By: Jessica Strawser
If the “Pro Tips & Techniques” theme of the September 2016 Writer’s Digest sounds a little vague, I’ll fess up: That’s by design. Our most reliable contributors have a way of occasionally pitching outstanding articles that just don’t happen to fit with any of our issue themes. And as I was reviewing a batch of such pieces that had been treading water in the depths of my inbox, I realized that they all had one simple thing in common: Darn good advice from people I trust to give it.
But this issue isn’t a kitchen sink—far from it. Because it’s filled with the kind of advice that can be broken down into pocket-sized gems worth tucking into that corner of your brain you reach right into whenever you need a nudge in the right direction.
Here’s a sneak peek at four of my favorite writing tips from the September 2016 Writer’s Digest magazine:
1. A quick and effective CRAFT technique.
The quality of your writing can leap when you start to break paragraphs as you do chapters, aiming to separate them at a heart-clutching—or at least significant—moment: a thought, an action or even a realization. (from Elizabeth Sims’ smart article “It’s the Little Things”)
2. A pro tip every CRITIQUE group can use.
Instead of thinking of your critique group as a place where writers come to get advice, think of it as a place where you all come to get feedback. It’s a subtle but crucial difference to pledge that members aren’t there to share their opinion of the writer’s work, but their reaction to it. (from Steven James’ refreshingly candid piece “Tweaking Critiquing”
3. A CREATIVITY tip for your inner critic.
If we stop labeling our writing attempts as “successes” and “failures,” and remain open to the possibility of revisiting “failed” themes and reinventing stalled works, the possibilities for artistic reincarnation are endless. (from Leigh Anne Jasheway’s bright “Creativity in Color”)
4. A perspective on making any CONCEPT your own.
“Every book ever written is just a torch being carried into an incredibly deep, incredibly dark cavern of the imagination, illuminating only a small portion of the potential ideas it contains.” Which is why we can—and should—aim to take ideas from one another’s work without truly “stealing.” (from Jeff Somers’ wheel-turning “Steal Little, Steal Big”)
More writing tips and techniques to fill your pockets.
Hooked yet? There’s so much more where these came from. Preview the full table of contents of the September 2016 Writer’s Digest, download the issue instantly, or find it at your favorite newsstand or library. We hope you’ll dive in and fill the pockets of your muse with whatever inspires you. Because when it comes to writing, the best thing about “pro tips” isn’t that they’re from the pros—it’s that they have the power to turn you into one, too, one clever technique at a time.
Yours in writing, Jessica Strawser Editorial Director, Writer’s Digest magazine Subscribe today. Your writing will thank you.Follow me on Twitter. Connect with me on Facebook.Learn more about my debut novel, ALMOST MISSED YOU, forthcoming from St. Martin’s Press in March 2017. (Now available to add to your Goodreads shelf or preorder from Amazon or Barnes & Noble!)