There Are No Rules Blog by the Editors of Writer’s Digest

Get on the cutting edge of today’s publishing trends and how authors can succeed in a world of fast-paced technological change, guided by the editors of Writer’s Digest. You’ll get an inside look at the work, play, and passion of the publishing business and find practical tools for success.


Better Call Saul

5 Things Better Call Saul Can Teach Us About Writing

I think the general consensus among those writers who teach the craft is that you must read—and read widely—about the craft of writing. They’ll also tell you to study fellow authors who write in your genre. And that’s solid advice. But I think there’s a lot you can learn about writing from other mediums,...

Tyler Moss

Write for Platforms of Yore

Friends, Romans, countrymen—lend me your ears. We come to bury Reject a Hit, the back-page humor column of WD. Since the March/April 2010 issue, RaH has treated readers to the satirical letters of imagined “curmudgeonly or fool-hearted” editors, as they bluntly dismissed the manuscripts of classic novels from Lolita and War & Peace to...

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Creating a Lasting Writing Practice

Today’s guest post comes from Paula Munier, senior literary agent and content strategist at Talcott Notch Literary Services, and author of Plot Perfect and Writing with Quiet Hands. Today she shares her methods for developing a rewarding and fruitful writing practice.   The word practice gets a bad rep. It reminds us of all...

JStrawserHS4-featured

10 Lessons Learned Behind the Scenes of a Book Deal (Part 2)

A few short months ago, I wrote about my path to getting an agent and a publisher, and promised to share my experiences leading up to the publication of my debut novel, ALMOST MISSED YOU, due out in 2017 from St. Martin’s Press. You might think that as the editor of Writer’s Digest magazine—and given my earlier years...

JStrawserHS4-featured

10 Lessons Learned Behind the Scenes of a Book Deal

A few short months ago, I wrote about my path to getting an agent and a publisher, and promised to share my experiences leading up to the publication of my debut novel, ALMOST MISSED YOU, due out in 2017 from St. Martin’s Press. You might think that as the editor of Writer’s Digest magazine—and...

Comedy Writing Secrets

Comedy Writing Secrets: Triple the Funny

This guest post is by Mark Shatz, author of Comedy Writing Secrets 3rd Edition: The Best-Selling Guide to Writing Funny and Getting Paid for It. Mark A. Shatz is the author of KISSing Golf: The Keep It Simple (Stupid) Instructional Method, a humorous instructional book for beginning golfers. He is also an award-winning professor...

Robert Pipkin

How the 2015 October Platform Challenge Changed My Platform

The next few Fridays will feature guest posts on the There Are No Rules blog. If you’d like to join the party, pitch a guest blog post idea to robert.brewer@fwcommunity.com with the subject line: Guest Post Idea for No Rules. Simple as that, and we’ll get working on it together. Today’s guest post comes...

What You Can Do Now to Master the Business of Writing

Even without knowing you (yes, you! hello there), I can say that we put together the “Master the Business of Writing” package for the February 2016 Writer’s Digest with you in mind. Because whether you’re an aspiring author, a midlist novelist or a freelancer looking for bigger paychecks, this issue will meet you where...

Robert Lee Brewer

Improve Your Writing Platform (or Author Platform) in 30 Days

A few times now, I’ve run 30-day platform challenges for writers to help with the difficult task of creating a writing platform (also known as an author platform). I prefer the term writing platform, because I feel the word author locks a writer into only writing books. However, today’s publishing environment offers so many...

Fire Up Your Writing Brain

How to Brainstorm: Give Your Brain Free Rein

It’s a new year, and the perfect time to recommit yourself to your writing life. Whether you’re still working on your same project, or just opening a fresh notebook or Word document to start a new one, it can be intimidating when you hit a mental block. And that means it’s always a good...

Fiction Writing Master Class

Write Like Charles Dickens

Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol is an absolute classic, particularly around this time of year. And even if you don’t want to write exactly like Dickens, there’s something—a technique, an idea, a theme, etc.—that every writer can pull from Dickens’ writing. The following is an excerpt from William Cane’s Fiction Writing Master Class, which...

What’s On Your Reading List?

‘Tis the season! Whether you made a list for friends and relatives to shop from, or whether you’re picking off of your personal reading list, there’s probably a book or two out there that you just have to read while you have some time off in the coming weeks. The editors at Writer’s Digest...

In Novel Writing, Practice Makes Perfect

“Every time I start a book, I think, I have no idea how I did this the last time,” bestselling novelist Jojo Moyes told me in our interview for the January 2016 Writer’s Digest. “No idea.” At first, knowing that the struggle “happens to the best of us,” as they say, might seem discouraging—especially...

A writer's guide to persistence

Conquer Your Writing Fears

Today’s guest post is from Jordan Rosenfeld, author of A Writer’s Guide to Persistence.  You hear the word perfectionist bandied about a lot, but what does it mean? Are you a perfectionist if you only show your best work? Are you a perfectionist if you hone and refine and polish your work? Are you...

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Ideation Vacation: How to Come Up with New Article Ideas

This guest post is written by Zachary Petit. Zachary is the author of The Essential Guide to Freelance Writing: How to Write, Work, and Thrive on Your Own Terms. He’s also the editor in chief of Print, a seventy-five-year-old National Magazine Award-winning publication about graphic design and culture. Formerly he was the senior managing editor...

WYNFSTF

The Five Cardinal Sins of Description

This guest post is by Joseph Bates, whose new book Writing Your Novel From Start to Finish: A Guidebook for the Journey provides the instruction, inspiration, and guidance you need to complete your novel. Bates is the author of Tomorrowland: Stories (Curbside Splendor 2013), and his short fiction has appeared in such journals as...

Robert Lee Brewer

2015 October Platform Challenge Winner

Okay, so it’s not a competition for the winner of the 2015 October Platform Challenge. It’s a completely random drawing, but I’ve got to call the person something, right? So winner it is. 2015 October Platform Challenge Winner The winner for the 2015 October Platform Challenge is DMGbyrnes! At least, that’s the username on...

Robert Lee Brewer

Leave a Comment: Day 31 of the October Platform Challenge

There are actually two tasks today: The first is to write and post your fifth blog post of the month. Keep the momentum and consistency going. The other is… Leave a Comment For today’s platform-building task, leave a comment on this blog below describing your October Platform Challenge experience. Did you like it? Did...