Writer's Digest January 2013 (PDF)

Writer's Digest January 2013 (PDF)

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Write That Novel

The Two Pillars of Novel Structure

Even good stories can crumble if they don't have a strong framework. Use this time-tested structure to transport your readers from exhilarating start to satisfying finish.

by James Scott Bell

Weaving a Seamless Backstory

Behind every well-developed novel lies an important backstory,but including too much of it too soon can halt your story's momentum. Here's how to know what to reveal, and when.

by Karen Dionne

Push Your Characters to Their Limits

How far can a character go before she's “out of character"? Here's how to use the interplay of context, conflict and contradiction to your story's advantage.

by David Corbett

The Last 10%

How can you tell when your novel is really finished? Learn the final-draft factors that most often make or break a novel.

by Lisa Rector

Lessons From First-Time Novelists

Writing and publishing your debut novel can take three months or 30 years. In this roundtable discussion, five very different breakout authors share what they've learned about how to best position yourself for success.

by Zachary Petit

The WD Interview: Lee Child

Lee Child lost his job, gained a bestselling series, and crafted a classic character so strong, he never gets old,even 17 books and one movie later.

by Zachary Petit

WRITER'S WORKBOOK: Description & Setting

Master Description Through Sensory Detail

by Elizabeth Sims

Make Your Setting A Character

by Donald Maass


If Walls Could Talk

Visits to literary landmarks reveal powerful lessons every writer can carry home.

by Joy Lanzendorfer


  • Shooting for the Stars
  • Books Go to the Movies
  • Good to Know: Psychologists vs. Psychiatrists
  • Poetic Asides: Haibun
  • 5-Minute Memoir: Fear and Loathing and Fitzgerald


MEET THE AGENT: Alison Fargis, Stonesong

by Kara Gebhart Uhl

BREAKING IN: Debut Author Spotlight

by Chuck Sambuchino

QUESTIONS & QUANDARIES: Raise vs. Rise; How Advances Work; Using Existing Book Titles

by Brian A. Klems

YOUR STORY: First Things First, Contest #43

STANDOUT MARKETS: Subtropics; Harper's; Hampton Roads Publishing

by Tiffany Luckey

CONFERENCE SCENE:University ofWisconsin–Madison's Writers' Institute; Write Now! 2013;University ofNorth Dakota Writers Conference

by Linda Formichelli

REJECT A HIT: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Spoof-Rejected by Deserét Baker



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