Susan DeFreitas

The Gift of Gab: Mastering the Maximal

Hemingway, famously, kept it short and sweet. But if you've got the gift of gab, like Nabokov and Marquez, you can stretch out with sentences that gallop, guffaw, and bulge with overstuffed wit.
Chuck Palahniuk

Consider This: Undecidability

Chuck Palahniuk talks about the unresolved, and how undecidability is always more scary than simply being told the answer.
Chuck Palahniuk

Consider This: Coping

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.
Taylor Houston

Wassailing with Wenceslas - Christmas Carol Origins

What does it mean 'to wassail'? Why did King Wenceslas go out on Boxing Day? Why does figgy pudding come with a lighter? Find out the origins of these and other odd Christmas Carol lyrics.
Jon Gingerich

Kill Those Modifiers!

The overuse of adjectives and adverbs can ruin sentences and flatten descriptive passages.
Kimberly Turner

The Secret Lives Of Little Words

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.
Stephen Graham Jones

As I Lay Mostly Dying

The baddest of the prose villains, that one word that, when mis-used, can single-handedly wreck an entire page of fiction for me, if not the whole piece: As.
Taylor Houston

Hashtag Haiku: #funwithshortforms

Take a break from all that serious writing to play with a couple short forms--one old, one new.