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Should Your Main Character Be Likable?

I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve gotten the note: “Make your character less difficult. She’s not likable enough.” I didn’t do it on purpose; it’s just that my female characters tend to be complex, like the women I know. It happened when the female leads were opinionated. They had standards and held fast […]

The Editor’s Clinic: Drawing your readers in with an intimate POV

This morning’s Editor’s Clinic, the opening pages of a novel, follows the protagonist, Sylvie, as she sinks into a panic attack triggered by seeing her third-grade daughter picked up by her soccer coach.  It’s a sharp opening, tense in its own right and implying a dramatic backstory — why should seeing Coach’s innocent play trigger […]

Writing Tips: Show, Don’t Tell

Today I'm talking about “show, don't tell,” one of the most common adages thrown around in the writing community, and one of the most confusing. I'm going to try and cut through the noise and keep this simple. Watch the video below or here on YouTube. There are two main mistakes that new writers make. […]

Brand Basics: 6 Debut Authors Discuss Their Author Platforms and Connecting with Readers

6 Breaking In authors discuss the makings of their author platforms—or lack thereof—and how they best connect with readers.   The post Brand Basics: 6 Debut Authors Discuss Their Author Platforms and Connecting with Readers appeared first on

Puzzles & Games for Writers: Crossword Conundrum (Plus Puzzle Solutions from WD’s May/June 2018 Issue)

We're always delighted to include fun puzzles and games for writers in the back of each issue of Writer's Digest. The May/June 2018 issue includes a crossword puzzle, and now we've brought it to our readers on the web. Play the puzzle...Show More Summary

Tune In: 23 Best Podcasts for Writers

This year, to accompany our annual list of 101 Best Websites for Writers, we decided to put together a list of what we think are the best podcasts for writers. Here are our favorites—let us know if you have any additional suggestions! The post Tune In: 23 Best Podcasts for Writers appeared first on

Remembering Paul Swearingen, Unsung Hero of the Writer’s Digest Forums

If you haven't visited the Writer's Digest forums in the last year or read any of his books, you may not know much about author and educator Paul Swearingen. But for many members of the Writer's Digest community, Paul acted as a shepherd...Show More Summary

Playing on Trust

22 hours agoArts / Writing : Writer Unboxed

The Lutheran church where I’m organist uses an electronic instrument in a choir loft above the sanctuary.  The organ’s three huge speaker banks are hung off the loft rail so they project out over the congregation.  Which is fine, except that when the congregation is going all out (Lutherans tend to be full-throated singers), I […]

Happy International Day of Happiness! Why Don’t We Want to Read it?

22 hours agoArts / Writing : LitReactor

Why don’t we like to read happy books? Why aren’t there more? Not just books with happy parts or endings, but books about people who are genuinely happy? Column by Annie Neugebauer March 20 is the International Day of Happiness! My first...Show More Summary

Spoken Stories

For World Storytelling Day, share the best story you've ever heard or told by word of mouth, or have a fictional character recount their favorite story. The post Spoken Stories appeared first on

The Second-Draft Slump: How to Get Through Edits

yesterdayArts / Writing : LitReactor

The first draft always feels like the hardest part to finish...until you start the second draft. Get through the second-draft slump with these tips. Column by Justin Hunter Some people say starting is the hardest part. I say all of it is the hardest part. Show More Summary

Flog a BookBubber 132: Patty Jansen

Writers, send your prologue/first chapter to FtQ for a “flogging” critique. Email as an attachment. Many of the folks who utilize BookBub are self-published, and because we hear over and over the need for self-published authors to have their work...

Caution: a bestseller may not be a good role model for your writing

I recently did a critique for a good writer and in our correspondence she mentioned that she had been studying the first few sentences from a number of Stephen King novels to see how he did it, and then she...

ROAR: Writer’s Digest Turns Up the Volume on Underrepresented Voices in the Writing World

Feel the thunderous reverberations of authors and industry pros working to broaden our perspectives—as writers and readers alike. Plus, learn how underrepresented voices are rising in the writing world. The post ROAR: Writer’s Digest Turns Up the Volume on Underrepresented Voices in the Writing World appeared first on

#DVPit Showcases Pitches from Historically Underrepresented Voices in Publishing

With Twitter-based pitch events such as #PitchWars and #PitMad so immensely popular, it’s only fitting that #DVpit has now joined their ranks. Created in 2016 by agent Beth Phelan, the hashtag aims to “showcase pitches from marginalized...Show More Summary

Home Base: Follow These 4 Basic Steps to Begin Building Your Author Blog

Learn the ABCs of how to develop content for your new author blog in the May/June 2018 Writer’s Digest, and follow these basic steps to give your website a firm foundation—which is, actually, a lot like building a house. The post Home Base: Follow These 4 Basic Steps to Begin Building Your Author Blog appeared first on

5 Promotion Tips for Small Press and Self Published Authors

yesterdayArts / Writing : LitReactor

Got a book coming out and no money for a publicist? Here are some things I learned hawking my own wares. Column by Joshua Chaplinsky Unflattering picture of author provided by author In 2015 I wrote a parody novel called Kanye West—Reanimator. Show More Summary

The 10 Best Classic YA Books

yesterdayArts / Writing : LitReactor

In honor of the long-awaited release of Ava DuVernay's "A Wrinkle in Time", we take a look at some other classic YA books that helped shape a genre. Column by Meredith Borders Today Ava DuVernay’s A Wrinkle In Time hits theaters, the big-budget feature film adaptation that fans have been waiting for since, oh, about 1962 or so. Show More Summary

Fearless Fiction: Mindy McGinnis on Rape Culture, Universal Emotions and Strong Female Protagonists

A prolific Edgar Award–winner, Mindy McGinnis’ stories cross subgenres of young adult fiction, from fantasy to dystopian to contemporary. Here, WD talks with her about the unique aspects of her work, including the way she addresses rape...Show More Summary

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