More than 80% of Americans want to write a book. That makes for a lot of books, and only the best few will find their way into print.
Beginning and Ending Your Story
In stories as in person, first impressions are the most important. Be sure to begin your story right. Read Elinor Glyn's advice to writers on beginning and ending stories.
I'm Just The Writer
Writers are often are greatly surprised or disappointed by how their work is changed when it is adapted for the big screen. Stephen Schochet recounts some tales from the silver screen.
Modus Operandi: A Writer's Guide to How Criminals Work
Now, you can write so convincingly
about skyjacking, cons, kidnappings, and murders that determined ol' mom will begin to wonder exactly how you were able to pay cash (in small unmarked bills) for that 1978 Chevette you drive.
The Myths of Writing: Have You Bought Into These?
There is an image most people carry of the artist (think Van
Gough's self-portrait, the one with his ear bandaged), working
in solitude in a barren garret in a dark corner of the city.
Writing books for Children
Learn how to get a children's book published, what goes on in a publishing company, how to help promote your books, and more.
Online guide to writers conferences throughout North America.
20 Tips for Writers
A condensed primer on how to get your book published.
A Primer of Poetry
Short, to the point list of what it takes to be a poetry genius.
Authors on Writing
10 Tips for aspiring writers culled from the websites of successful writers of romance fiction.
As busy editors are bombarded with hundreds or even thousands of submissions a year, its more important than ever that authors apply their own editing skills to their manuscripts before putting them in the mail.
Entering and Winning at the Writing Contest Game
Pamela White offers advice and resources to writers who would like to sort out fact from fiction in the world of writing contests.
How a Book is Born: One Author's Story
Not all books come out whole, all at once. In fact, most books ease out little by little. Read about Judy Cullins's experiences with book and booklet publishing.
Murder One: A Writer's Guide to Homicide
It's a fact of fiction: if you write any form of mystery fiction, chances are that in the end, a main character will wear a toe tag in the county morgue, at the hands of another main character. Murder One will help you write a convincing crime.
Poet Power by Tom Williams
Tom Williams covers all the bases for poets in this book, from getting poetry published in magazines, finding a book publisher or checking out subsidy publishing arrangements, to starting up your own poetry publishing company.
The Plot of a Short Story
I believe your first story will be sold
because of its plot. Nine first stories out of ten are. The language is
handled carelessly, the situations clumsily, and the development
illogically. Yet the stories go right into the heart of things, and
are different from those of the rank and file. So I say, if you want to
get into print, your story must have a strong plot.
Top Tips to Writing Success
When it comes to selling books, a well-crafted manuscript can make the different between a book contract and a rejection. While manuscripts are requested for many reasons, many simply do not stack up professionally. Rev up your book promotion power with these tips to publishing success.
Wise Advice for Aspiring Writers
Best-selling self-published author Linda Dominique Grosvenor offers her advice to novice writers.
Write Before You Look
Stuck on a writing project? Or is there something you'd
love to write, but you can't get up the nerve to start? Here's how to be the writer you already are
Writer's associations, guilds, workshops and other groups.
I Have My Manuscript, Now What? A Look at the World of Publishing
Youve spent endless nights hammering away at your book. Youve rewritten it, youve edited it, and you had it professionally proofed. Your baby is finally done and youre ready to send your precious manuscript off to a publisher, thinking that writing it was the hardest part. Wrong!
28 Reasons Why Publishers Will Buy Your Book
Editors will buy a book for one or more of the following
reasons. By knowing what these reasons are, you can then
design a marketing plan with these features in mind.
Approaching Book Publishers: The Importance of Creating a System
After your book has been written and edited, you may be ready to start approaching publishers. If you are like most first time book authors, there is a good chance that you will send your book manuscript to a fairly large number of publishing companies. After all, the more publishers you approach, the better your chance of getting a book published are.
Arouse Your Short Story And See It Published
Are you ready to abandon your short stories? Before you toss
your newest story in the trash, revisit it using many of the
same guidelines editors keep in mind when they review your
Breaking Down Publisher Guidelines - What a Writer Needs to Know
Popular opinion will vary on whether or not one should submit a "NaNoWriMo" novel to a publisher - critics tend to suggest that writers who participate in NaNoWriMo will write the book in November and start the agent/publisher search the very next month. Kathryn Lively suggests that if you believe in your book it is worth testing the water to find another person who believes in the story.
Experience + Research = Credible Writing
Credible writing starts with sound research. Then use your own experience to develop your material and you will write more authentically.
Getting Published: Advice for Young Writers
Becoming a writer and getting your hard work in print is a very exciting thought. In order to make this happen, young writers will need to work hard to hone their skills.
How Many Bananas Do You Have?
Michel Neray offers a look at the bananas way to structure books, articles and speeches.
How Plays are Written
Plays are not written -- they are rewritten. The longer the dramatist walks, eats, sleeps, and lives with his characters, the more readily they will spring from his pen and live in his work
How to Outline your Book and Chapters with Mindmapping
Mindmapping is better than linear outlining because authors can use flexible thinking and relativity in writing their book. One can add and subtract a thought or phrase from a mindmap easily. Use this color-coded way to outline your book and chapters.
It's Good To Be A New Writer: Breaking The Myth That Experience Is Everything
Shelley Wake dispels the myth that an
editor wont even look at the work of a new writer.
Learn How Kids Can Be Published Authors Too
Kenton Verhoeff is a 12-year old homeschooled boy who has written and published his own book. He offers advice to other young aspiring authors here.
Maneuvering the Fiction Book Publishing Process
Publishing a book of fiction is an art that includes knowing how to maneuver the publishing process to your advantage. Getting a publisher to approve your fiction takes know-how, determination and a little bit of luck.
"Read, and refine your appetite; learn to live upon instruction; feast your mind, and mortify your flesh; read, and bake your nourishment in at, your eyes; shut your mouth, and chew the cud of understanding."
Seven Tips for Producing and Promoting a Best-Seller
Radical changes are sweeping the publishing industry that bring huge advantages to writers. But authors still must turn out an excellent product -- and promote it vigorously.
Steps that Lead to Success
The standard of every writer should be aimed at perfection. While this seems too high, it can be reached by three steps: rejections, criticism, persistent hard work.
Submitting Manuscripts and Stories
A collection of advice for writers submitting their books, articles and stories to publishers.
The 7 Habits Of Highly Successful Authors
The more I read how the successful authors do it, the more I
realize that, like successful people in all walks of life, they
all do things in common that contribute enormously to their
success. So how can we learn from successful authors to ensure
our own success in 2008 and beyond?
The Art of Fiction
A short treatise by Henry James on the the mystery of story-telling. Originally published in Longman's Magazine September 1884 issue.
The Dangerous Side of Children’s Books
As an author, if you’re inspired to delve into the slightly
dangerous, dark or subversive corners of childhood with your
books, feel free to do so. Don’t limit yourself to all that’s
bright, safe and up to code.
The Depiction of Life
There is only one way to learn how to write, and that is by writing. There is only one subject to study, and that is life. There is only one standpoint to view it from - your own.
The Elements of Appeal
There is one quality we always find in really great fiction. The stories may be poorly constructed, to some extent poorly written; plot in the usual sense of the term may be wholly absent; the story may run from five hundred words to five thousand ; it may break any of a hundred rules; but if it has this one quality, editors seem willing to take it, the public seems willing to read it, and immortality always hovers around it. The stories that have endured, that have come down through generations, the stories that grip and hold, that tighten the heart strings- in these there is one quality that stands out above all, and that quality is - appeal.
The Novel: Its Principles, Plots and Plans
The author who aspires to novel writing must make certain of three facts: First, he must understand the fundamental principles governing long fiction; second, he must conceive a satisfactory plot; third, he must plan or outline his work. Not one beginner in a hundred takes into consideration these points; as a direct result not one first novel in a hundred is salableor readable! This article does not attempt to cover the field, but merely to point out the beginnings of the paths to systematic labor.
The paragraph belongs essentially to the printed page. It has no
place in spoken language.
The Qualities of Style
Since style is simply the manner in which a writer expresses himself, there may be as many varieties of style as there are writers. Good style, however, no matter how individual, must possess certain fundamental qualities.
The Requirements of Verse
What are the needs of our versifiers? What are the requirements which
shall enable—yes, compel—them to produce their best
The sum total of legitimate
words is ours in common with every other writer, but the sentence
combinations are our very own, and in the building of our sentences we
display our skill or the lack of it.
The Technique of Verse
Both poetry and prose must have rhythm, that is, a more or less even
and regular flow of syllables long and short, accented and unaccented.
Theme and Motive in Fiction
What IS a theme, theme and how one may be formed are two vital points in the construction of the short story.
Vocabulary & Choice of Words
Words are at the basis of all spoken and written expression. As
information is conveyed to us chiefly through the spoken and written
word, our capacity to acquire knowledge is limited by the size of our
Writer and Plot: The fiction writer's chicken and egg problem
Do circumstances govern men, or do men control their circumstances? This age-old question is the crux of a controversy in fiction writing: does your plot come from your characters, or are your characters shaped by the events of the plot?
Writing Character Sketches
The most important thing for a writer to remember in writing a character sketch of any prominent person is the importance of a viewpoint that is distinctly the author's own.
Writing Poetry, Part 1
What is verse, and how does it differ from prose? This short article introduces the subject of poetry to writers.
Writing Poetry, Part 2
Rhythm in poetry. Examples of iambic, trochaic, dactylic and anapestic rhythms are given.
Writing Poetry, Part 3
A very important element of verse is its sound. This article examines the uses of word sounds in poetry.
Writing Poetry, Part 4
So far we have looked only at separate lines, noting their rhythm, length, sounds and rhymes. The arrangement of lines together is our next subject.
Writing The Blockbuster Book Proposal: How To Sell Your Non-Fiction Book
A well written book proposal may be THE difference maker
in determining whether or not the publisher takes a financial
risk with your book.
Writing The Knockout Query Letter: How To Catch A Book Editor's Attention
Britt Gillette offers advice on attracting the attention of someone who
can get your book into print.
Writing the Short Story 1: Character Delineation
We begin this brief course on short story writing with an article to help the writer fill the demand for appealing, flesh-and-blood characters.
Writing the Short Story 2: The Setting
The setting of a story may be made to embrace the scene, the background, the local color and the environment. It is one of the distinguishing qualities of a successful short-story, and an analysis of ancient and modern fiction will prove readily its constantly increasing value.
Writing the Short Story 3: The Plot
The plot is the basis or framework of short fiction. This article defines the plot, its requirements, sources, classifications and demands.
Writing the Short Story 4: The Mechanics of Plot Building
The average beginner in story writing does not allow his develop or mature before he puts it on paper....The Framework of the tale is neglected, and, as might be expected, the entire story collapses.
Writing the Short Story 5: The Point of View
Following a study of characters, setting, plot and plan, comes
naturally an analysis of view-point. In this article an attempt is made
to define the three general points of view—that of nobody,
that of the author and that of the character, and to show the
advantages, the pitfalls, and the possibilities of each.
Writing the Short Story 6: Dialogue
The subject of dialogue in fiction is one that must
necessarily be dismissed with a few general rules. Yet this
does not mean that it is of trivial importance; on the contrary, it is
vital. The story in which the speeches are stilted, superfluous, or
lacking in character-suggestion, is a very poor story indeed.
Writing the Short Story 7: Developing Emotions
Fiction that does not touch upon love, anger, tragedy or humor is of no more than passing value. Real literature is built upon an appeal to the emotions.
Writing your Script with Plotbot
Plotbot is a free Web2.0 browser-based screenwriting application. Follow this walkthrough of Plotbot features and tools to see if it might be the right tool for you.
Your Short Story's Plot
I believe your first story will be sold because of its plot. Nine first stories out of ten are. The language is handled carelessly, the situations clumsily, and the development illogically. Yet the stories go right into the heart of things, and are different from those of the rank and file.
Beginners Guide to Writing for Television
Although teachers often lump feature and television writing into one category, theyre actually separate, rarely overlapping worlds. This article focuses on the industry and craft of television. Well explore the industrys structure, how shows work and how writers break in.
Building Your Reputation on Amazon Even Before You're Published
If you're an aspiring author, a beefed up profile at Amazon.com with lots of friends and related content can be a strong addition to your book proposal's marketing plan.
Fiction: Draft Better Dialogue
The first step to learning to write more effective, more authentic dialogue is to slow down and listen to who our characters are in the story they want to tell. There are seven common mistakes we all make from time to time when writing dialogue, and once you're aware of your tendency to make these mistakes, you can switch direction.
How to Write a Play
A collection of letters from famous playwrights of the early 20th century opining on the writing of scripts for theater.
Seven Steps To A Successful Spec Script
Use this exercise to learn what makes your favorite TV series work, then craft a spec script that showcases your writing talent.
The Practicing Writer
Supporting the craft and business of excellent writing with a free monthly newsletter, complimentary contest guide, and lots of other resources.
The Short Story
A 30 part short story writing course from EverybodyScribbles.com
What Every Beginning Writer Should Know
A nuts-and-bolts guide to submitting fiction for publication from science fiction author Steven Piziks.
WOW! Spring 2009 Flash Fiction Contest
Quarterly contest with various sponsors. Guest judge is literary agent Wendy Sherman of Wendy Sherman Associates. Open prompt. 750-word limit for entries. Entry fee: $10, or $20 with critique. 15 winners total. Awards: $200 for 1st place, $150 for 2nd place, $100 for 3rd place, plus gift certificates and WOW! goodie bags. Deadline: May 31, 2009.
WOW! Women On Writing
Flash Fiction Contest w/guest judge. Open prompt, 750 words max. Entry fee: $10, $20 with critique. 25 Winners total. Cash awards: 1st place $250, 2nd place $150, 3rd place $100; gift certificates; ebook; markets subscription. Deadline: November 30, 2010.
Writerisms and other Sins: A Writer's Shortcut to Stronger Writing
Writerisms: overused and misused language. In more direct words: find 'em, root 'em out, and look at your prose without the underbrush. By C.J. Cherryh
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News, reviews, and links to the best resources for writers online.