Susan DeFreitas

Ursula K. Le Guin, Master of Realism

Ursula K. Le Guin is best known for her sci-fi and fantasy, but part of what makes her work so remarkable is the deeply realistic way it handles the nuanced intersections of character and culture.
Leah Dearborn

An Abundance of Robin Hoods: How Social Bandits Defy Time and Culture

Whenever a source of authority grows too powerful and begins to usurp the common people, Robin Hood-like characters start to appear in film and literature.
Richard Thomas

Storyville: Writing a Novel Without Plotting it Out

Tips on how to write a novel without plotting it out.
Leah Dearborn

Better With Age: Giving Elderly Characters the Spotlight

Every living person on the planet has experienced childhood, but the same can’t be said for old age. Older characters have more history, so creating such a person takes considerable imagination.
Richard Thomas

Storyville: Writing About Taboo Subjects

When writing about taboo subjects, be careful how you do it.
Max Booth III

Forget Heroes and Villains, There is Only Point-of-View

You want to make your characters realistic? Think of everybody as the protagonist.
Leah Dearborn

Take Your Characters Out to Lunch: 5 Development Exercises

Like going on a date, character exercises are part of the process of getting to know another person better (in this case, an imaginary person).
Emma McMorran Clark

Slipping Into Someone Else's Skin

Great characters aren't just words: they're living, breathing people, as real as you or me. But where do they come from? How does one birth a character with depth and soul?
Leah Dearborn

The Archetypes of Hayao Miyazaki

Revered Japanese filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki has announced his retirement, but not before years of contribution to the art of storytelling.
Richard Thomas

Storyville: Putting Your Life in Your Fiction

Some helpful tips for working your life into your fiction.
Richard Thomas

Storyville: Kill Your Darlings—How 'Game of Thrones' Can Change Your Writing

We can learn some valuable lessons about plotting, characters, and expectations from watching (or reading) 'Game of Thrones.'
Richard Thomas

Storyville: Three Essential Books On Writing

Three essential books on writing by Stephen King, Donald Maas and Jeff VanderMeer.
Robbie Blair

Overcoming Object Love: How to Write Female Leads Who Are People

"Object love" is a painfully common writing disease that leads us to write two-dimensional women who are more object than person. This article explores how you can overcome the sickness.
Christopher Shultz

Want To Be A Better Writer? Take Acting Classes

From basic games to complex script analysis, actors have a thing or two to teach writers.
Richard Thomas

Storyville: Dissecting "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?" by Joyce Carol Oates

One of the most talked about, published and taught stories, I dissect "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?" by Joyce Carol Oates.
Leah Dearborn

How Precocious is Too Precocious? Writing Smart but Believable Kids

There’s a fine line that authors tread when writing from a child's perspective. A balance must be found between a voice that is unrealistically adult, and one that is too naive to be engaging.
Richard Thomas

Storyville: Fiction As Film—Writing Scenes That Are Visual

How can your fiction be as visual and engrossing as a film? Here are some suggestions.
Nathan Scalia

It's Made Of SCIENCE: Multiple Personalities

What you need to know about the dissociative identity disorder, multiple personalities, and SCIENCE.
Richard Thomas

Storyville: Manipulating Your Readers

How do you manipulate your audience? Here are a few tips.
Kimberly Turner

Write Like a Girl (or Guy)

Let's talk about sex, baby... How do you write characters of the opposite sex who don't sound like a man doing a poor imitation of a woman, or vice versa? What are the real differences in how we talk?
Nathan Scalia

It's Made Of SCIENCE: Writing Characters That Are Smarter Than You

You might consider yourself intelligent, perhaps even enlightened, but nobody can know everything. How can you write characters that know more than you do?
Robbie Blair

Do or Dialect: 6 Tips for Building a Believable Voice

Six tips on creating a sense of a character's voice and dialect without resorting to painful phonetic representations.
Richard Thomas

Storyville: Ten Ways to Avoid Cliches and Stereotypes

Ten tips to avoid clichés and stereotypes in your fiction.