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.
Richard Thomas

Storyville: Love in Fiction

How to write about love in your fiction.

Making A Murderer: How Good Storytelling Made It So Damn Compelling

'Making A Murderer' was a fascinating story, but good storytelling made it truly excellent.
JS Breukelaar

Five Literary Sex Scenes You Wish You'd Written

In: Structure
Unearned sex scenes are hard to swallow. Here are five writers that get to the guts of what's at stake when we get naked.
Taylor Houston

The Dreaded R-Word: The Goods and Evils of Rhetoric

In: Grammar
Seems like "rhetoric" is always in the news lately. And it's never good. But why?
George Cotronis

Self-Editing For Dummies

In: Rewriting
You want to edit your own writing. Here's how to get started.
Christine J. Schmidt

Advice From A Literary Character: Bridget Jones

In: Character
One of your favorite literary characters takes on life's big questions.
Leah Rhyne

Jessica Jones vs. Sansa Stark: Rape Culture in Entertainment, and Why We Should Talk About It

Trigger warning: We are going to talk about rape, and our reactions to the loss of innocence vs. the thirst for revenge.
Cath Murphy

How Backstory Almost Totally Fucked Up the Star Wars Franchise: A Lesson for Writers

In: Character
The Star Wars prequels almost killed the Star Wars franchise and it wasn't just because of Hayden Christensen's acting. The toxic element was an overdose of backstory.
Brandon Tietz

NaNoWriMo Hangover: 8 Steps to Recovery

In: Rewriting
You've just completed NaNoWriMo and have a messy first draft to show for it. Now what?
Christopher Shultz

American Horror Backstory: The Use of Flashbacks in "AHS: Hotel"

In: Character
This FX TV series may not always concern itself with plot, but it always loves its characters. But how much is too much?
Suzy Vitello, LitReactor Instructor

Book Launches, Portland Style

Suzy Vitello, aka "the den mom," knows how to throw a great book party. After all, she was taught by the master of the literary festivus, Chuck Palahniuk. Need some ideas for your own launch? Read on.
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

In: POV
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.