Leah Dearborn

Shelving a Fear of Romance

Trade romance sales make up the largest share of the U.S. consumer book market, yet they carry a lot of negative associations. Does romance deserve a second chance?
Richard Thomas

Storyville: Three Essential Books On Writing

Three essential books on writing by Stephen King, Donald Maas and Jeff VanderMeer.
Leah Dearborn

The Pen and the Sword: Ten Books That Instigate Conflict and Promote Peace

Books are not always innocent creations. Time and again, the written word has helped to both inflame and resolve human conflicts.
Taylor Houston

UPDATED WITH WINNER: LitReactor's Flash Fiction Smackdown: October Edition

I dare you to scare me. 25 words. 2 sentences. Endless opportunity for horror and pre-Halloween fright.
Leah Dearborn

The Devil That You Know: Literature's Evil Archetype

Old Nick has left his stamp on literature ever since men began putting pen to paper. Whether literally or figuratively, nearly everyone has a demon or two waiting to jump onto the page.
Richard Thomas

Storyville: 15 Unconventional Story Methods

Here are 15 unconventional methods of telling a story. Why not stretch yourself?
Richard Thomas

Storyville: Ten Ways to Avoid Cliches and Stereotypes

Ten tips to avoid clichés and stereotypes in your fiction.
Craig Clevenger Photo

The Safety of Transgression versus the Risk of Honesty

Being deliberately transgressive is the safest move a writer can make.
Jon Gingerich

10 Stories We Never Need to See in Workshops Again

A list of the some of the most predictable, clichéd storylines that somehow continue to appear in fiction workshops again, and again, and again.
Richard Thomas

Storyville: Happy, Not Sappy

It's not easy to write a happy story that is not melodramatic, but here are some tips on how to get there.
Jon Gingerich

Understanding the Objective Correlative

One way to embed a central theme in a story is with the use of a literary device commonly referred to as the Objective Correlative.
Rob Hart

The Art of the Content Edit: 10 Ways To Make Sure You're Doing It Right

The proofreading phase is when a book gets pretty--but the content edit is when you really bring the story home. Here's how to do it right.
Chris Rosales

Figurative Language, and Stuff Like That

Add depth to your writing with a Figurative Language Well.
Jack Ketchum

Splat Goes the Hero: Visceral Horror

Jack Ketchum on violence, pain, and the importance of not looking away.
Jon Gingerich

The Spiraling Narrative

Plots shouldn't unfold with cause-and-effect insomuch as careful repetitions of symbolism and theme. Here's one way you can do this without forcing the story to wear symbolism on it sleeve.
Richard Thomas

Storyville: Where Do You Get Your Ideas?

Where do you get your ideas? Turns out, you can get them just about anywhere. But the best stories tap into your personal experiences and emotional truths.
Taylor Houston

Change the World: Write Your Manifesto

You are a writer— an artiste! A creator of beauty and meaning. A cultural commentator. A revolutionary! It's about damn time you wrote your manifesto!
Jon Gingerich

Write What You Don’t Know

Of all the rules that apply to fiction writing, perhaps none is more misleading than the common, banal adage that you should “write what you know.”
Jon Gingerich

The Changing Character

Does a character have to “change” during the course of a story? Do they have to evolve? Or can they continue behaving the same as always, even at the end of the narrative?
Taylor Houston

Sixth Sense Settings: Writing Rich, Descriptive Scenes

Incorporating tone/mood into your settings for realistic descriptions that keep your reader hooked.
Chuck Palahniuk

Developing a Theme

In: Theme
At the core of Minimalism is focusing any piece of writing to support one or two major themes. Learn harvesting, listing, and other methods, after a fun excursion into the spooky side of Chuck's childhood.
Chuck Palahniuk

Nuts and Bolts -- The Horizontal Versus the Vertical

Every story possesses the "horizontal" movement from plot point to plot point and finally to resolution, as well as the "vertical" development of character, theme, and emotional resonance. Discover Chuck's approach to building a story in layers.