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Brian Klems’ The Writer’s Dig

Brian A. Klems is a published author and the online editor of WritersDigest.com. His blog, which covers everything writing—from grammar rules to publishing—is one of the most popular in the writing community. Follow him on Twitter @BrianKlems.

What Magazine Editors Want (& Don’t Want)

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What are editors pet peeves? What can you do to get more and more assignments tossed your way by editors? Do editors expect you to know SEO? (Do you know what SEO means?) I was honored to be interviewed by Laura Pepper Wu, editor of The Write Life magazine, where we discussed many important topics that relate to freelance writers. It’s a lot of great info packed into a relatively short conversation, so it’s worth checking out (not to mention I look incredibly dashing in my bright blue headphones). Here’s the clip. Read more

How to Write a Mashup Novel

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BY PAUL CICCHINI Mashups seem to be one of the hip, ‘in vogue’ things these days, although in actuality the idea is not new at all. For the uninitiated, a ‘mashup’ novel is … Read more

5 Tips for Writing Historical Fiction

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BY VICTORIA PATTERSON The Peerless Four, based on the historical precedent of the first women allowed to compete in the 1928 Amsterdam Olympics in track and field on a trial basis, was a departure from my previous story collection and novel, Drift and This Vacant Paradise, both set at the end of the 20th century in my fictionalized home-turf of Newport Beach, California. This is what I learned about writing historical fiction. Read more

Winners of our 2014 #AprilFools4Writers Contest

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Thanks to everyone who participated in our #AprilFools4Writers content. If you missed it, here are the details. There were tons of hilarious and clever entries this year and I enjoyed reading through all of them. More than 400 people participated, which is amazing! Anyway, without further ado here are the winners (chosen at random, as promised). Read more

Do You Have What Publishers Really Want?

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BY NINA AMIR If you are a writer who dreams of landing a traditional publishing deal, you might have a nagging question in your mind. It’s probably phrased something like, “Is my book idea what a publisher wants?” In fact, a better question to ask yourself is, “Do I have what publishers really want?” What publishers seek in an aspiring author doesn’t only involve your book idea or even your writing. These are a big part of what they consider in their decision making process, but they are not the only things. Read more

8 Strategies to Build Your Freelance Writing Career

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BY ROGER MORRIS Use these 8 strategies to turn occasional assignments into steady paychecks. Read more

It’s Our 4th Annual “April Fools’ Headlines for Writers” Contest – Join in & Win Prizes!

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Are you ready to have a little fun? It’s April Fools Day, which means it’s time for my annual #AprilFools4Writers contest! Here’s how it works: Create entertaining, clever and witty headlines that would appear in an Onion-style newspaper for writers about anything writing related (grammar, authors, books, etc.) and post it in any of the ways mentioned below. That’s it! That’s all you have to do. To make it extra special, I’ll up the ante: I’m giving away two prizes, The Build an Author Platform Premium Collection and a copy of the 2014 Writer’s Market Deluxe Edition. Here’s how to win one of them. Read more

9 Steps to an Effective Virtual Book Tour

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BY DANA SITAR You can easily waste a lot of effort producing guest posts for little gain if you don’t have a solid plan. Follow these steps to ensure you get the most out of every guest post appearance. Read more

Copywriting: A Crash Course for Writers Looking to Break In

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BY ATHENA SCHULTZ The market for freelance copywriting is bigger than ever—and so is the potential to break in. Put your writing skills to work on the side, and you might just hit the jackpot. Read more

The Pros and Cons of Writing a Novel in Present Tense

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BY DAVID JAUSS The best writers almost always seem to know, either consciously or intuitively, when to use present tense. Many of us, however, do not. Present tense has become something of a fad, and we often use it even when past tense would serve the story better. Whatever the causes for the prevalence of the present tense in today’s fiction, it is important that we understand its advantages and disadvantages so we can better decide when to employ it. Read more

6 Tips for Writing About Music

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You know more about music than any of your friends and can hold your own with all of these so-called critics. But where to begin? How do you break through to the printed page and music blogosphere? Here’s how. Read more

25 Tips To Make You a Better Nonfiction Writer

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Try these 25 tips out for size and your nonfiction writing will improve almost immediately. Read more

5 Writing Lessons Inspired by Famous Writers

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Visits to literary landmarks reveal powerful lessons every writer can carry home. Read more

Tales From the Writing Life: Fear and Loathing and Fitzgerald (5-Minute Memoir)

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5-Minute Memoir is exactly what it sounds like—a personal essay on some facet of the writing life, be it a narrative or a reflection, pensive, touching or hilarious. Enjoy this installment from Steven Rowland. Read more

Getting the Details Right in Your Novel: Psychologist vs. Psychiatrist

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Although both professions study and treat people with psychological and behavioral issues, there are big distinctions between psychologists and psychiatrists. Fortunately, you don’t need to feign emotional trauma and lie on a couch for hours to get it right in your work. Here’s a breakdown. Read more

How Book Advances Work – A Simple Explanation for Writers

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Here’s the breakdown on what you need to know when signing a book contract that includes an advance, including what it means and how it works. Read more

Interesting New Tool for Self-Published Authors

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I came across this new resource for writers from a company called Vook. It looks like a fascinating tool for self-published authors, allowing authors to track book sales that are reported through most of the major players in the ebook and POD business–Amazon, Amazon KDP, iBooks, Barnes & Noble, Nook Press, Kobo Writing Life, CreateSpace, Smashwords, Google, and Samsung. Here’s more info. Read more

8 Reasons Every Book Needs a Business Plan to Achieve Success

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No matter how you want to publish, and whether you write fiction or nonfiction, you should produce a business plan for each and every book you write and publish—before writing a word of your manuscript. Let me offer you eight good reasons why I believe this is an important practice if you want to achieve success as an author. Read more

Where Should You List Your Manuscript’s Word Count?

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There are a couple of places where your manuscript’s word count needs to appear. Here they are. Read more

Is a Freelancing Career in Writing Feasible?

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So you’re thinking about a freelance career in writing? Consider this information before diving in and becoming a freelance writer. Read more

When Flaws Go Too Far: Avoiding Unlikeable Characters

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Here are a few tips to make sure you don’t go overboard with negative personality traits. Read more

3 Most Common Complaints About Agents by Scriptwriters

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Television writer Chad Gervich breaks down the most common complaints made by scriptwriters about Hollywood agents. Read more

5 Lessons I Learned From Writing A Memoir

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So how does one approach the monster once you’ve decided to write a memoir? Following are some lessons memoirist Nancy Spiller learned from writing her own. Read more

CONFERENCE SPOTLIGHT: Mad Anthony Writers Conference, Hamilton Ohio, April 4-6

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Come join me this spring at a great writing event in Southwestern Ohio — The Mad Anthony Writers Conference, happening April 4-6, 2014. I will be a keynote speaker at the event and will be teaching several sessions too. The conference also features multi-genre workshops, pitch appointments, critiques, advice appointments and more. Read on for more details. Read more

Alright vs. All Right

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Here’s the difference between alright and all right (hint: one of them technically isn’t a word). Here’s a simple explanation. Read more

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