Author Archives: Zachary Petit

Writer’s Digest Article Index 2012

All feature articles and columns published in Writer’s Digest during 2011 are indexed by topic. Abbreviations for regular columns: Inkwell—IW; Ask the Agent—ATA; Breaking In—BI; Questions & Quandaries—QQ; Your Story—YS; Conference Scene—CS; Writer’s Workbook—WW; Standout Markets—SM Writer’s Digest Article Index 2012   BUSINESS/LEGAL MATTERS “How Do First Rights Work?” QQ, Brian A. Klems, Jan,...

The Power of Pairs Roundtable: Exclusive Outtakes

In a feature article in the January 2014 Writer’s Digest, we brought together four of today’s most successful co-authors to discover what goes on behind the scenes when writers collaborate—and how two heads really can be better than one. In these online-exclusive outtakes, they talk more about some of the other high-profile co-authoring gigs...

Should you quit your job to write full time?

The following is a guest post by WD Contributing Editor Linda Formichelli, from her new book, Write Your Way Out of the Rat Race … And Step Into a Career You Love. – You want to ditch the rat race to become a freelance writer—or do you? If you’re on the brink of making...

The Rices on Research

In these bonus outtakes from our exclusive dual interview in the November/December 2013 issue of Writer’s Digest, Anne Rice and Christopher Rice share the inside scoop on their research processes. Is research something you specifically set aside time to do, or does it just organically happen in the process of following your natural interests,...

Before They Were Famous: The Oddest Odd Jobs of 10 Literary Greats

by Alex Palmer Plenty of acclaimed and successful writers began their careers working strange—and occasionally degrading—day jobs. But rather than being ground down by the work, many drew inspiration for stories and poems from even the dullest gigs. Here are 10 of the oddest odd jobs of famous authors—all of them reminders that creative...

13 Quirky Workplaces of Famous Writers

The following piece by Celia Blue Johnson is currently in the October 2013 issue of Writer’s Digest. Check out the full issue here.   Many great writers have found creative comfort while sitting at a desk. (Charles Dickens was so attached to his that he had its contents shipped to his vacation home.) But...

John Grisham’s 3 Must-Haves of Novel Writing

The following is a guest post by author Tony Vanderwarker: I spent two years writing a novel under the guidance of my friend and neighbor John Grisham. So in light of this piece on There Are No Rules speculating about John’s rules of thumb as a writer, I’m sharing the three absolute requirements for...

Why Watching TV Can Actually Be Good For a Writer

Guilty that you spent some time last night watching TV instead of writing? Don’t feel too bad. As a handful of authors discussed in the “Is Reading Really Considered Working?” panel at ThrillerFest Saturday, writers can learn from more venues than just books—there’s literary merit in taking in some TV.

10 Things to Remember When Writing a Legal Thriller

“Lawyers can make brilliant heroes,” as author Meg Gardiner pointed out in her ThrillerFest panel “Boxers or Briefs? Making Your Attorney Stand Out.” With that in mind, here are some lessons we drew from the panelists to help you sharpen your protagonist, and bring your legal thriller to life for readers.

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David Morrell On the Key to Settings

In his CraftFest session at ThrillerFest, “Setting: How to Make Your Novel Go Places,” David Morrell (author of First Blood) riffed on how to produce fantastic settings that become characters in their own right.

10 Things Shakespeare Can Teach Us About Writing Thrillers

Conspiracy. Murder. Politics. Love. Sex. Ghosts. Pirates. Thrillers and the works of William Shakespeare may have more in common than you’d think. And, as author A.J. Hartley proved in his session “Cues From Shakespeare, the First Thriller Writer,” there’s a lot the bard can teach scribes about storytelling.

4 Things Star Trek Can Teach Us About Writing

The following is a guest post by Thomas Smith. Happy Friday. Over the years I’ve looked at what my dogs have taught me about writing, what Batman can teach us about writing, and today I’m going to extend the tradition. Today we’re going to look to the stars for our guidance. No, not astronomy....

If You’re Feeling Down and Out About a Rejection Letter …

Consider James Lee Burke. Sure, his novels are everywhere these days. Bookstores. Airports. Bestseller lists. But here’s how they got there. As Lindsey O’Connor detailed in our profile of the author, Burke published his first story when he was 19. It did not earn him instant fame. He worked the oil fields. He drove trucks....

More From Bestseller Joe Hill

Author Joe Hill (NOS4A2, Horns, Heart-Shaped Box) describes his parents, Stephen and Tabitha King, as “the best writing teachers in the world.” Here he offers a few more thoughts on what he has learned from them, and shares a story about collaborating with his father on “Throttle.”

15 Things a Writer Should Never Do

Based on interviews with authors over the years, conferences, editing dozens of issues of Writer’s Digest, and my own occasional literary forays and flails, here are some points of consensus and observations: 15 of them, things anyone who lives by the pen (or seeks to) might consider. It is, like most things in the...