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.

Clarity vs. Experimentation: A Letter To Myself

Does your work have a worthwhile story underneath the experiment? In other words, are you going to pay off the work a reader does to understand what’s going on?
Taylor Houston

Feedback Loop: Revisiting Autobiographical Fiction

In which Taylor revisits her 2012 article about autobiographical fiction and nearly twists herself into a knot trying to explain what the hell she actually meant, if anything...
Richard Thomas

Storyville: Finding Hope in Dark Fiction

In: Theme
It's possible to put hope in your dark fiction, quite possibly leading to a more satisfying experience.
Gabino Iglesias

Why You Shouldn't Ignore Religion in Your Fiction

Religion is a huge part of life. Here are a few reasons why you shouldn't ignore it in your fiction.

Good Oral: Telling Stories Out Loud

Read this before you jump on a stage and launch into your best story.
Gabino Iglesias

Three Exercises for Improved Character Development

If you want your characters to be as deep and nuanced as your narrative, here are three things you can do.
Joshua Isard

Engage Your Readers By Putting Them To Work

As writers, then, we want to ask our readers to do the right kind of work, the kind that helps them engage with our stories as much as possible.
Taylor Houston

10 Things You Didn't Know About Noah Webster, the Inventor of American English

In: Grammar
Happy 260th Birthday to the man whose name is synonymous with “Go Look It Up!” (Which is the pre-cursor to today’s “Google It!”)

Is Crosstalk Killing Your Feedback?

In: Workshop
What is crosstalk, and how is it ruining your workshop?
emmanuelnataf

7 Ways to Prepare for NaNoWriMo Right Now

In: Character
Want to write a novel but don't know where to start? NaNoWriMo 2018 might be the perfect opportunity — here's 7 ways you can prepare for it now.
emmanuelnataf

Analyzing the Three-Act Structure in Tolkien's 'Fellowship of the Ring'

In: Structure
To celebrate the publication of The Fellowship of the Ring on July 29, 1954, we’re looking at how Tolkien used an enduring story structure to create an enduring trilogy.
Nick Kolakowski

Folding Real-Life Detail into a Fictional Narrative

In: Character
Is there an ethical line when it comes to incorporating real-life details into fiction? And if so, where does that line exist?
Joshua Isard

5 Essential Character Traits For Ourselves, Not Our Creations

In: Character
It’s important to develop the kind of personal character that’ll help us get through everything the writing life throws our way.
Gabino Iglesias

10 Tips to Help You Write Believable Dialogue

In: Dialogue
Dialogue can make or break a novel. Here are some pointers to help you write better dialogue.
Nathan Scalia

Taking the Stage: How Storytellers Saved My Ambition to Write

The story of how I fell into a hole with my writing career, and the strategy I developed to climb back out.
Joshua Isard

When To Utilize An Ensemble Cast and How To Do It Well

In: Character, POV
Would your story benefit from multiple POVs? And does it have the scope to sustain them?
Repo Kempt

Writing Emotions Effectively

In: Character
A guide to portraying emotions in your fiction.
James A. McLaughlin

Bearskin: A Fast Read 20 Years in the Making

The story of a fifty-four year old’s debut novel. Twenty-plus years of writing, revising, letting it sit, then rewriting and re-revising some more.
Richard Thomas

Storyville: Creating Tension in Your Fiction

How do you create tension in your fiction? Here are some tips.

Make Your Characters More Interesting With Lies

Ask yourself: When's the last time I had one of my characters tell a real whopper?
Brian Allen Carr

When it's Okay to be Uncertain

A look at when uncertainty can make fiction stronger.
Justin Hunter

Don't Go Back: Avoid Spinning Your Wheels on Old Stories

In: Rewriting
While it's tempting to revisit old stories that never quite got off the ground, it can be harmful to your progress as a writer.