How to Start Writing a Book, 1st Chapter

Sometimes there’s nothing worse for a writer than a blank screen, just waiting to be filled in. Here you’ll find guidelines, advice, and inspiration for taking those first steps from blank page to finished piece. You’ll also find resources to help you learn how to write a novel in three months or fewer and practical tips on writing a book made easy.

The Setback: How to Successfully Start Writing Again

If you’re anything like me, part of your New Year’s Resolution (that’s still a thing, right?) was to write more. It might’ve been to hit a certain word or page count in a day, write for a certain time length, develop a number of ideas in a day, etc. Whatever it was, you told...

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 realm of publication, recognition, and even celebration. We sometimes fret that we’re wasting our efforts entirely in a profession with few to...

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. What does this mean for your writing goals? Maybe 2013 is the year you finish your novel. Maybe it’s the year you...

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. This means that this market is healthier than ever–and so is the competition for getting published. So what are the keys to...

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 only important for your main character. Understanding how to harness it is also crucial to hooking your reader from the very first...

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.

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...

The 90 Top Secrets of Bestselling Authors

Here, some of the most successful writers in recent (and not-so-recent) memory share their take on everything from how they get ideas (or go find them), to the best way to start a manuscript (or why the only important thing is that you start at all), to their most methodical writing habits (and quirkiest...

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, do we not die? And if you wrong us, shall we not revenge? —Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice, III, i Francis Bacon...

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 how to make revenge the central part of your plot. Online Exclusive Download a free PDF of the checklists for each of...

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 the Book Find out more ways to cross train your writing career in The Writer’s Workout by Christina Katz.

Writer’s Workout Excerpt

Excerpt from The Writer’s Workout by Christina Katz CULTIVATE CLARITY When you write something needlessly prolix and convoluted, there’s a reason for it, and that reason is usually a lack of clarity and purpose going on. —Robert Masello The reader shouldn’t have to do all the work. Recently I picked up a magazine and...