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Literary Fiction Writing

If your passion is for literary fiction, you’ll find guidelines for mastering plot, character, setting, dialogue and more right here. You’ll also get insights into selling your work and getting it published.

5 New Year’s Resolutions for Writers

A new year, a new writerly you. New Year’s Day is a time for reflecting on the past year while thinking about the goals, wishes, and hopes for the new year ahead. … Read more

4 Ways to Revise as You Write

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

Write Fiction that Grabs Readers from Page One

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

Writing 21st Century Fiction: A Sneak Peek

Donald Maass, bestselling author of Writing the Breakout Novel and The Fire in Fiction, now takes an in-depth, comprehensive look at the craft and method of writing 21st century fiction. You might … Read more

Questions to Ask (& Strengthen) Your Minor Characters

If your supporting characters aren’t working toward an understanding of the main character or situation in some way, you might ask yourself what they’re really doing there, hogging time and space in your book. Here are questions to ask about your minor characters to make sure they have a purpose. Read more

The 21 Key Traits of Best-Selling Fiction

fiction writing | getting published

Do you wonder want readers want? In today’s writing tip, you’ll discover the 21 key traits of best-selling fiction excerpted from The Writer’s Little Helper by James V. Smith, Jr. The 21 … Read more

Meet the Real Andre Dubus III

He did not set out to follow in his famous father’s footsteps, nor is he as dark and brooding as his own House of Sand and Fog. And those are just the first of many things that will surprise you about the bestseller. Read more

Create Structure in Your Fiction Using Index Cards

I was reading through some of our older science fiction titles, and I came upon Worlds of Wonder by David Gerrold (published in 2001). As I was flipping through the book, I … Read more

Create Powerful Imagery in Your Writing

We’ve heard the old montage “Show, don’t tell” so many times that it’s become stale–and what does it mean, anyway? It’s an easy phrase to utter, but how do you achieve resonant, … Read more

The Rules of Storytelling, Pixar Style

Anyone whose ever seen a screening of a Pixar movie (Finding Nemo, Up, and the Toy Story trio come to mind for me) knows that the writers of these charming, funny and … Read more

7 Simple Ways to Make a Good Story Great

To stand out to the gatekeepers who hold the keys to publication, it’s not enough for your story to be good. Use these techniques to take your fiction to new heights. Read more

7 Things That Will Doom Your Novel (& How to Avoid Them)

You can doom your debut from the start with these 7 (tongue-in-cheek) strategies for flailing, and failing—or, you can do just the opposite. Read more

What is a Minor Character: Understanding the Minor Characters’ Role

So where is the dividing line between major and minor charactors? There isn’t one. The different levels shade into each other, and as you master the techniques appropriate to each level, you’ll be able to create each character at exactly the level of importance the story requires. Here’s how to master the techniques. Read more

23 Timeless Quotes About Writing

While fad advice in the writing world comes and goes, some wisdom is so novel that it’s withstood the test of time. Culled from 91 years of WD articles, interviews and essays, here are 23 of our favorite writing quotes of enduring advice and inspiration. Enjoy. Read more

How to Write Effective Supporting Characters

Your cast of supporting characters should reflect what your protagonist needs. Here’s how to craft strong supporting characters to make your novel jump off the page. Read more

The Dos and Don’ts of Novel Endings

In learning how to end your novel with a punch, it’s important to know what you can and can’t do to write success novel endings that attract agents, publishers and, most important, readers. Here are the dos and don’ts of writing a strong closer. Read more

How to End a Novel With a Punch

Your closer is the most important incident in the novel, which is why you must know it inside and out so you know how to end a novel that agents want to rep. Read more

How to Resurrect a Stalled Manuscript

Is your manuscript stuck? Take a break from completing your fiction project and diagnose it. Here’s how to take your manuscript into its next phase: completion. Read more

10 Tips to Avoid Clichés in Writing

It’s not enough to love our story ideas. We need to weigh their suitability as subjects for fiction, and then figure out how to go about making use of them. This means steering clear of cliché and its sappy cousin—melodrama. Here are 10 tips to help you do just that. Read more

10 Ways to Tell if Your Story Should be a Memoir or a Novel

Should your story be fictionalized or be a true telling of your life? You have to decide. Here are 10 factors to consider. Read more

Why Julia Cameron Plays By Her Own Writing Rules

Alcoholism. A turbulent Hollywood marriage. Writer’s Block. For the author of The Artist’s Way, the path of the writer has never been a walk in the park. Read more

Ask the Pro: Literary Agent Adriana Dominguez Discuses Queries and More

Literary agent Adriana Dominguez is looking for manuscripts. Find out what kind, learn about the most common mistakes she sees in query letters and more. Read more

Crafting Novels & Short Stories Exclusive

Download a free PDF with interviews with novelists like Stephen King, Kurt Vonnegut, Anne Tyler, Margaret Atwood, and more. Find out more ways to make your fiction stand out with Crafting Novels … Read more

Crafting Novels & Short Stories

Crafting Novels & Short Stories by The Editors of Writer’s Digest Books Writer’s Digest Books, 2011 ISBN-13: 978-1-59963-571-2 ISBN-10: 1-59963-571-2 $19.99 paperback, 368 pages Buy the Book at WritersDigestShop.com! Online Exclusive Download … Read more

3 Tips for Consistent Tone

If you find yourself having a difficult time sustaining one tone over a long work, try these three tricks. Read more

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