Complete 1st Draft

One of the hardest things about being a writer is actually finishing that first draft. We often linger on the details, editing as we go, which in many cases causes us to run out of steam and quit. In this section, you’ll get the help you need for completing that first draft once and for all.

Tighten the Tension in Your Novel

“Your novel is lacking tension.” “I understand the reason for this scene, but my mind kept wandering while I was reading.” “This chapter is missing a hook … I’m just not interested.” You might have received this or similar feedback from your writing buddy, critique group, or even an agent or editor … but...

Make More Time for Your Writing

It’s a common lament: I could finish my novel, if only I had more hours in the day! In fact, the universal chorus of complaint from writers of all stripes seems to be “not enough time.” In this excerpt from The Productive Writer by Sage Cohen, you’ll learn how your relationship with time is moving...

Don’t Let Worry Drag You Down

Writers are often worriers. We’re plagued with indecision about the choices we make for our stories. We doubt the quality of our writing. We wonder if we’ll ever break through into the realm of publication, recognition, and even celebration. We sometimes fret that we’re wasting our efforts entirely in a profession with few to...

5 New Year’s Resolutions for Writers

A new year, a new writerly you. New Year’s Day is a time for reflecting on the past year while thinking about the goals, wishes, and hopes for the new year ahead. What does this mean for your writing goals? Maybe 2013 is the year you finish your novel. Maybe it’s the year you...

Writing for the Young Adult Audience

There’s no question about it: The young adult (YA) audience is a hot market, one that is steadily growing in popularity and garnering attention from young readers as well as literary critics. This means that this market is healthier than ever–and so is the competition for getting published. So what are the keys to...

Write Fiction that Grabs Readers from Page One

In your novel, the inciting incident is the first sign of trouble for your protagonist: it’s the catalyst, the chemical reaction, that sets the plot into motion. But the inciting incident isn’t only important for your main character. Understanding how to harness it is also crucial to hooking your reader from the very first...

Writing 21st Century Fiction: A Sneak Peek

Donald Maass, bestselling author of Writing the Breakout Novel and The Fire in Fiction, now takes an in-depth, comprehensive look at the craft and method of writing 21st century fiction. You might be asking, “What exactly is 21st century fiction?” Read this exclusive sneak peek from Writing 21st Century Fiction to find out: Change...

The Nighttime Novelist | writing plot

4 Editing & Proofreading Techniques For Your Novel

Joseph Bates, author of The Nighttime Novelist, shares tips for editing and proofreading a novel or book. Creating A System For Editing & Proofreading Revision is really about seeing your book as a whole–recognizing patterns you didn’t notice before, and reconciling any disparate parts into a unified whole. The best way to accomplish this...

The Dos and Don’ts of Novel Endings

In learning how to end your novel with a punch, it's important to know what you can and can't do to write success novel endings that attract agents, publishers and, most important, readers. Here are the dos and don'ts of writing a strong closer.

10 Tips to Avoid Clichés in Writing

It’s not enough to love our story ideas. We need to weigh their suitability as subjects for fiction, and then figure out how to go about making use of them. This means steering clear of cliché and its sappy cousin—melodrama. Here are 10 tips to help you do just that.

10 Ways to Harness Fear and Fuel Your Writing

If we let the fear of rejection prevent us from pitching or querying or submitting, we are ensuring that we’ll never realize our aspirations. But when we consciously work with fear, we can actually harness this energy source in ways that support our writing goals and enhance our writing experience. Here are 10 ways...

The Fact-Check Checklist

You interviewed your sources for an article, wrote it up and turned it in. Done? Not yet. Often you need to provide backup info for the publication’s fact checkers, and requirements for doing so vary. With that in mind, here’s a checklist to keep even the toughest fact checkers happy—and to pave the way...

20 Master Plots Exclusive

Download a free PDF of the checklists for each of the 20 master plots. About the Book Learn more timeless plots for your fiction in 20 Master Plots by Ronald B. Tobias.

20 Master Plots Excerpt

Master Plot #6: Revenge from 20 Master Plots by Ronald B. Tobias If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us, do we not die? And if you wrong us, shall we not revenge? —Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice, III, i Francis Bacon...

20 Master Plots

  20 Master Plots by Ronald B. Tobias Writer’s Digest Books, 2011 ISBN-13: 978-1-59963-537-8 ISBN-10: 1-59963-537-2 $16.99 paperback, 288 pages Buy the Book at WritersDigestShop.com! Read an Excerpt! Find out more about how to make revenge the central part of your plot. Online Exclusive Download a free PDF of the checklists for each of...