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.


Steal from Yourself for Better Book Marketing

By Rob Eagar When I consult with authors on book marketing issues, a common complaint arises about the need to generate content for free resources, newsletters, and social media pages. The necessity to write new articles, blog posts, or updates gets labeled as a nuisance, because the client thinks it will be difficult to...

How to Edit Your Novel

Completing your novel is a momentous achievement. After months (or years) of hard work and sacrifice, your first impulse might be to start submitting it willy-nilly—time is of the essence, right? In reality, you shouldn’t even think about sending your novel to an agent or publisher (or publishing it yourself) before you’ve put it...

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Are Writers Born or Made? – Jack Kerouac Quotes

Every week, I spelunk into the Writer’s Digest archives to find the wisest, funniest, or downright strangest moments from our 92 years of publication. Today: A vintage article and quotes from Jack Kerouac (On the Road), who in January 1962 wrote a piece for WD asking, Are Writers Made or Born? (This week would have marked Kerouac’s 90th birthday....

Writing Advice From Famous Irish Authors

In anticipation of St. Patrick’s Day, I thought it might be fun to tap into the wit and wisdom of a few famous Irish and Anglo-Irish writers. While March 17 seems like a logical time to celebrate all things Irish, Ireland’s contributions to literature are worth noting anytime. From the Middle Ages to the...

Key Advice for Writing Fantasy

Paranormal writing is still hot… Whether you love the Twilight phenomenon or hate it, the buzz around teen vampires and werewolves is still going strong. If you’re into spooky writing—from the YA side of writing fantasy stories to things a bit darker (like horror writing)—times are both good and bad for you. Good because...

Amazon Reviews and the War of the Words

By Rob Eagar The power of the collective voice on Amazon works as a major influence over many people’s buying decisions, especially when it comes to books. For example, if someone recommends a book to me, my habit is to go find it on Amazon and read through some of the reviews. Many times,...

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13 Stephen King Quotes on Writing: Your Moment of Friday Zen

Every week, I spelunk into the Writer’s Digest archives to find the wisest, funniest, or downright strangest moments from our 92 years of publication. Today: An array of quotes from Stephen King, author of, err, well, mostly everything, from The Shining and Carrie to On Writing, The Dark Tower series and The Stand. I know, I know:...

How to Start a Book Project

  March seems like a good checkpoint for New Year’s writing goals: Two months into the New Year, you probably have a sense of whether a resolution made in January will become a reality by December. If “start a book” was on your January to-do list, how’s it coming? If you hit the ground...

Great Tips for Better Writing

To kick off last week, I wrote about How to Become a Better Writer and invited you to share your own favorite craft tips in the comments section. How to Write Better: Your Favorite Tips “Write the first draft for yourself, and the second draft for your readers.” —Melissa (Well put! When successful writers claim...

The Writing Process: Step One

Prewriting. Freewriting. Mind Mapping. Clustering. If you’ve taken a creative writing or English composition class, you’ve likely encountered these terms. They represent an important step in the writing process and, in my view, the easiest and most fun. The gist of prewriting is to let ideas flow directly from your brain to the page,...

When It Comes to Getting Published, There’s No Shortage of New Ideas

Today I’m talking with Jesse Potash, the founder of PUBSLUSH (www.pubslush.com), which presents a unique new model for getting published. Because it’s so unusual – and because they’re a non-profit – I thought you might find it of interest. Jesse was a panelist at last month’s Writer’s Digest Conference. Here’s the scoop: PUBSLUSH Press...

How to Become a Better Writer

We’re always excited when a new issue of Writer’s Digest hits newsstands—especially when it’s delivering something our readers have specifically been asking for. So we’re especially jazzed about this week’s release of our March/April issue and its theme, “Make Your Writing Stand Out.” Whenever we poll the writing community, time and again we find...

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Your Moment of Friday Writing Zen: Simple Writing Advice to Keep You Going This Weekend

Every week, I spelunk into the Writer’s Digest archives to find the wisest, funniest, or downright strangest moments from our 92 years of publication. Today, from August 1967, are highlights of a love letter to language by Arnold Gingrich, the co-founder of Esquire magazine. In 1967, he presented the keynote at the first annual Writer’s Digest Conference—and...

How to Find Your Narrative Voice

A strong narrative voice gives your fiction a distinctive flavor and makes it stand out in a slush pile. But many beginning novelists struggle with finding their narrative voice, and some opt out altogether by emulating another writer’s voice. That’s unfortunate, since an original voice always makes other storytelling elements —including characterization, dialogue and...

How to Research Your Novel

Just because you’re writing fiction, it doesn’t give you license to make everything up. Well, okay, so maybe it does. It’s your story, you can do whatever you want. But, let’s say you want someone to actually read it. Now, things are a little different. You want to write a story that will draw...

21 Ray Bradbury Quotes: Your Moment of Friday Writing Zen

Every week, I spelunk into the Writer’s Digest archives to find the wisest, funniest, or downright strangest moments from our 92 years of publication. Today: An array of quotes from the brilliant mind of Ray Bradbury, author of Farenheit 451, Zen in the Art of Writing, and many other books. (Also, once again, we’ve...

Don’t Write a Book Without a Buyer

(The following is a guest post by Rob Eagar) During the recent housing crash that devastated our economy, a lot of builders built homes based on speculation called “spec homes.”  In these situations, a house was planned, designed, and built before a prospective buyer was confirmed.  Building spec homes offers the benefit of speedy...

Expert Tips for Writing Action Scenes

Think “action scene,” and you probably think of the Hollywood version: A character is thrust into high-stakes, physical drama (a gunfight, a daring rescue, a desperate escape) that changes her in some important way, and moves the action forward. Action scenes serve the same function in your fiction, but they need not be over-the-top...

Do You Really Need to Write Every Day?

So many writers are adamant about the importance of writing every day that just the act of putting the adage into practice has become a way to define yourself as A Serious Writer. But what if, for one reason or another, you struggle to write daily? Can you make just as much progress toward...

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Vintage Writer Cartoons and Jokes (Plus, Win a Free Book)

(Your Moment of Friday Writing Zen) Every week, I spelunk into the Writer’s Digest archives to find the wisest, funniest, or downright strangest moments from our 92 years of publication. This week, here’s an array of vintage writer cartoons/writer comics from 1952 (which was a delightfully writer-joke–heavy year for the magazine). Also! we dipped...

5 Tips for Fearless Writing

Putting ideas out in the world takes courage, so playing it safe with your writing can be an appealing strategy. Faced with limited writing time and abundant competition, you figure out what works, then follow that tried-and-true trajectory—for years, maybe. But if your go-to methods are starting to feel stagnant, and your writing lacks...

Finding Creative Writing Ideas

Where Do You Get Your Creative Writing Ideas? As a writer one of the most common questions you’ll hear is “where do you get your ideas?” Non-writers think that writers have some magical power or that ideas for writing a story just come to them from out of nowhere. And maybe that does happen...