Chuck Palahniuk

Chuck Palahniuk's 2014-2015 Essays

Chuck surprised us all with a new batch of essays for 2014 & 2015! There is no exact timeline on how these will roll out, so just keep an eye on the site.
Craig Clevenger Photo

Notes on the Craft

Concrete, practical methods for improving your writing.
Chuck Palahniuk

36 Writing Essays by Chuck Palahniuk

36 exclusive craft essays on writing you won't find anywhere else online. The knowledge here is equivalent to what you'd get in an MFA program.
JS Breukelaar

Five Ray Bradbury Stories That Tell Us Everything We Need to Know About Writing.

In: Structure
No writer stalked the inherent tensions in fiction with more guts and style than Ray Bradbury. Here are five lessons in conflict from the master of wonder.
Taylor Houston

5 Easy Ways to Make Your Writing Gender-Neutral

In: Grammar
It's actually not that hard to write more inclusively, but it's more important now than ever to TRY.
Max Booth III

Everybody Hates You: Using Empathy to Write Realistic Characters

In: Character
If you want any chance of writing believable characters and stories worth reading, then being able to empathize with all of your characters must be your top priority.
Richard Thomas

Storyville: How to Write Flash Fiction

Tips and tricks for writing powerful flash fiction.
Melissa F. Olson

Writing the Unknown Setting: 8 Tips on Conducting a Research Trip for your WIP

What happens if you need to set a story in a place you've never seen? Melissa F. Olson, author of the Boundary Magic series, walks you through how to plan a location research trip.
Richard Thomas

Storyville: Playing With Point of View

Perspective and point of view in fiction is often slippery and elusive.
Raine Winters

Five Situations Horror Characters Get Themselves Into (and What Would Happen in Real Life)

Among the lessons you will learn: Karma's a bitch, don't piss off serial killers, and never under any circumstances enter a basement.
Riki Cleveland

Polishing the All-Important First Fives

In: Rewriting
Focusing on the first five pages, sentences, or even words of your manuscript can help you get noticed amid the piles of slush.
Cath Murphy

4 Things the Wild Success of 'Mr. Robot' Can Teach Us About Writing

In: Character
'Mr. Robot' has transformed its parent network USA from sad loser to crowing superstar. How? With superb writing. Here's what we can learn from its success.
Robbie Blair

Fiction Shmiction: The Complex Question of Writing as Activism

In: Theme
If we're all creating a broader social narrative and constructing damaging roles, does that mean we should portray the world as it should be rather than as it is? Tough question. Let's unpackage it.
Leah Dearborn

12 Productive Ways to be Unproductive

In: Research
Procrastination doesn’t have to be a complete waste of time. Instead, it can be only sort of a waste of time.
Taylor Houston

5 Old School Writing Rules That Need To Retire

In: Grammar
The article in which I call out my Alma Mater for being stodgy ol’ hypocrites.
Susan DeFreitas

What Every Successful Novel Opening Must Do: Myth vs. Reality

In: Structure
It's no secret that agents, editors, and their assistants are looking for any reason to reject a manuscript in the first few pages. But what does it really take to get readers hooked?
Christine J. Schmidt

6 Books That Would Make Great Reality TV Shows

In: Character
These books could easily jump off the page and onto your screens.
Robbie Blair

The Problem with Rape's Portrayal in Fiction

In: Character
Rape is a sensitive topic that deserve a complex portrayal, but major trends in media and fiction fail to reach that complexity—and often cause a lot of damage.
George Cotronis

10 Author Tips for Con Appearances

Tips and advice for a pleasant convention experience.
Leah Dearborn

Turning a Phrase: How to Write Historical Dialogue

In: Dialogue
When done correctly, historical dialogue can be used as a tool to add polish and an air of authenticity. Done incorrectly, it can completely eject a reader from the story.
Robbie Blair

6 Ways to Save a Mary Sue

In: Character
If you've realized that you accidentally wrote a Mary Sue, this article will help you change that overpowered lead into a relatable character.
Christopher Shultz

In Defense of (and Against) 'Write What You Know'

In: Research
It's the most trite piece of advice any writer can receive...or is it?
Leah Dearborn

The Butler Did It: Why We Always Blame the Servants

In: Cliche
The guilty butler trope appears to damn servants by their employment status alone. After all, they know everything about the victim’s daily routine, and they’re always suspiciously nearby.
Raine Winters

The Age of the Unoriginal Idea

In: Cliche, Plot
In an era where every story is recycled, how do we as writers strive for originality?
Robbie Blair

5 Strategies for Enriching Your Character Arcs

In: Character
Are your character arcs falling flat? This article teaches you five strategies for improving them.