• THE
    Writing Prompt
    Boot Camp

    Subscribe to our FREE email newsletter and get the Writing Prompt Boot Camp download.

    Spiritual Writing

    It takes a certain kind of writing to reach people on a spiritual level. This section shows you how to share stories that lift people up, give them peace, and strengthen their beliefs.

    How to Resurrect a Stalled Manuscript

    Is your manuscript stuck? Take a break from completing your fiction project and diagnose it. Here’s how to take your manuscript into its next phase: completion. Read more

    Crafting Novels & Short Stories Exclusive

    Download a free PDF with interviews with novelists like Stephen King, Kurt Vonnegut, Anne Tyler, Margaret Atwood, and more. Find out more ways to make your fiction stand out with Crafting Novels … Read more

    Crafting Novels & Short Stories

    Crafting Novels & Short Stories by The Editors of Writer’s Digest Books Writer’s Digest Books, 2011 ISBN-13: 978-1-59963-571-2 ISBN-10: 1-59963-571-2 $19.99 paperback, 368 pages Buy the Book at WritersDigestShop.com! Online Exclusive Download … Read more

    3 Tips for Consistent Tone

    If you find yourself having a difficult time sustaining one tone over a long work, try these three tricks. Read more

    How to Be an Online Critique Geek

    Can a virtual critique group really be as good as meeting face to face? If you make the most of the format, it could be even better. Here’s how. Read more

    3 Ways to Know When to End Your Chapters

    At some point in writing your novel, you have to start thinking about “chaptering,” the process of deciding exactly when and where your chapter breaks will go. Here are three simple, essential techniques that can help you make effective chapter pauses.

    by Aaron Elkins
    Read more

    Twist Ending Tips From Harlan Coben

    Award-winning writing, quick-witted characters and the kind of suspense every reader craves—his books may be classified under mystery or thriller, but Harlan Coben seems to have it all. And he’s willing to share his secrets.

    by Jessica Strawser
    Read more

    How to Craft Compelling Characters

    To make characters seem real, you need to tap into what drives them. Use this foolproof method to bring the emotion of your story to life.

    by David Corbett
    Read more

    10 Ways to Start Your Story Better

    A good opening line is a powerful thing: It can grab an editor’s attention, set the tone for the rest of the piece, and make sure readers stay through The End. Here are 10 ways to steer your story toward success.

    by Jacob M. Appel
    Read more

    3 Secrets to Great Storytelling

    If you think you’ve heard all you need to know about what drives a plot, think again. Here’s the real stuff the best stories are made of.

    by Steven James

    Read more

    How to Balance Action, Narrative and Dialogue in Your Novel

    Most of the time, we want to balance our scenes using dialogue, action and narrative to engage readers at an emotional level and keep them hooked. Here’s how to do that.

    by Gloria Kempton
    Read more

    Novel in 30 Days Worksheet Index

    To help you successfully complete your book in 30 days, here are nine worksheets to help you keep track of plot, scenes, characters and revisions. All of these worksheets originally appeared in Book in a Month by Victoria Lynn Schmidt and were also featured in the special issue Write Your Novel in 30 Days.
    Read more

    The 7 Tools of Dialogue

    My neighbor John loves to work on his hot rod. He’s an automotive whiz and tells me he can hear when something is not quite right with the engine. He doesn’t hesitate … Read more

    10-Minute Fixes to 10 Common Plot Problems

    Structural problems can sink a novel. Let’s look at 10 common plot problems and how to quickly fix them.

    by Elizabeth Sims
    Read more

    How to “Up the Stakes” for Your Main Character

    Don’t be afraid to make things hard on your characters. You should always come up with several different problems to choose from. Here are 3 ways to do that.

    by Victoria Lynn Schmidt
    Read more

    9 Must-Follow Manuscript Rules

    Here’s editor Anica Mrose Rissi’s list of what you can do to increase your book’s chances of making it out of the slush pile and into the spotlight.

    by Anica Mrose Rissi
    Read more

    How to Write Intriguing Male and Female Characters

    Understanding gender differences can improve your writing in any genre. Here’s how.

    by Leigh Anne Jasheway

    Read more

    Quick Tip: How to Develop Your Characters

    Here are 4 quick exercises to make sure your characters speak to readers (and agents).
    Read more

    The 4 Story Structures that Dominate Novels

    All stories contain four elements that can determine structure: milieu, idea, character and event. Here’s a look at each one and how each will affect your novel.

    by Orson Scott Card
    Read more

    5 Steps to a Great Female Protagonist

    According to bestselling authors JT Ellison, Alex Kava and Erica Spindler, there are 5 key ways to make your heroine shine. Here they are.

    by Jessica Strawser, reporting from ThrillerFest 2010 (New York City)
    Read more

    Motivate Your Characters Like a Pro

    In his session “The Psychology of Character Motivation,” Edgar-nominated author D.P. Lyle, MD, shared this invaluable exercise for developing your characters’ motivations as your story unfolds.

    by Jessica Strawser, reporting from ThrillerFest 2010 (New York City)
    Read more

    How to Give Your Character the Perfect Name

    What you call your characters could influence your readers’ perceptions of them. Here are some factors to consider in finding the perfect match.

    by Devyani Borade
    Read more

    From Idea to Page in 4 Simple Steps

    Nothing is more exciting than the promise of a story in your head, but in order to get it on the page you need to figure out exactly what you need to do to make it work. Here are 4 steps to help you build the framework of your story.

    by N.M. Kelby
    Read more

    Take Your Novel to the Finish Line

    You need stamina to transform that out-of-shape first draft into a story with staying power. Use these 4 revision strategies to make your novel go the distance.

    by Lin Enger
    Read more

    179 Ways to Save a Novel

    Matters of vital concern to fiction writers.
    Read more

    Page 1 of 3123