What are horror tropes, and how can you avoid them?
In this first of a series of new craft essays, Chuck Palahniuk displays a method for helping your characters cope against dramatic situations. He also delves into the language of singing, mantras and the importance of a good scream.
In: Character, Craft, Dialogue, Jeff VanderMeer, Plot, Stephen King, Storyville, Structure, Theme, Voice
Three essential books on writing by Stephen King, Donald Maas and Jeff VanderMeer.
A screenplay should always have the reader at 'Hello'. Find out how techniques developed chatting up strangers at speed dating events can make your first five pages sing.
Great writers like Mark Richard and Amy Hempel re-invent the world, partly by re-inventing the language. In this essay, Chuck introduces you to the mysteries of "Burnt Tongue," and its three principal uses.
Here are my ten favorite short stories for 2013.
Looking for something new to write? Here are ten hot, emerging, and underappreciated genres.
Supernatural and speculative fiction—getting weird without losing your audience.
How do you manipulate your audience? Here are a few tips.
Here are 15 unconventional methods of telling a story. Why not stretch yourself?
Neo-noir fiction is literally defined as "new-black," but what exactly does that mean?
Over the past five years I've learned a lot of things about writing — here are 20 of them.
Damaged, deformed, and dysfunctional characters—we still have compassion for them. This is the grotesque.
Using particular details brings your lie to life.
In: Character, Cliche, Dialogue, Grammar, INT/EXT, List, Plot, screenwriting, Syd Field, Top 10, Voice
What makes a reader hate a screenplay on sight? Here are 10 pet peeves - and fixes.
One the most widely misunderstood — yet crucial — skills a writer must learn is the ability to put specific actions on the page that transcend into larger, universal concepts.
In: Character, Character, Craft, editing, Plot, Plot, POV, POV, Setting, Setting, Short Stories, Storyville, Voice, Voice
Richard dissects another of his short stories, this time, the contest winning, "Maker of Flight."
Let's face it: the first draft of anything is going to be awful. That's okay. In fact, here's why it's encouraged.
In: Craft, Dialogue, Discourse Analysis, Grammar, Grammar, Linguistics, List, Phrases, Sociolinguistics, Verbs, Voice, Word Play
What's that word doing there? When it comes to spoken language, nothing is accidental. Linguists are working on finding meaning in every 'oh,' 'um,' 'well,' and 'okay.' The results might surprise you.
Writers stress themselves out over the idea of devising a unique, compelling voice in their writing. Here's why a lot of that anxiety is underserved.
What does it take to write a terrifying story? Every tool in your writer's toolbelt.
By Jack Ketchum
Jack Ketchum on violence, pain, and the importance of not looking away.
How utilizing genre can enable you to write strong fiction.
Ten obvious truths about fiction and its relationship with your readers.