Joshua Isard

Does Writing Fiction Make You More Empathetic?

Science has proven that reading makes you more empathetic. But does writing?
Richard Thomas

Storyville: What We Can Learn From Reading Bad Fiction

What can a bad story teach us? Turns out, it's a lot.
Richard Thomas

Storyville: Dissecting Body, Mind, and Soul

Dissecting body, mind, and soul in our storytelling.
Richard Thomas

Storyville: How Grateful, Compassionate Protagonists Can Add Depth to Your Fiction

If you have a likable protagonist, does that make for a more appealing, layered, and satisfying experience?
Stephanie M. Wytovich, MFA

Dear Anne Sexton

An open letter to Anne Sexton on her birthday.
Richard Thomas

Storyville: Hate From Love—Complex Emotions in Characterization

In order to truly hate, you must love first, so write your characters with this complex relationship in mind.
Leah Dearborn

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

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

Why is so much evil in fiction so boring? How can you give those evil-doers a little life?
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.

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

There’s a lot that goes into naming a character. I’ve narrowed it down to the top five factors you should consider.

Alan Wake: A Look Back At Video Gaming's Best Writer Character

Ghosts I ain't afraid of, ghosts I AM afraid of, evaluating the handsomeness of Stephen King, ludonarrative dissonance, and everything else Alan Wake.
Gabriel Hart

The Obsolescence of The Hero's Journey

Those who prescribe to a set system might be condemned to repeat mediocrity.

Who Owns The Story?

What gives you the right to tell someone else's story?
Cina Pelayo

The Importance of the Character Interview

The more that you know about your characters, the more confidently you can write about them.
Jay Wilburn

Lessons I Learned Ghostwriting Romance (as a Non-Romance Writer)

After ghostwriting many romance novels, Jay Wilburn learned some lessons that helped with writing stories in other genres.

Science Versus Faith in Fiction

Is science an overused tool in writing? What do you stand to gain by adding faith to your fiction?
Douglas Kennedy

On Using Personal History As Fiction

The international best-selling author and MasterClass teacher discusses the basis of all fiction.
Joshua Isard

Showing and Telling, and Trusting the Reader

We all know the cliche, "show don't tell," but it's still a common issue with young writers. That's where trust comes in.
Amanda Bender

"Cursed": The Road to Redemption Starts with Strong Roots

The Weeping Monk is by far one of the most compelling characters in Thomas Wheeler and Frank Miller's 'Cursed', and is a prime example of how to craft a redemption arc.
BH Shepherd

Why The Punisher Has No Place In The Police Department

A brief explanation of why it is inappropriate for police officers to incorporate the Punisher's symbol into their uniforms.
Margo Orlando Littell

Welcome the Characters Who Show Up Too Early and Stay Too Late

Sometimes the most pivotal characters need to be conjured and coddled into the story, under the shadow of misstarts and dead-end plotlines.
Autumn Christian

Conflict Without Violence: How to Add More Depth To Your Fiction

Violence is fun. But finding other ways to resolve conflict can improve your writing, and turn an average story into one with depth and intrigue.