November/December 2013 Issue
Free Writing Downloads
Is Your Manuscript Publication-Ready?
Is Your Manuscript Publication-Ready?
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Writing for Children & Young Adults
Young Adult and Children’s books are hot! Here you’ll learn about trends in the marketplace, what’s working and what’s not, plus how to write for this very special group of readers without dumbing things down.
There’s no question about it: The young adult (YA) audience is a hot market, one that is steadily growing in popularity and garnering attention from young readers as well as literary critics. … Read more
Once you conceive your basic story idea and characters and start writing, you’ll reach the heart of the book, that painful place where, like Hansel and Gretel, it’s not uncommon to become … Read more
Something about R.L. Stine freaks me out. It’s not that he acts nothing like you might assume, though he is wearing all black. He’s funny and charming, and his amiable character throws … Read more
Adriana Dominguez has nearly 15 years of experience in publishing, most recently serving as executive editor at HarperCollins Children’s Books before joining Full Circle Literary in 2009. She is interested in representing … Read more
Ask children’s and YA writers about problems in their work and you’ll get a variety of responses: “The adults keep taking my story over.” “I don’t want my characters to suffer.” “I … Read more
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 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
Not so long ago, when you were ready to share your writing, your only option was to collect a few creative people with printouts of their manuscripts and bring them together in … Read more
Author and editor L. Rust Hills once said, “The sinister thing about writing is that it starts off seeming so easy and ends up being so hard.” If only this quote weren’t … Read more
At some point in writing your novel, you have to start thinking about “chaptering,” the process of deciding exactly when and where your chapter breaks will go. This is one issue … Read more
We all know those stories of ordinary workers who make their way up through sheer hard work and determination—starting in the mailroom and climbing steadily until one day, they’re company president. In … Read more
The source and exact nature of the curious phenomena we refer to as characters remains something of a mystery, but the craft of characterization is not. Although it’s clearly a cause for … Read more
The sentence you are currently reading has the potential to brand itself indelibly upon our cultural consciousness and to alter the course of Western Civilization. OK, maybe that’s an exaggeration. But what … Read more
As a novelist and writing instructor, I’ve noticed that three of the most vital aspects of story craft are left out of many writing books and workshops. Even bestselling novelists stumble over … Read more
Most of the time, we want to balance our scenes using three elements of fiction: dialogue, action and narrative. This is one reason you want to put your character in a scene … Read more
To help you successfully complete your book in 30 days, here are nine worksheets to help you keep track of plot, scenes, characters and revisions. All of these worksheets originally appeared in … Read more
My neighbor John loves to work on his hot rod. He’s an automotive whiz and tells me he can hear when something is not quite right with the engine. He doesn’t hesitate … Read more
Good fiction takes time. You cannot sit down at the keyboard and pound out the Great American Novel in one or two sessions. (Take it from me; I’ve tried.) No, we must … Read more
Don’t be afraid to make things hard on your characters. You should always come up with several different problems to choose from. Who knows; you may even throw numerous dilemmas at them … Read more
1. Revise, revise, revise! I don’t want to read your first draft, ever. (Tip: Your novel isn’t ready to send to me until you can describe it in one sentence.) 2. Start … Read more
Men and women are different. There, I said it. Now let me go even further out on a limb. Chances are, if you’re female, you write like a girl, and if you’re … Read more
1. Make a character study for each of your characters, defining the five traits discussed here: name, age, appearance, relationships and personality. 2. With a clean copy of your manuscript, get out … Read more
All stories contain four elements that can determine structure: milieu, idea, character and event. While each is present in every story, there is generally one that dominates the others. Which one dominates? … Read more
One of Thursday’s livelier sessions was “Creating Authentic, Tough, Smart Female Protagonists (Lipstick Optional),” a discussion among three presenters known for doing just that: JT Ellison, bestselling author of the critically acclaimed … Read more
Edgar-nominated author D.P. Lyle, MD, advises that to begin developing a character’s motivation, you should first decide where he or she falls—at the beginning of your story—in each of these key spectrums: … Read more