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    Complete 1st Draft

    One of the hardest things about being a writer is actually finishing that first draft. We often linger on the details, editing as we go, which in many cases causes us to run out of steam and quit. In this section, you’ll get the help you need for completing that first draft once and for all.

    Tighten the Tension in Your Novel

    “Your novel is lacking tension.” “I understand the reason for this scene, but my mind kept wandering while I was reading.” “This chapter is missing a hook … I’m just not interested.” … Read more

    Essential Advice for Beginning Writers: An Interview with Kerri Majors

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    Kerri Majors is the editor and founder of YARN, the Young Adult Review Network, an online literary journal of YA short stories, essays, and poetry. As if this role doesn’t keep her … Read more

    Make More Time for Your Writing

    It’s a common lament: I could finish my novel, if only I had more hours in the day! In fact, the universal chorus of complaint from writers of all stripes seems to be … Read more

    Don’t Let Worry Drag You Down

    Writers are often worriers. We’re plagued with indecision about the choices we make for our stories. We doubt the quality of our writing. We wonder if we’ll ever break through into the … Read more

    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

    Writing for the Young Adult Audience

    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

    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

    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

    4 Editing & Proofreading Techniques For Your Novel

    The Nighttime Novelist | writing plot

    Joseph Bates, author of The Nighttime Novelist, shares tips for editing and proofreading a novel or book. Creating A System For Editing & Proofreading Revision is really about seeing your book as … 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

    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

    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

    6 Simple Ways to Reboot Your Writing Routine

    Abandoned manuscripts, dwindling writing time, stubborn computers—sometimes your writing life can feel like it’s lost the plot. It’s time to recenter and refocus—and start 2012 off right. Read more

    10 Ways to Harness Fear and Fuel Your Writing

    If we let the fear of rejection prevent us from pitching or querying or submitting, we are ensuring that we’ll never realize our aspirations. But when we consciously work with fear, we can actually harness this energy source in ways that support our writing goals and enhance our writing experience. Here are 10 ways to do it. Read more

    The Fact-Check Checklist

    You interviewed your sources for an article, wrote it up and turned it in. Done? Not yet. Often you need to provide backup info for the publication’s fact checkers, and requirements for doing so vary. With that in mind, here’s a checklist to keep even the toughest fact checkers happy—and to pave the way for that second assignment. Read more

    20 Master Plots Exclusive

    Download a free PDF of the checklists for each of the 20 master plots. About the Book Learn more timeless plots for your fiction in 20 Master Plots by Ronald B. Tobias.

    20 Master Plots Excerpt

    Master Plot #6: Revenge from 20 Master Plots by Ronald B. Tobias If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us, … Read more

    20 Master Plots

      20 Master Plots by Ronald B. Tobias Writer’s Digest Books, 2011 ISBN-13: 978-1-59963-537-8 ISBN-10: 1-59963-537-2 $16.99 paperback, 288 pages Buy the Book at WritersDigestShop.com! Read an Excerpt! Find out more about … Read more

    How to Prepare for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo)

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    November is known by most literati as National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo for short. How it works: Start writing a 50,000-word novel on November 1 and finish by midnight on November 30th. I’ve participated in the event twice. First, let me share these three important takeaways from my experience. 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

    The Geyser 5-Step Approach to Revision

    Revising is a natural balance of creative eruptions and quiet analysis. Use this 5-step method to harness your story’s power and channel its flow to create a finished piece that will make a splash. Read more

    Writer’s Workout Exclusive

    Download a free motivational poster to keep you moving as your build your writing career. Read an Excerpt! Learn how to cultivate clarity, inventory ideas, write richly, and serve up words. About … Read more

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