July/August 2013 Issue
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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.
Rather than dressing up as a pirate or a sexy nurse this Halloween, why not take a nerdier approach and go out as your favorite book character? Here are a few of … Read more
It’s easy to start a novel but difficult to finish. You have to have enough momentum to carry you through the entire front-to-back process. Starting on Nov. 8, author G. Miki Hayden will be teaching “12 Weeks to a First Draft” – all about how to break down your novel writing process into three months of work and tackle it step by step. Each week, students will be assigned a portion of their story and will delve into subjects such as pace, plot, character, setting, style, exposition, dialogue, and tension. Read more
By Rob Eagar A survey of 21,000 book shoppers by the Codex Group revealed that the #1 way to attract people to a fiction author’s website is to offer exclusive unpublished writings, … Read more
One of the questions we get asked the most at Writer’s Digest: How do I publish a book? Well, we decided to finally answer it in this flowchart from our November/December 2012 … Read more
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
Writers differ in their opinions of the revision process. Some balk at it–they see it as the “no fun” part of writing, and much prefer drafting and creation to fixing and rethinking. … Read more
Learn to Plot & Structure Your Story. New Webinar on Oct. 18, 2012 Shows Story Physics and Engineering.
What are the most important moments of your story? Do you have a low point? The climax mapped out? The inciting incident that gets the story moving? These are the questions being addressed by Story Engineering author Larry Brooks (a true master of plotting, in WD’s opinion) for his new webinar on Oct. 18, 2012. Larry is teaching “Story Physics: How to Hit the Most Important Moments In Your Story Out of the Park.” If you want to map out a good story, learn about plot & structure by taking this webinar. Read more
Whenever Halloween comes around, I like to pick up a dusty tome of terror, wipe away the cobwebs, and crack the spine in the dim glow of a bedside lamp, safely tucked … Read more
Earlier today, I happened upon these striking words from Turkish novelist Orhan Pamuk’s 2006 Nobel Prize acceptance speech: “The question we writers are asked most often, the favorite question, is, ‘Why do … Read more
Agent Gina Panettieri Teaches “How To Find The Right Agent To Sell Your Book” – New Webinar With Critique on Oct. 11, 2012
Who better to help you find the best agent than a great agent working in today’s marketplace? Here at WD, we publish the Guide to Literary Agents as a huge database of agents and what they want. But getting the book is just the first step. You need to investigate agents for possible submissions then research what they like and what they’re selling. The more you target your submissions, the better off you’ll be. And when you receive an offer of representation from an agent, how do you know if they’re the best fit for you in the long run? Luckily for us, we have an expert on the matter to teach a webinar. Agent Gina Panettieri (Talcott Notch) teaches “How To Find The Right Agent To Sell Your Book” on Thursday, Oct. 11, 2012. All attendees get a critique. Read more
National Book Award winner Sherman Alexie’s birthday is Sunday, and his new title Blasphemy: New and Selected Stories was released this week. To celebrate the short-story writer (War Dances), poet (The Business of … Read more
In your novel, the inciting incident is the first sign of trouble for your protagonist: it’s the catalyst, the chemical reaction, that sets the plot into motion. But the inciting incident isn’t … Read more
Literary Agent Jim McCarthy Explains the “10 Elements of Novels That Sell” on Oct. 4, 2012. The Webinar Comes With a Critique
A lot of people write novels, but few sell. Why? It all comes down to a mastery of language and voice. It means creating great, vivid characters that we remember. It’s about starting your book strong. It’s about mapping out a story structure that has highs and lows to take the reader on an emotional journey. Literary agent Jim McCarthy, a wise publishing pro, will be covering all these topics as he repeats his popular webinar, “10 Elements of a Saleable Novel Today,” on Thursday, Oct. 4, 2012. The webinar starts at 1 p.m. EST and lasts 90 minutes. Read more
In only a few weeks, our staff will be venturing west for the Writer’s Digest Conference in Los Angeles, set for Oct. 19-21. On tap this year, writers can expect keynotes by … Read more
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
Today is Stephen King’s 65th birthday. To honor the man who is perhaps the most well-known living writer, here’s a linkfest of all things King. Don’t forget to have an It cupcake or two … Read more
If you want to find success as an author — whether through traditional publishing or self-publishing — you must make an effort to connect with other people. That’s the whole point of social media like Twitter and Facebook — to connect with readers and writers. But fundamentally more important than social media is simply having a comprehensive author website. That’s why we’ve enlisted eMedia professor and guru Jane Friedman to teach the webinar “Create an Author Website in 24 Hours or Less” at 1 p.m., EST, Thursday, September 20, 2012. The intensive class lasts two hours. Read more
I’ve come to realize I’m in a unique position to provide perspective on one of the hottest hot-button writing issues of the internet age: namely, the edict that (cue echo effect) The Writer Must Be Paid.
It’s such an obvious rule-of-thumb, only a fool would argue against it. Turns out, I am just that fool. ‘Cause as far as I’m concerned, sometimes (like buskers, ice-cream shops, and Anthony Kiedis) you gotta give it away.
Now, I’m no expert, and I’m not one to prescribe, preach, or proselytize; at best, all I can say is what’s worked for me. Thing is, (judiciously) giving some (short) fiction away has for-seriously worked for me. Read more
Here, for your moment of Friday Zen (… or your Freaky Friday, I suppose), are all the Stephen King film and TV cameos I could rustle up on YouTube. King frequently makes … Read more
If you want to get more media interviews, put yourself in the position of a producer. The producer is the decision-maker behind most radio and TV programs whose responsible for planning the topics and booking guests. If you’re a producer, would you rather be approached by authors who are just trying to get airtime to promote their books? Or, would you rather be approached by an author who acts like an expert on a topic that’s relevant to the audience? From the producer’s perspective, one approach feels selfish, while the other feels helpful. Read more
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
By Rob Eagar In the last year, I took up fly-fishing as a hobby. There’s something surreal and invigorating about standing in the middle of a river. However, catching rainbow trout is no … Read more
The new 2013 edition of the Guide to Literary Agents is out, all updated and packed with info. I realize there are other places you can turn to for information on agents, but the Guide to Literary Agents has always prided itself as being the biggest (we list almost every agent) and the most thorough (guidelines, sales, agent by agent breakdowns, etc.). That’s why it’s been around for 22 years and that’s why it’s sold more than 300,000 copies. It works—and if you keep reading, I’ll prove it to you.
THE GIVEAWAY!!! Comment on this post and just say anything nice about any element of Writer’s Digest you enjoy — from a blog post to a class or a book or anything else. In two weeks, I will pick 3 winners randomly to win a copy of the book! It’s that easy. (Thank you to all who entered. The winners are Nicole Evelina, Robin.Deffendall and Julia Monroe Martin.) Read more
Learn How to Plot and Structure Your Story — Sept. 13 Webinar Taught by “Plot Whisperer” Martha Alderson
Once you get past the process of hooking an agent with your pitch and query, the next major test is hooking an agent with the manuscript itself. Creating an excellent story requires voice, great characters, a command of the language, and most certainly an excellent plot. Does your novel have a complex yet understandable structure? Does it begin well? Is the conclusion satisfying? Are there high and low points to take readers on an emotional journey? These are the crucial questions of plot and structure. And to answer these questions and many more, we’ve brought in “The Plot Whisperer” Martha Alderson to teach an all-new webinar called “Secrets of Story Structure & Plot” on Thursday, September 13, 2012. Read on to learn more… Read more