Writing Basics 2012 (PDF)

Writing Basics 2012 (PDF)

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Building Blocks

Starting the Writing Journey

The Journey of becoming a writer, or becoming a better writer, will, if you’re lucky, occupy you for your entire life. Learn how to take the first steps here.

by Barbara Baig


How Not to Write Your Novel

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.

by James Scott Bell


Questions & Quandaries

Getting answers to some of your most pressing writing questions.

by Brian A. Klems


Blogging Basics: Maximize Your Blog

There are many ways to connect with readers, but one of the most important is through blogging. Learn how to write, design and optimize a blog that will advance your writing goals.

by Robert Lee Brewer



52 Writing Prompts

Need some inspiration? Begin each week with one of these story starters, guaranteed to exercise your muse.

by Brian A. Klems


Where to Look for Story Ideas

Try these five surprisingly easy ways to find inspiration when you’re stumped for story ideas.

by Joseph Bates


10 Ways to Harness Fear & Fuel Your Writing

Don’t let fear stand in your way! Instead, use it to support your writing goals and enhance your writing experience. Here’s how.

by Sage Cohen


Learn the Craft

10 Ways to Launch Strong Scenes

Scene launches set your plot or story idea in motion. Learn what kinds of launches work best for each scene of your narrative.

by Jordan E. Rosenfeld


Craft Your Character’s Transformation

The best fiction is about a character who changes in some significant way. Learn to move beyond who your character is to who he can become.

by Jeff Gerke


Make Your Tone Pitch-Perfect

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


Critique Your Way to Better Writing

If you have mixed emotions about critique groups—as in, you want to get critiques, but wish you didn’t have to spend so much time giving them—you’re not alone. Here’s how to turn every critique you give into a win-win for your own work.

by Becky Levine


Tried & True: Timeless Novel Advice

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 92 years of WD articles, interviews and essays, here are 20 of our favorite nuggets of enduring advice and inspiration.

compiled by Kristen Grace


Becoming a Pro

Get Your Short Story Published

Fiction publishing creds are a great way to build your bio and propel your career. Here’s how—and where—to get them.

by Michael Kardos


How to Submit a Novel

Follow these formatting guidelines and submission tips from a top literary agent to increase your novel’s chances of success.

by Mollie Glick


Nonfiction Book Proposals in the Digital Age

To sell an agent or publisher on your nonfiction idea, it’s more important than ever to show where your book will fit in—and what will make it stand out—both in print and online. Here’s how to do it.

by Jane Friedman


What an Agent Can Really Do for You

There’s a lot more to the author-agent relationship than landing that first book deal. Three successful authors share what you can expect in real life.

compiled by Jessica Strawser


Make No Mistake

10 top conference organizers reveal how to avoid 10 common attendee snafus.

by Linda Formichelli



10 Things for Every Writer’s Bucket List

Check these off your list someday, and you’ll be able to look anybody in the eye and say with assurance, “I am a writer.”

by Elizabeth Sims