The Craft & Business of Writing

Essential tools for writing and publishing success, across all genres, from the editors of Writer's Digest Books.
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The Craft & Business of Writing: Essential Tools for Writing Success
from the editors of Writer's Digest Books
Writer's Digest Books, 2008
ISBN: 978-158297-487-3
$24.99 hardcover binder, 400 pages

Read an excerpt
Want to know how to light fires under editors? Read "The Writer-Editor Relationship."

For over eighty years, the Writer’s Market series has provided the timeless advice and detailed instruction writers have come to depend on to achieve their goals. The Craft & Business of Writing offers the best of that instruction from award-winning writers such as M.J. Rose, Lee K. Abbott, Alyce Miller, Fred Marchant, Jennifer Crusie, Megan McCafferty, Gary Provost, Monica Wood, and Deborah Hopkinson.

In this book, writers, agents, and editors offer their insights into every genre and facet of the publishing industry, so whether you write fiction, nonfiction, children’s books, or poetry—or a little of everything—this essential all-in-one reference includes everything you need to start and maintain your writing career.

To hone your craft and increase your skill as a writer, you’ll find solid advice on how to:

  • craft intricate plots and nuanced characters
  • improve the pace and veracity of your dialogue
  • write in rhyme, or with appropriate meter

To successfully market yourself and sell your work, you’ll learn how to:

  • find and work with an agent
  • negotiate contracts and collaborate with editors
  • test and submit article ideas

No matter what your skill level or area of creative interest, The Craft & Business of Writing is an invaluable addition to your reference library.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Part I: Introduction
Getting Started

  • Writing on the Run: Find Time to Write, by Allen and Linda Anderson
  • Nine Habits of Published Authors, by Stephen Blake Mettee
  • Building a Writing Career, by Sean Murphy
  • The Writer-Editor Relationship, by William Brohaugh
  • Making Manuscripts More Salable, by Glenda Tennant Neff
  • Overcoming Writer’s Block, by Anthony Tedesco
  • What to Know Before Your Book Comes Out, by M.J. Rose
  • The Scams Are Out There!, by Nancy Breen

General Business

  • Literary Agents: What They Do and How to Get One, by the staff of Writer’s Market
  • A Writer’s Guide to Money, by Gary Provost
  • Smooth Starting for Full-Time Freelance Writing, by John F. Lauerman
  • The Art of Negotiation, by Gregg Levoy
  • Book Contract Clinic: Quick Fixes for Bad Clauses, by Stephen E. Gillen, Esq.

Part II: Fiction
The Craft of Fiction

  • In Defense of the Short Story, by Lee K. Abbott
  • More Than Form: The Novel and the Short Story, by Jack Heffron
  • Why True-Life Stories Often Don’t Make Good Fiction, by Alyce Miller
  • Weaving Plot and Subplot, by Donna Levin
  • Plotting the Mystery Novel, by Judith Greber
  • How to Write Today’s Horror, by D.W. Taylor
  • Not Just Happily Ever After: Writing Real Romance, by Jennifer Crusie
  • Believability in Science Fiction and Fantasy, by David Gerrold
  • Jump-Start Your Fiction Through Your Characters, by John Tibbetts
  • Adding Life With Dialogue, by Monica Wood

The Business of Fiction

  • Writing the Query That Sells, by Susanne Kirk
  • Agents’ Roundtable, by the staff of Writer’s Market
  • The Big Challenges of Publishing in Little Magazines, by Will Allison
  • The Serious Business of Choosing Literary Fiction, by Ben Nyberg
  • Superior Bambini and Other Samples From the Slush, by David Groff
  • Rejection Slips: A Writer’s Guide to What They Mean, by Will Allison
  • Self-Promotion: Maximizing Your Novel’s Visibility, by W.E. Reinka

Part III: Nonfiction
The Craft of Nonfiction

  • Where to Get Great Article Ideas, by Greg Daugherty
  • The Art of the Interview, by Philip Gerard
  • The Real Deal: Writing Memoir, by David Vann
  • Take Back the Essay!, by Bill Roorbach
  • Travel Writing: From Journal to First Draft, by L. Peat O’Neil

The Business of Nonfiction

  • The Creative Magazine Query Letter, by Art Spikol
  • Writing an Irresistible Book Proposal, by Michael Larsen
  • Analyzing a Magazine From the Outside In, by Lisa Collier Cool
  • Popular Magazines: How to Break In, by Jenna Glatzer
  • Sell It Again, Sam: Selling Reprints and Rewrites, by Gordon Burgett
  • Make More Money With Sidebars, by Gordon Burgett


Part IV: Children’s Writing

The Craft of Children’s Writing

  • Lost in the Woods of Plot? Here’s a Way Out, by Bonny Becker
  • Picture Books 101: Pay Attention to Structure, by Darcy Pattison
  • Is It Really a Crime to Write in Rhyme?, by Barbara J. Odanaka
  • The New Rules of Teen Lit, by Megan McCafferty
  • Historical Fiction: Bringing the Past to Life for Young Readers, by Deborah Hopkinson
  • Nonfiction: Can Informational Books Be Sexy?, by Kathleen Krull
  • Getting Back in the Saddle for a Tough Revision, by Christine Kole MacLean
  • Writing Groups: Succeeding Together, by Sara Grant

The Business of Children’s Writing

  • The Synopsis, Short But Power-Packed, by Sue Bradford Edwards
  • Writing and Promoting Books for Babies and Toddlers, by Hope Vestergaard
  • Oh, the Places I’ve Been! Preparing to Promote Your Children’s Book, by Esther Hershenhorn
  • Writing for the School and Library Market, by JoAnn Early Macken
  • Head of the Class: Tips for Successful School Visits, by Kelly Milner Halls
  • License Writing Opens Doors, by Sue Bradford Edwards
  • Unkind Critics: Surviving a Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Review, by Jeffrey Lee
  • Great Expectations: Conferences Can Make a Difference, by Darcy Pattison

Part V: Poetry
The Craft of Poetry

  • Finding Fresh Subject Matter, by John Drury
  • The Unspeakable Nature of Trauma, by Fred Marchant
  • Ten Ways to Improve Your Poetry With Haiku, by Michael Dylan Welch
  • The Sonnet: Creating Your Own “Little Song,” by William Baer
  • A Moment of Intensity: “The Minute” Form, by Cathy Smith Bowers
  • Carried Away: Free Verse, by Judson Jerome
  • Learn the Craft of Metrical Poetry to Free Your Verse, by Katie Darby
  • Revision: Finding the Heart of the Poem, by Amy Ratto

The Business of Poetry

  • In and Out of the Trunk: Approaching Publication, by Judson Jerome
  • Meet the Poetry Community Through Open Readings, by Carolyn Peyser
  • In Praise of the Humble Chapbook, by Vivé Griffith
  • The Art of Self-Promotion, by Leah Maines

Contributors
Index

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Plot Twist Story Prompts: Without a Trace

Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, have a character leave without a trace.

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Vintage WD: The Truth about True Crime

In this article from July 2000, true crime novelist and former New York Times correspondent Lisa Beth Pulitzer shares with us some key insights for breaking into the true crime genre.

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New Agent Alert: Barb Roose of Books & Such Literary Management

New literary agent alerts (with this spotlight featuring Barb Roose of Books & Such Literary Management) are golden opportunities for new writers because each one is a literary agent who is likely building his or her client list.

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Evoking Emotion in Fiction: Seven Pragmatic Ways to Make Readers Give a Damn

Evoking emotion on the page begins with the man or woman at the keyboard. Dustin Grinnell serves up seven straightforward tactics for writing tear-jerking stories that make your readers empathize with your characters.

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Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 546

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 spooky poem.

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Learn Better World-Building Strategies Through World of Warcraft and the New Shadowlands Expansion

WD editor and fantasy writer Moriah Richard shares five unique ways in which writers can use World of Warcraft to better build their worlds—without playing the game.

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Seven Tips for Intuitive Writing: The Heart-Hand Connection

Award-winning author Jill G. Hall shares her top tips for how to dive into your latest project head-first.

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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.