Weekly Round-Up: Characters and Collections

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Every week our editors publish somewhere between 10 and 15 blog posts—but it can be hard to keep up amidst the busyness of everyday life. To make sure you never miss another post, we've created a new weekly round-up series. Each Saturday, find the previous week's posts all in one place.

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Crafting Your Character

The reign of the Raymond Chandler-esque, male heroic detective is over; your detective can break Chandler's guidelines in any number of ways. If you want to write crime fiction with a female protagonist, this is what you need to know.

When creating characters with life experiences that differ vastly from your own, you do your research. When your character is a psychopath, Peter James's top five tips for getting into the mind of a psychopath will help you learn the best ways to research the disorder.

One of the most difficult characters to define? Our own. Read When Can You Call Yourself a "Real" Writer?—especially if you've every fallen prey to imposter syndrome.

Agents and Opportunities

Meet the Agent: Helen Adams of Zimmerman Literary is seeking nonfiction on the topics of wellness, relationships, popular culture, women’s issues, and music, as well as memoirs and reading group fiction.

You may have heard the term "literary scout" recently as an option for getting your manuscript to the publishers. Learn all about what literary scouts do, how they differ from agents, and what they could mean for you here.

Poetic Asides

For this week's Wednesday Poetry Prompt, write a "nothing better" poem. Then challenge yourself by trying out our first poetic form of 2017: the ottava rima.

This week's Poetry Spotlight shines on the Poetry Foundation in Chicago. Learn all about the poetry-related activities that this non-profit organizes.

If you've written a lot of poems, you may be wondering how other poets go about organizing them into collections. Read Collecting Poems into a Book: 5 Poets Share Their Method for some insight.

Sara Nisha Adams: On the Celebration of Reading in Literary Fiction

Sara Nisha Adams: On the Celebration of Reading in Literary Fiction

Debut author Sara Nisha discusses the impact of growing up reading on her writing as an adult.

Writer's Digest Best Live Streams, Podcasts, and YouTube Channels 2021

Writer's Digest Best Live Streams, Podcasts, and YouTube Channels 2021

Here are the top live streams, podcasts, and YouTube channels as identified in the 23rd Annual 101 Best Websites from the May/June 2021 issue of Writer's Digest.

Poetry Prompt

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 576

Every Wednesday, Robert Lee Brewer shares a prompt and an example poem to get things started on the Poetic Asides blog. This week, write a back to blank poem.

Where Are the Toxic Families in Children's Books?

Where Are the Toxic Families in Children's Books?

Christina Wyman discusses how for children who suffer difficult family dynamics, seeing their experiences reflected in books is few and far between.

the island

The Island

Every writer needs a little inspiration once in a while. For today's prompt, build yourself an island.

Nawaaz Ahmed: On Personal Identity in Literary Fiction

Nawaaz Ahmed: On Personal Identity in Literary Fiction

Nawaaz Ahmed discusses how his personal experiences acted as the impetus for his new book, Radiant Fugitives, and how it went from novella to novel.

Comedy vs. Comity (Grammar Rules)

Comedy vs. Comity (Grammar Rules)

There's nothing funny about learning when to use comedy and comity (OK, maybe a little humor) with Grammar Rules from the Writer's Digest editors, including a few examples of correct usages.

Shugri Said Salh: On Writing the Coming-Of-Age Story

Shugri Said Salh: On Writing the Coming-Of-Age Story

Debut author Shugri Said Salh discusses how wanting to know her mother lead her to writing her coming-of-age novel, The Last Nomad.

100 Ways to Buff Your Book

100 Ways to Buff Your Book

Does your manuscript need a little more definition, but you’re not sure where to begin? Try these 100 tips to give your words more power.