Author Archives: Brian A. Klems

Reading Selection of the Month: The Vintner’s Daughter

Writer’s Digest is particularly proud to highlight our recommended read of the month in December because the author, Kristen Harnisch, is member of the Writer’s Digest community. At our 2012 conference, she made connections that led to her agent. At the 2013 event, she connected with keynote Adriana Trigiani to secure a blurb for...

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How to Write Novels About Faraway Lands

In explaining why he wrote his novels, the great writer Joseph Conrad once told his readers that it was so they could “glimpse the truth for which you have forgotten to ask.” These words no doubt resonate with many writers, but especially with those of us who choose faraway places and times for our...

A Nosy Elf on the Shelf

You are an Elf on the Shelf and you've been picked up by a famous celebrity to roam around his or her house at Christmas time. But what the celebrity doesn't know is that you've been hired by The National Enquirer gossip magazine to find dirt on that celeb. You are a week in...

Move Over, Rudolph

You are one of Santa's reindeer (other than Rudolph) and you are jealous of all the attention that red-nosed reindeer is getting. You've been offered another job and have decided to go in to Santa's workshop office and negotiate a better deal. Does Santa match your demands or do you decide to take the...

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What is a Denouement?

The role of the denouement in literature is easy to comprehend and, once you understand it's definition, you'll be to spot it quite easily in most novels. Here the definition and an example.

Executively Branch Out

You have been elected president of the United States. When you get to the White House, you find out that there's a note from your predecessor. The note says "Good Luck," but when everyone else leaves the room the words on the note disappear and new words appear: "Look in the bottom drawer of...

Baby Blues

After an extreme evening of fun you wake up feeling groggy and fall over. The ground greets you much quicker than usual. You waddle over to a low-lying mirror and see that you’re a baby, but remember everything. You parent’s voice is lilting up the stairs. What do you attempt to tell them? How...

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The Power of Journaling

Overcoming a painful past usually involves sharing one’s story and the associated feelings. Developing insight into past hurts, and connecting the dots between then and now enables one to make better choices moving forward. Journal writing is a powerful tool that opens the path to greater insight and self-knowledge.   This guest post is by Randy Kamen, ED.D., author of Behind the Therapy Door: Simple Strategies...

Oh the Choices

Two objects sit before you: a golden hammer and a cup of what seems to be water. A note on the wall says: “Go ahead, make your choice. The outcome will decide whether you’re ready or not.” Ready for what? What is this place? Why these objects? Which will you choose?

Busted

You went to bed like any other night and were out like a log in minutes. But when you woke up, you weren't at home. You were in a car (that wasn't yours), wearing clothes (that weren't yours), and holding a bag full of money (that wasn't yours). Suddenly, a police car turns on...

Speechless

On the wall next to your desk you have the picture of someone you greatly admire. It's been there for a few years, but today you notice something different about the eyes—they are looking in a different direction. You rub your eyes, as if they are deceiving you, but when you look again you...

Crystal Clear

Entering the “Oracles Den” at the fair with your significant other seemed novel at first. When the oracle had you gaze in her crystal ball though and you see yourself five years down the road with someone you’ve never met, well things just got interesting. The real problem: Your significant other knows who the...

Creaks and Freaks

Your house always had that spooky charm, what with the old chandeliers, cobwebs everywhere and the occasional knock no one could identify. Well that all came crashing back into your head as you looked down the dark hallway and heard something shuffling towards you in the darkness. Oh and it’s picking up speed. What...

Sky Diving

The last thing you remember hearing before your friend thrust you out of the plane was: “Don’t forget your parachute!” That would be nice, though, instead of falling, you immediately begin hurtling upwards. With the stratosphere slowly approaching and your air running out, what do you do?

When Do You Officially Consider Yourself a Writer?

At the opening session of the recent Writer’s Digest Conference in New York, bestselling author Dani Shapiro, led off her keynote address with what seemed to be a very simple question: “How many writers are in the house,” she asked? I scanned the room to see how many hands were raised – about a...