Fiction Gives Me Hope – Writer’s Digest

At 15, I wrote my first ever article for a high school newspaper, discussing an ongoing controversy at our campus in western India: concerns that the school’s Registrar was making mistakes in reporting student grades on their college applications. The article asked questions of the Academic Dean’s office, questioning—in admittedly, very amateur ways—the efficiency of … Read more

How To Get Past the Fact That You’ve Reread Your Book Too Many Times

Repetition is soul-destroying. I don’t know at what point exactly rereading Tell Us No Secrets, the psychological thriller I was writing, turned into a new kind of torture. Maybe it was the 10th time when I found myself thinking, Who cares about these characters? This plot is tedious. How could anyone be remotely interested in … Read more

Writing the Raw Emotions of the Most Vulnerable Time in My Life

I used to joke with my literary agent that I am someone who if you throw pain at me, I will turn it into art. Well, apparently the universe was listening and thought it would be a good idea to test me. And on October 5, 2020, my mother called me with the strangest news—she … Read more

Making Your Fiction a Place You Want To Be

Last fall, I decided with great determination that it was finally time to finish that literary novel of mine. At that point, I had published short stories in literary journals and been told that a collection could be published … with, of course, a novel to go with it. It was disappointing to put the … Read more

How and Why To Turn Your Play Into a Novel

I am at a reading of my new two-person play Divine Madness about the tumultuous relationship of the critic Elizabeth Hardwick and the poet Robert Lowell when the actress playing Hardwick poses a question. “Why does she forgive him? He betrayed her in life and in literature.” (A Master Class in Failure (To Find Writing … Read more

A Master Class in Failure (To Find Writing Success)

The day after I dropped my youngest child off at college, I got another rejection. This was not my average lightning round, the kind I tried when I was just getting started on my second career as a writer, whereby I sent queries or finished stories to dozens of editors. This was from my actual … Read more

How I Went From No Book to Book Deal in Under a Year

In July of 2020, after a particularly stressful work call, I decided to write a book. This had long been a dream of mine—one I believed I’d never fulfill. For 16 years, I’d been an editor at media outlets such as Refinery29 and Canada’s Globe and Mail newspaper, but in the midst of our first … Read more

Writing Mistakes Writers Make: Drafting Solely on a Computer

Everyone makes mistakes—even writers—but that’s OK because each mistake is a great learning opportunity. The Writer’s Digest team has witnessed many mistakes over the years, so we started this series to help identify them early in the process. Note: The mistakes in this series aren’t focused on grammar rules, though we offer help in that … Read more

Writing Mistakes Writers Make: Letting Others Shame Your Genre

Everyone makes mistakes—even writers—but that’s OK because each mistake is a great learning opportunity. The Writer’s Digest team has witnessed many mistakes over the years, so we started this series to help identify them early in the process. Note: The mistakes in this series aren’t focused on grammar rules, though we offer help in that … Read more