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Author Archives: Jessica Strawser

3 Ways to Increase Your Daily Word Count While Away From Your Computer

While I’ll be cheering on NaNoWriMo participants from the sidelines this year rather than joining the race, I am forever looking for ways to expand my own daily word count—not just in … Read more

Tips and Inspiration to Write a Book in a Month

One of the things I love about working at Writer’s Digest is the excitement each time a new issue hits newsstands. And it’s especially true with the November/December 2014 Writer’s Digest–because this … Read more

Write a Book in a Month: More Writers Share Their Experiences & Advice

Sometimes it’s a lone writer who’s been putting off a story idea for too long, and decides it’s now or never. Sometimes it’s a pair or a group determined to find out … Read more

Professional Speed Writing

In this Q&A, Rochelle Melander, author of Write-a-Thon: Write Your Book in 26 Days (and Live to Tell About It) (Writer’s Digest Books), discusses how she’s written five books at a marathon … Read more

Lisa Scottoline: Bonus WD Interview Outtakes

An award-winning suspense series set in an all-female law firm. A library of bestselling book club picks. A humor column in the tradition of Erma Bombeck. Beyond a shadow of a doubt, … Read more

Best of Both Worlds: Hybrid Authors Up Close

In this online companion piece, Chuck Wendig gives a more in-depth description of his own evolution as a hybrid author. Read more

Chris Bohjalian: Bonus WD Interview Outtakes

Chris Bohjalian moves through the world as a writer. His honest answer to that quintessential question Where do you get your ideas? could be summed up in one word: everywhere. His novels have been born from a dinner party, a wartime diary, a homeless man’s photography, and more than one fortuitous bike ride, though it’s not unusual for those ideas to percolate for years before they start to take form. And just as he might not have a defining moment when a story begins, he doesn’t keep the world at bay once he starts writing, either. In fact, he invites it in—often stopping mid-scene to go in search of new inspiration through hands-on research. Read more

It Happens to the Best of Us: Therapy for Bad Reviews

One of the most entertaining links I stumbled upon this week was a Biblioklept compilation of 1-star reviews on Amazon for the classic Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick. Here are a few choice excerpts: “The … Read more

The Secret to Writing Better: Looking Up

I’m always surprised and humbled by the gracious notes I receive from readers about my Editor’s Letters—but no letter in recent memory has drawn as much of a response as the one … Read more

David Sedaris: Bonus WD Interview Outakes

Ever start to get the feeling that the job description of your average bestselling author can seem kind of one-size-fits-all? Something like this, perhaps: Ideal candidates will have the precisely right combination … Read more

Bonus WD Interview Outtakes: Kimberla Lawson Roby

When Kimberla Lawson Roby didn’t have any luck convincing the publishing gatekeepers to take a chance on her, she took a chance on herself. She self-published in the ’90s, before it was fashionable—or affordable—to do so, and cracked the Essence magazine bestseller list on her own. That got their attention. Read more

Career-Changing Moves

We asked, you answered. Real writers share the small steps in their writing lives that had a big impact on their careers. Read more

What’s Your Excuse for Not Writing?

One of the things I love most about working with writers is that so many of them are unflinchingly generous with their time, words and wisdom. So when I was recently approached … Read more

Bonus WD Interview Outtakes: Khaled Hosseini

In peaceful Kabul, Afghanistan, many years ago, there was a young boy who, like most young boys, loved his family, loved his country, and loved great stories. He was taken by his … Read more

4 Truths That Will Revolutionize Your Revision Process

Perhaps because I’m in the process of revising a novel manuscript myself, the advice in the May/June 2013 Writer’s Digest Guide to Pain-Free Revision really resonated with me as I pieced it … Read more

5 Unexpected Lessons From Inside the Iowa Writers’ Workshop

Ask any writer—at any level—what writing program he or she would most like to get a glimpse inside of, and chances are the answer will be the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. The first … Read more

To Plan or To Plunge? A New Way of Looking at the Outlining Debate

Few questions inherent to the writing process spark as much passionate back and forth among writers as this: To outline, or not to outline? In my years as editor of Writer’s Digest … Read more

3 Surprising Lessons About Publishing Today

With the newsstand release of every new edition of Writer’s Digest magazine, I typically share a few of the best tips relating to the issue’s cover theme here. But in compiling our … Read more

The Real Oscar Winner: Great Storytelling

Even before Quentin Tarantino proclaimed in his Academy Award acceptance speech for Best Original Screenplay (Django Unchained) that this would “be the writers’ year,” it was impossible not to notice all the … Read more

How to Start a Novel Right: 5 Great Tips

It’s said that in life, there are two types of people: those who look at the glass as half empty, and those who see it as half full. But for those of … Read more

Being Grateful for Little Moments of Magic: Thanksgiving Inspiration for Writing

Whenever I pull out my camera, my 1-year-old will invariably stop whatever he was doing that prompted me to snap a photo. Is he already perceptive enough, on some level, to become … Read more

Inspiration for Writers: How to Be More Creative

Ideas are everywhere. It’s what we do with them that matters. The latest issue of Writer’s Digest is dubbed The Big Idea Issue—and we’ve filled it with clever tips and simple strategies … Read more

Introducing Our New Advice Column for Writers: Funny You Should Ask!

Have you ever wished you could get advice on your writing life, your pursuit of publication, and everything in between, from an expert source would tell it to you straight, with good … Read more

Can Your Day Job Lead to Better Writing?

For some writers, a day job is a means to an end—and something they dream of one day quitting to pursue a dream of writing full time. (So much so that here … Read more

Get an Agent: 25 Literary Agents Looking for New Clients

Even if you’ve done your homework and prepared your query letter and other submission materials by the book, the task of finding out everything you really want to know about how to … Read more

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