1 Challenge If You're Writing a Memoir

Getting Published

How to Ensure 75% of Agents Will Request Your Material

The Ultimate Guide to Novel Queries

Your Self-Help Book Should Not Be a Thinly Disguised Memoir

7 Free-to-Enter National Writing Competitions That Impact Your Career

Marketing & Promotion

The Most Important Marketing Acronym: WIIFM

Why Don't Publishers Market & Promote the Books They Publish?

Authors: Build Your E-mail List—NOW

Blogs/Websites

Why Start a Website or Blog If You Have Nothing to Promote?

What Should Fiction Writers Blog About?

Should You Hire Someone to Design Your Website?

Social Media

When or Why Social Media Fails to Sell Books

Should You Create a Facebook Fan Page? (And If So, When?)

Self-Publishing

The No. 1 Most Important Factor for Writers Considering the Self-Pub Option

The Best 101 on Self-Publishing + Resources

Self-Publishing and Online Publishing Will Not Ruin Your Chances at a Traditional Deal


The Writing Life

Your Excuses About Writing Are Vitally Important

The Secret to Writing & Publishing That Should Be Taped to Your Wall

Industry Trends

The 3 Best Takeaways for Writers From BookExpo America

Best Resources for Successful Writers of the Future

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I also started a Back to Basics series in 2010. Click here to see all entries in the category. I cover 101 questions like how to get published, how to start blogging, what your rights are as a writer, and why you might be getting rejected.

Want more? Check out The Secrets to Publishing Success (Jane's 2009 Tough Love Guide)

What to Say When Someone Wants to Kill You | Power of Words

What to Say When Someone Wants to Kill You

Author Gregory Galloway shares an intimate moment in his life that taught him the power of words and reveals why he became a writer.

Writing About Real People in Historical Fiction: What Is Factual and What Is Imagined

Writing About Real People in Historical Fiction: What Is Factual and What Is Imagined

When writing about real people in a real time, how do you distinguish between what is true and what is imaginary? Patti Callahan discuss how to write about real people in historical fiction.

the fisherman

The Fisherman

Every writer needs a little inspiration once in a while. For today's prompt, write about a fisherman.

Jenny Bayliss: On the Power of Second Chances

Jenny Bayliss: On the Power of Second Chances

Author Jenny Bayliss discusses the process of writing her new romance novel, A Season for Second Chances.

A Few Tips for Writing Personal Essays

A Few Tips for Writing Personal Essays

Here are a few tips for writing personal essays from the Publishing Insights column of the March/April 2021 issue of Writer's Digest.

Dispel vs. Expel (Grammar Rules)

Dispel vs. Expel (Grammar Rules)

Let's look at the differences between dispel and expel with Grammar Rules from the Writer's Digest editors, including a few examples of correct usages.

Laura Davis: On the Story That Begged To Be Told

Laura Davis: On the Story That Begged To Be Told

Author and writing instructor Laura Davis discusses the process of starting, stopping, and starting again with her new memoir, The Burning Light of Two Stars.

From Our Readers

Which Writer or Work Made You Think About Point of View in a Different Way and Why?: From Our Readers (Comment for a Chance at Publication)

This post announces our latest From Our Readers question: Which writer or work made you think about point of view in a different way and why? Comment for a chance at publication in a future issue of Writer's Digest.

4 Tips on Research for Writing Novels and Stories Beyond Getting the Facts Right

4 Tips on Research for Writing Novels and Stories Beyond Getting the Facts Right

The kind of research you do can make or break your story's authenticity. Author Blake Sanz offers 4 tips on research for your novels and stories beyond getting the facts right.