Tip of the Day, Creative Writing Tips

Our creative writing tips are short, helpful tidbits of information that you can apply to your writing right away. Use our Tip of the Day for easy-to-apply advice that you can use to improve your writing or help you get published.

writing exercise | how to attract readers

Grant Writing Tips for Writers

Are you interested in securing a grant for your writing? N.M. Kelby, author of The Constant Art of Being a Writer, shares 12 tips for making the grant writing application process easier.  National Endowment for the Arts, Guggenheim, state grants—whatever grant, award, or fellowship that will boost your visibility and give you a sense...

fiction writing | getting published

A Handy Checklist to Help You Edit Your Writing

This excerpt from The Writer’s Little Helper by James V. Smith Jr., explores the common mistakes that writers make–and how to avoid them. Refer to this checklist when you’re ready to submit your manuscript to an agent or editor. Amateur and Common Mistakes Before you send your manuscript or writing sample to an agent...

How to Choose a Story to Write

This excerpt is from James Scott Bell’s new book, Revision and Self-Editing for Publication, 2nd Edition. For a limited time only, you can get the entire book for just $10!  Which Story Should I Write? The first editing question you need to ask is, Which story do I select to turn into a whole...

How Long Should Your Story’s Opening Be?

Many writers often wonder how long or short their story’s opening should be. Read this excerpt from Hooked by Les Edgarton and find out what is the proper length for a story opening. The primary requirement of an opening is that the first line plunges the reader into the story instantly. A slow, leisurely...

how to find writing inspiration | writing exercises

Stimulate Your Mind With These Writing Exercises!

If you’re looking for ways to get out of your writing funk or challenge yourself, we have more writing exercises for you from Your First Novel by Ann Rittenberg and Laura Whitcomb. Leave a comment below letting us know what works best for you! First Lines. Take a stack of novels and read only...

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How to Find The Moment of Truth For Your Main Character

This excerpt is from Jeff Gerke’s book, Plot versus Character. To find the moment of truth for your main character, bring to mind your hero’s knot. You’ve got her “problem” already figured out. You’ve also chosen the alternative, the sunny land of promise she could get to if she lets go of the old...

how to find writing inspiration | writing exercises

4 Left-Brain Exercises to Jumpstart Your Writing

As writers, we’re constantly on the hunt for new ideas but sometimes we may not be looking in the right places or simply need to refresh our writing routine. If you are looking for writing inspiration, read this excerpt from Your First Novel and find new ways to challenge yourself and your writing. Only...

writing for kids | story beginnings

12 Clichés To Avoid When Beginning Your Story

Read today’s tip from Mary Kole’s new book, Writing Irresistible Kidlit. In this excerpt, she shares some examples of common story beginnings that kidlit writers make. Here are some of the most common openings I see, as they’re almost always a rejection: Waking Up: Avoid the first moments of the day, especially if your...

writing exercise | how to attract readers

A Writing Exercise For Engaging Your Readers

Take the first chapter of your novel, or a short story that you’re working on, and rewrite it twice. First, rework it in an effort to engage a family member, like a parent. Second, rework it to engage a friend, a coworker, or anyone else you feel could be your reader. Be careful to...

How to Write A Book Proposal

13 Ways to Know You Have the Right Idea For Your Book

This excerpt comes from How to Write a Book Proposal, 4th Edition by Michael Larsen.  When Michael Pietsch at Little, Brown and Company first read part of David Foster Wallace’s novel Infinite Jest, he said, “I want to do this book more than I want to breathe.” How much do you want to do...

book research | how to write a novel

Research vs. Observation: What’s Your Preference?

This excerpt comes from Writing 21st Century Fiction by Donald Maass. Do you research your novels to the point of obsession, or do you not research at all? Historical novelists are research junkies. Coming-of-age novelists mostly rely on memory. The majority of fiction writers fall somewhere in between: They study just enough so that...

writing platform | become a writer

The Basics of Building a Writer’s Platform

If you want to sell more books or simply get your name out there, a writer’s platform is essential. Chuck Sambuchino, author of Create Your Writer Platform explains what a platform is and the common building blocks of a writer’s platform. What is a Writer/Author Platform? Platform, simply put, is your visibility as an...

writing exercise | how to attract readers

Writing Your Story’s Act I

N.M. Kelby discusses Act I and how to write the beginning of your story in today’s excerpt from The Constant Art of Being a Writer. Act I: The Beginning You lay the foundation for your story and set the stage by introducing your setting, the protagonist, and the conflict that’s going to take the...

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Questioning the Traditional Story Structure

In today’s excerpt from Words Overflown By Stars, author David Jauss discusses and questions the traditional story structure. There’s nothing second-rate about a traditional story. Lots of people write great ones and millions of people love to read them. For some writers, though, the form itself may feel unnatural, not suited to portraying the...

Horror, Mysteries and Setting: Playing on the Unexpected

Horror fiction, like its predecessor, Gothic fiction, is meant to frighten and unsettle. Gothic stories often feature mystery and the supernatural, the clash of good and evil, and a sense of doom and decay woven together with ghosts, family curses, madness, and desire. Gothic fiction is the first tradition where setting acted like a...

fiction writing | scene length

Scene Length: Short Scenes versus Long Scenes

This excerpt is from Make a Scene by Jordan E. Rosenfeld. It’s worth checking out if you’re writing fiction! Let’s talk about an issue that’s sure to rise up in your mind: scene length. One of the benefits of writing in scene form is that the ending of a scene provides a place for...

writing tutorial | writers digest

8 Things First-Time Novelists Need to Avoid

Do you dream about writing a novel one day? Every aspiring writer has to start somewhere. Before you start writing your novel’s first draft, it’s wise to do your research and learn as much as you can. Watch the preview video below from the Writer’s Digest Tutorial titled 8 Things First-Time Novelists Need to...

how to find writing inspiration | writing exercises

Writing a Novel: Chapter Breaks

If you are writing a novel for the first time, you’ll need to know when and how to end a chapter. Learn about chapter breaks and see examples of some from popular novels in the following excerpt from the book Your First Novel by Ann Rittenberg and Laura Whitcomb. Novels have all different styles...

premise in writing | writing a novel

Writing a Novel: Focus on Premise

Today’s tip comes from chapter one of The Breakout Novelist by Donald Maass. Learn about premise in this excerpt. A ton of craft goes into any novel, much more so, I suspect, with a work that can grip the imaginations of millions of readers. At a certain point in the process, even the process...

travel writing | how to write a travel article

A Checklist for Marketing Your Travel Writing

A Checklist for Marketing 1. You can’t write for it if you haven’t read it. Go to the local library or newsstand and seek out the publications 2. No one starts at the top. Find your own level, work in it, then work up out of it. 3. Start with local newspapers and magazines,...