Writer's Digest Yearbook: Novel Writing (PDF)

Writer's Digest Yearbook: Novel Writing (PDF)

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The Dos and Don'ts of Combing Genres
Historifiction-YA-Paranormal-Bromance? Yikes. Here's how to mix elements of different genres in your novel the right way.
by Joanna Volpe

Organize & Develop Your Ideas
Put your vision for your novel into a workable plan of action.
by Laura Whitcomb

From Outline to First Draft
Use these tips to turn your skeletal outline into a fleshed-out manuscript.
by Karen S. Wiesner

Your First Line
The first sentence of a book is crucial. These simple strategies will help you craft an unforgettable opener that will hook readers from the start.
by Jeff Gerke

20 Online Resources for Novelists
Searching for ways to jump-start your novel writing, or perhaps get feedback on your work? Visit these sites for story starters, critique groups, advice and more to help hone your craft.
by Brian A. Klems & Kristen Grace

Diamonds in the Rough
Get messy with your first draft to get to the good stuff.
by Elizabeth Sims

Building Suspense in Your First 50 Pages
Raise the stakes early in your novel to hook your readers from the get-go.
by Jeff Gerke

Write This, Not That
Forget formulaic junk-food mysteries. Infuse your story with all the ingredients of savory suspense.
by Elizabeth Sims

Threading 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
Move Forward with Second Scenes
Has your novel stalled after the first scene? Keep your story at full speed with these 3 helpful tips.
by Nancy Kress

Pulling the Rug Out
Don't play it safe when it comes to crafting your plot. Wow your readers with a twist by incorporating these 7 strategies.
by Steven James

It's All Relative

Depicting convincing relationships could just be the key to writing better characters. Try these 8 ways to do it.
by Elizabeth Sims

Raise Your Voice
Writing from the perspective of a teenage character? Here's how to keep it real.
by Diana López

3 Shades of Character Conflict
How can your romance characters reach a happy-ever-after ending while maintaining believable tension? Use these techniques to help them find the way.
by Jennifer Lawler

The Outer Limits
How far can you push a character before she's “out of character"? Here's how to use the interplay of context, conflict and contradiction to your novel's advantage.
by David Corbett

What's the Motivation?
Deepen your characters' motives by understanding the traits of classic archetypes.
by Victoria Lynn Schmidt

Timeless Novel Advice From the Greats

Digging around the Writer's Digest archives proves it: While fad advice in the writing world comes and goes, some wisdom is so novel that it's withstood the test of time. Culled from more than 90 years of WD articles, interviews and essays, here are 23 of our favorite nuggets of enduring advice and inspiration.
compiled by Kristen Grace

Patricia Cornwell: Crime Does Pay
What does it really take to be the bestselling crime writer in the world? The mastermind shares all the gory details.
y Jessica Strawser

Adriana Trigiani: Made by Hand
The secret to Adriana Trigiani's success begins with an old family recipe: quality ingredients, attention to detail, and good old-fashioned hard work.
by Jessica Strawser

The Soul of Andre Dubus III
He did not set out to follow in his famous father's footsteps, nor is he as dark and brooding as his own House of Sand and Fog. And those are just the first of many things that will surprise you about the bestseller.
by Zachary Petit

Advice From First-Time Novelists
Debut authors share what they've learned about breaking in to the industry.
by Chuck Sambuchino

The 7 Deadly Sins of Self-Editing

Avoid these tempting traps, and save yourself from the kind of painful revision that can lead your manuscript to eternal damnation.
by Janice Gable Bashman & Kathryn Craft

When Good Stories Go Bad
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.
by Steven James

Tonal Harmony
Often when we feel something is missing from a piece of writing, the key lies in examining the tone. Here's how to revise your work so that it resonates.
by Adair Lara

The Last 10%
How do you know when your novel is really finished? Learn the final-draft factors that can make or break a story, and take your novel across the finish line.
by Lisa Rector

Grammatically Speaking
Use these 50 tips to make your grammar stronger.
by James V. Smith Jr.

Questions & Quandries

An expert fields your questions about submitting your novel to agents and editors.
by Brian A. Klems

How to Craft Successful Stories Here's a rundown of what you need to know about creating standout queries that will hook agents and editors.
by Chuck Sambuchino

Almost Does Count
The next best thing to a book deal is an encouraging rejection,but where do you go from there? An aspiring novelist and the agent who almost represented her share both sides of the story.
by Scott Hoffman & Rachel Estrada Ryan

Standout Markets: Book Publishers
This roundup of small and independent presses,all of which accept submissions from unagented authors,is your perfect start to finding the right publisher for your novel.
by Tiffany Luckey

A Bolt From the Blue

Take a look at these 10 famous works sparked by unexpected bolts of inspiration.
by Celia Johnson

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