March/April 2014 Issue
Free Writing Downloads
Workshops Starting April 17th
- Query in 14 Days
- Fundamentals of Nonfiction
- Essentials of Travel Writing
- Build Your Novel Scene by Scene
- Essentials of Business Writing
- Outlining Your Novel
- Revision and Editing
- How to Blog a Book
Workshops Starting April 24th
- Query in 14 Days
Is Your Manuscript Publication-Ready?
Is Your Manuscript Publication-Ready?
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2nd Draft provides a high-level review of your writing, pointing out reasons your work may be getting rejected, or may not meet the standards of traditional publication.
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How to Improve Writing Skills
You have the drive, you have the passion, and you’re more than willing to put in the time it takes to finish a manuscript. But you also want to make sure your work is clean, compelling, and perfectly structured. Help for doing just that can be found right here.
The following is a guest post by our WD intern, Laura Wooffitt. When writing any genre, the character that takes center stage, and often most of the beginning writer’s attention, is a … Read more
“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
Everyone struggles with how to write an ending, regardless of whether it’s a novel or a short story. Sometimes our perfect endings come to us in a dream-like vision, and other times … Read more
Using emotion to create strong, emotional characters and move a plot is critical for any writer in any type of genre. Knowing what kind of emotion to use and how to use it … Read more
Writing dialogue to suit the gender of your characters is important in any genre, but it becomes even more essential in romance writing. In a romance novel, characters of opposite sexes are … Read more
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
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
What’s in a character’s name? Everything. Here’s how you, the writer, can master the neglected art of moniker-making. Read more
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
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
Many beginning novelists think of the climax of their story as one single, explosive event. While that’s true to a degree, the climax of a novel actually has four components. Here’s what they are and how to get them right. Read more
Today’s tip of the day comes from Grammatically Correct and describes some techniques for improving your writing style and for assessing how well your efforts are succeeding. Not all these strategies will … Read more
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
Want to write a thriller, but stuck on the beginning? Novelist Daniel Palmer uses his own experience and that of his father (bestseller Michael Palmer) and lays out the essentials to get you on your way. Read more
Catherine Coulter—who has had a stunning 62 New York Times bestsellers—shared her wisdom on the basics you must master before you worry about finding an agent, or dive too deeply into your book. Read more
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
Even the best of us can stumble over rough grammar patches now and then. Grammar Girl shows you how to navigate 13 top trouble spots. Read more
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
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
Sometimes it’s too easy to get caught up in the so-called rules of writing and forget what’s really important. Here’s how to avoid the traps that can steer your story off-course.
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
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
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