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Author Archives: Brian A. Klems

War Never Changes

During your trip to Turkey, you check into an old hotel. After settling yourself you notice a weathered chest in the corner. Upon opening it, war relics from the First World War and the Ottoman Empire lay before you. What stories do you find? Read more

Alien Rock

Being a famous rock star is hard. Especially when an alien invasion hits mid-concert. As lasers and abductions abound, do you think your sick beats can stop this catastrophe? Write about how you attempted to fight off the aliens and whether or not you succeeded. Read more

Do Your E-Book Right (and Start Making Money) — July 31 Webinar With Jane Friedman

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The industry has exploded with new and free opportunities to help you publish your work electronically, at little or no cost to you. Learn how to get visibility for your work by … Read more

The Robert Syndrome

You wake up in—wait this isn’t your room. Confused you step to the mirror and see that you’re famous actor Robert Downey Jr. How did you get here and what do you do? Read more

How to Finish That Novel

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At one time or another, all writers would probably describe themselves as “frustrated” by the writing process. With writer’s block, computer malfunctions, Twitter, kids, and Tetris all clamoring for our attention, it’s hard to pen a short story, let alone a novel. But if you’re serious about writing you’ll make it work. Here are some tips on finishing that novel. Read more

Where Does The Tunnel Lead?

You’re outside cutting your grass when you come across a large hole in the ground. You’ve never noticed the hole before, but it looks to be some sort of tunnel to another world. You decide to peek through and see where it leads, only it leads you to a pivotal moment in your past—and it’s giving you an opportunity to change it. Write this scene. Read more

5 Things Writers Should Ask Potential Agents

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Here’s a list of the five most crucial questions you should ask any agent before agreeing to join her client list. Read more

Want to Appear in Writer’s Digest? Here’s how.

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Have you ever tried to write a book in a month—as part of NaNoWriMo, with a writing group, or just on your own? What was your experience? What were the challenges, and … Read more

Going on Chore Strike

Your family isn’t cooperating with your writing career, so you’ve decided to go on strike. Write a list of demands that must be met in order for you to return to your chores and household responsibilities. (Don’t forget to make a concession or two to speed up the negotiation process.) Read more

World Cup Madness

You’re a soccer player on your national team at a World Cup soccer game. It’s an elimination game. The game has been intense and is tied 0-0. It comes down to the final play and the ball is yours. Do you make it? Miss and send to a shootout? Write this scene, but here’s the catch: There’s something on your mind that’s distracting you and must be incorporated into your thought process while trying to score the goal. Read more

Wrong Bathroom

You head into the bathroom at work, walk into a stall and close the door. Moments later, as you leave the stall, you notice two people standing there and there’s one major problem: They are of the opposite sex. On the spot, you make up an excuse as to why you are in their bathroom. Read more

Will Publishers Buy a 200,000-Word Novel?

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You put all your effort in to writing a book and, when finished, it comes out a little longer than most writing guidebooks suggest. Can you still sell that lengthy novel? Here’s the answer. Read more

Live Chat with Thriller Writer Steve Berry, June 11, 2014

Booktrib is hosting a live chat with bestselling thriller writer Steve Berry, author of The Lincoln Myth on June 11, 2014, at 1 p.m. Eastern time. The event is sponsored by Writer’s Digest. You’re welcome to submit questions ahead of time here or just join the chat on Wednesday and ask then. Read more

6 Things to Keep in Mind When Gathering Testimonials/Book Blurbs

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Testimonies are a long-established method of spreading the word about our good words. Today more than ever, testimonies are a necessity for your “platform”—incorporation on the front and back covers of your book, in the first pages, and, of course, on your website. Gathering effective testimonies depends on several things. Here are six aspects to keep in mind. Read more

Zombie Killer

It’s the last day of school and you’re clearing out your locker when your best friend runs up to you out of breath. “You have to come with me right now,” your friend says. “It’s a matter of life and death.” So you rush with your friend to the cafeteria, only to find several of your classmates have been turned into zombies. What they don’t know is that, you are secretly a superhero who kills zombies. Write this scene. Read more

Live Chat with Thriller Writer David Morrell, June 5, 2014

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Booktrib is hosting a live chat with high action thriller writer David Morrell, author of First Blood (the award-winning thriller where Rambo was created) on June 4, 2014, at 4 p.m. Eastern time. The event is sponsored by Writer’s Digest. You’re welcome to submit questions ahead of time here or just join the chat on Wednesday and ask then. Read more

Spelling Bee

You’ve entered a national spelling bee competition only to find out that your neighbor—and arch rival—has also entered the competition. You’ve both made it to the final three, along with a person neither of you know. Your arch rival comes to you with a plot to sabotage the third person, but aside from the fact that you want to win fair and square, you suspect that your rival is also trying to sabotage you. Write this scene. Read more

Tough Decision

Pick one moment in your life where you had to make a tough decision—picking a college, quitting a job, going on a diet, putting a parent in a retirement home, etc. Now … Read more

Help WD Choose Our Next Annotated Classic: Will it be Huck Finn? Sherlock Holmes? You Tell Us.

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Right now, we need help picking the next classic to annotate. Here’s how you can help. Read more

Saving a Life

You’re walking to grab lunch when you see a crowd gathered around a building. You look up and see that someone is standing on the ledge, looking to jump. You hear a police office close to you mention that the person is about to commit suicide. He also mentions the person’s name: and it’s someone you know! Write a scene where you attempt to stop the jumper from jumping. Read more

X Marks the Spot

You’re a pirate on a small pirate ship, that consists of only you, one other pirate and a captain. Recently you ransacked another ship and found a treasure map. After weeks of following it, you’ve finally found the island where “X” marks the spot. Write a scene where you find the buried treasure, only it’s not exactly the treasure you expected to find. Read more

WD Editors Are Writers Too: Meet Adrienne Crezo, Managing Editor of Writer’s Digest

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All the editors on Writer’s Digest staff aren’t just 9-5 editors, we are also writers and storytellers—which is why we are so passionate about writing and publishing. “WD Editors Are Writers Too” is a column on this blog to give you a sneak peek at the folks who lead the WD community—including their quirks, what inspires them and what they are writing outside of the Writer’s Digest world. Today’s pick is Writer’s Digest Managing Editor Adrienne Crezo, who is the newest member of the WD team. (Hopefully she knows that the newest member sponsors Donut Fridays.) Read more

Back in Time

You wake up one morning to find that you are your three year old self, with your parents again, with all of the memories and experiences of your current life. Write this scene and express the emotion and frustration your character undergoes as you internally try to sort this out. Read more

Are Subjects Joined by “And” Singular or Plural? – Grammar Rules

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If you’re uncertain whether subjects joined by and should be singular or plural, you’ve come to the right place. The simple answer is here. Read more

The Discovery

When you return to school for a conference, you bump into one of your old professors, who is rambling on excitedly about a new discovery. He asks you to follow him to his office—he has something he wants to show you. What is the new discovery? Why is your professor so excited? Write this scene. Read more

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