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.
Richard Thomas

Storyville: Hate From Love—Complex Emotions in Characterization

In: Character
In order to truly hate, you must love first, so write your characters with this complex relationship in mind.
Jay Wilburn

Story Development for Pantsers

In: Plot
Pantsers are the wild and wooly improvisational artists of the writing world. Here are some tools and approaches that can help them develop their stories without giving up their preferred style.

Writing Advice for Non-Writers

In: Rewriting
So you have to write something. Maybe it's the first thing you've written since high school. Don't worry, it's not that hard. We'll get through it together.
Thomas Kendall

"The Autodidacts": Thomas Kendall On Writing Without An Outline

In: Structure
Fortunately, your source is infinitely replenishable: On writing without an outline, out of an image you don’t understand, towards a beauty you’re not sure exists.
Richard Thomas

Storyville: The Intersection Between Plotting and Pantsing

Finding the intersection between plotting and pantsing.
Stephanie M. Wytovich, MFA

Five Poetry Collections to Read This Summer

In: Poetry
Contemporary poetry recommendations from the first half of 2022.
Leah Dearborn

It’s Thomas Hardy’s Birthday (Do We Care?)

In: Character
Is “Jude the Obscure” really anyone’s favorite book? What does “The Mayor of Casterbridge” say to the 21st century reader?
Richard Thomas

Storyville: Unreliable Narrators

What is an unreliable narrator and how can it affect your writing?
Repo Kempt

Sudowrite: An AI Fiction Writing Software Review

In: Word Play
A review of Sudowrite, fiction writing software that uses AI to generate content.
Richard Thomas

Storyville: Leaving Room for the Reader

In: Voice
It's important to leave room for the reader. Here are some ways you can do that.
Jay Wilburn

Does Anyone Really Know What Makes a Story Good?

While there are some writing conventions that are generally agreed upon, the subtle things that make a story good may be more intangible than we like to think.

The Banality of Evil In Fiction

In: Character
Why is so much evil in fiction so boring? How can you give those evil-doers a little life?
Richard Thomas

Storyville: From Baseline to Variation—How to Set and Expand Expectations

How to set the baseline and then take your readers somewhere else entirely.
Patricia Grisafi

Do It For The Kids: I Wrote A Book On Sylvia Plath That I Wish I Had As A Teenager

In: Poetry
We still treat teenagers like their interests and passions are amusing instead of existence-altering. So I wrote a book on Sylvia Plath to challenge that.
Richard Thomas

Storyville: Building Up Your Horror Story Before You Tear It Down

Tips on how to build up your horror story before you tear it all down.

Withholding: The Secret To Comedy Writing

Withholding gets a bad rap from lazy mysteries and lousy thrillers. But it's a great comedy writing tool.

The Quick and Dirty Guide to Coming Up With The Perfect Character Name

In: Character
There’s a lot that goes into naming a character. I’ve narrowed it down to the top five factors you should consider.
Stephanie M. Wytovich, MFA

Dear Emily Dickinson

A haunting open letter to the influential American poet.
Richard Thomas

Storyville: What Makes Your Stories Uniquely You?

In: POV, Voice
Tap into the formative experiences that made you and apply them to your fiction.
Jay Wilburn

Writing Lessons Learned from 80s Horror Movies

In: Cliche
1980 was over 40 years ago. 80s horror movies are now all classics or didn't stand the test of time. Either way, they can teach us a lot about good and bad writing.
Nick Kolakowski

Revisiting a Work You’ve Already Published: Things to Keep in Mind

In: Rewriting
Nick Kolakowski's revised trio of novellas, now titled "Love & Bullets", is out from Shotgun Honey this month. He has some advice...
Leah Dearborn

Advice from a 19th Century Governess and How Writing About Writing Has Changed

Writers have always loved to give advice, even when it’s not solicited.