Digital Issue: Writing Basics
Start Writing NowBUILDING BLOCKS
8 Ways to Write the Perfect Chapter One
Those first few pages have an important job: to whet your readers' appetites for more. Here's how to make sure your opening chapter delivers.
by Elizabeth Sims
The Writer's Rulebook Exposed
Is it always better to show than tell? Do you really have to write every day? Experts prove there's merit in both playing by the book and staging a writing rebellion.
compiled by Jessica Strawser & Zachary Petit
How to Choose the Best Outline Method for You
An outline is like a recipe—it forces you to focus on the basic ingredients but allows you to add your own touches as you move along. Try these outline techniques to serve up your best stories yet.
by Sarah Domet
Your Biggest Writing Questions Answered
Writer's Digest columnist Brian A. Klems answers some of your most pressing grammatical, ethical, business and other writing-related questions. Check out his advice—your writing career will thank you.
by Brian A. Klems
7 Reasons Why Inspiration Matters
Here are plenty of ways to use inspiration to your creative advantage.
by Fred White
Don't Throw It Out: How to Capture, Save & Repurpose Ideas
Do brilliant story ideas pop in your mind all the time—except when you actually need them? Try these strategies to ensure that when you're ready to write, your ideas are waiting for you.
by Sage Cohen
52 Writing Prompts
Don't put off your writing because you're stumped for an idea. Ignite your creative engine every week with one of these fun story-starters.
By Brian A. Klems
LEARN THE CRAFT
10-Minute Fixes to 10 Common Plot Problems
Structural problems can sink a novel. Let's look at 10 common plot problems and how to quickly fix them.
by Elizabeth Sims
How to Craft Compelling Characters
To make your characters seem real, you need to tap into what drives them. Use this method to bring the emotion of your story to life.
by David Corbett
Using a Critique to Revise Your Work
Trusted readers have given you feedback—but now it's up to you to figure out what to do with it. Let these simple steps be your guide.
by Becky Levine
BECOMING A PRO
Why Start a Website or Blog If You Have Nothing to Promote?
While it's true that most of your energy should be focused on finishing your manuscript, it's never too early to develop an online presence. Here's why.
By Jane Friedman
5 Example Query Letters That Worked—And Why
These five letters did their jobs well—landing their authors literary representation, and getting those manuscripts one step closer to book form. Read on to learn how.
compiled by Jessica Strawser
10 Secrets for Making the Most of Any Writing Event
Organizers from 10 popular writing conferences share secrets learned behind the scenes.
by Linda Formichelli
Tax Tips That Can Save Writers Money
For those of us who prefer words to numbers, taxes can require a translator. Lucky for us all, we found one. Here, an expert spells out who can claim writing expenses, what deductions qualify, and answers to other important questions.
By Bonnie Lee
How to Protect Yourself When Writing a Memoir
Chances are, you're not the only character in your book. Here's what every memoir writer needs to know about invasion of privacy, defamation and the law.
by Amy Cook
7 Things All Writers Should Know
One bestselling author shares the seven most important pieces of advice he's learned on his path to success.
by James Dashner