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.
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.
Fred Venturini

The Three Times Your Novel is Finished

In: Rewriting
Ask an author how long it took them to write a book, and the answer is always different. Here are three times a novel is finished, and how they each relate to author mindset.
Joshua Isard

­­Hurdles and a Pyramid: Plotting Your Short Story

In: Structure
Make Freytag's Pyramid work for you, not the other way around.
Repo Kempt

Writing the Crime Scene: Blood

In: Research
A guide to writing realistic crime and horror fiction when your manuscript involves blood.
Justin Hunter

Research Isn't Writing

In: Research
Research is important, but you don't want to become a researcher. Learn how to research as a writer instead of writing as a researcher.
Justin Hunter

The Second-Draft Slump: How to Get Through Edits

In: Rewriting
The first draft always feels like the hardest part to finish...until you start the second draft. Get through the second-draft slump with these tips.
Justin Hunter

How to Hide Exposition Through Action

"Show, don't tell," they say. But telling is necessary. It's just a matter of doing it right. Hide your exposition through action.
Bart Bishop

The Two Lukes: Comparing and Contrasting 'Dark Empire' and 'The Last Jedi'

In: Character
A look back at the portrayal of Luke Skywalker in 'Dark Empire' as compared to 'The Last Jedi.'
Christoph Paul

The 12 Steps for Struggling Writers

If these steps can help alcoholics stay sober, maybe they can also help struggling writers.
Justin Hunter

5 Reasons Why You Should Write a Screenplay

Writers of prose would do well to follow the methods of screenwriters to help immerse readers in their story.
Repo Kempt

10 Easy Ways to Improve Your First Chapter Right Now

In: Rewriting
Learn how to identify and fix common problems in your opening chapter.