The Complete Writer
The Ultimate Guide to Writing, Publishing, and Leading the Writer’s Life

This book is a work in progress. A new chapter appears at our “News & Chat” blog every three weeks, usually by Friday. You can get a complete copy, right now, in PDF format, or, if you like, as a paperback. For details, visit our Books page or send a request through our Contact form.

Here’s a table of contents, with links to posted chapters:

I. Write Tight

1. The Essence of Good Writing
2. Show, Don’t Tell: The Abstraction Ladder (scroll down!)
3. Verbs: Choose Your Weapon Carefully
4. Overcapitalization
5. Dogged Clichés

II. Make it Perfect

6. The Importance of Revising and Editing
7. Six Steps to Revising and Polishing
8. Two Kinds of Revising
9. Revising with Reader Feedback
10. Working with a Professional Editor
11. Get to Know a Style Manual

III. Writing Nonfiction

12. Journalistic Nonfiction: The Feature
13. The Structure of Features
14. Telling the Story
15. Journalistic Research
16. The Joy of Facts
17. Research Blues
18. The Nonfiction Book

IV. Blogging

19. Ars Bloggiendi: The Art of Blogging
20. Blogging for Dollars
21. The Weirdness That Is AdSense
22. The Sanity Discount: Integrity, Small Businesses, and Bloggers

V. Writing Fiction

23. Learning to Write Fiction
24. A Few Notes on Plot
25. Where Do Your Characters Come From?
26. Dialogue
27. Point of View
28. Theme and Symbol
29. Writing Sex Scenes

 VI. Ethics and Legality

30. Rights and Contracts
31. Law, Conscience, and the Writer

VII. Publishers and Self-Publishers

32. Self-Publishing: Really?
33. When Self-Publishing Makes Sense
34. WHY Publish with a Mainstream Press?
35. How to Prepare Your Manuscript for Publishing I: The Parts of a Book
36. How to Prepare Your Manuscript for Self-Publishing II: Electronic Books
37. How to Prepare Your Manuscript for Self-Publishing III: Print
38. Profit and Loss in the Micropublishing Biz
39. Selling It
40. Pitch Your Book to 10,000 of Your Closest Friends
41. Scams for Every Writer
42. Strategies for Success 

VIII. The Writing Life

43. The Business of Freelancing
44. Making Time for Writing
45. Turning Failure into Success

IX. Creative Strategies

46. Managing the Creative Workload (scheduled: 8/12)
47. Jump-Starting the Creative Engine (9/2)
48. Writer’s Block: Three Strategies to Beat It (9/23)