Richard Thomas

Storyville: Dissecting "Fireflies"

Dissecting my story, "Fireflies," I shine a light on my first attempt at magical realism — craft, process, and structure.
Robbie Blair

8 Ways to Flesh Out a Character

Looking to develop a character? Here are eight ways you can create a fleshier concept for who your character is and what drives them.
Richard Thomas

Storyville: Breaking Hearts

In order to break a reader's heart, you first must get them to care.
Richard Thomas

Storyville: Writing Dialogue

What is the function of dialogue, and how do you make it sing?
Karina Wilson

10 Reasons Your Screenplay Sucks (and how to fix it)

What makes a reader hate a screenplay on sight? Here are 10 pet peeves - and fixes.
Jon Gingerich

Writing Beyond the Good/Bad Character Dichotomy

Crafting unique characters is a delicate process. Here’s a few tips to help writers bring life and color to the people in their stories.
Richard Thomas

Storyville: Dynamic Settings

Setting is one of the most important aspects of your story; don't overlook it.
Richard Thomas

Storyville: Story Dissection - Maker of Flight

Richard dissects another of his short stories, this time, the contest winning, "Maker of Flight."
Richard Thomas

Storyville: Narrative Hooks

Writing a great narrative hook isn't easy, but it's one way to grab your audience and never let them go.
Richard Thomas

Storyville: Writing About Sex

How do you write a good sex scene? By utilizing the right language, all five senses, and empathetic characters, you can seduce the reader into living the moment.
Chris Rosales

Acting on the Fictional Stage: The Dramatic Method in Fiction

Harness The Dramatic Method For Character Action
Joshua Mohr

An Unreliably Narrated Essay

In the reviews of my first two novels, the issue of the unreliable narrator has been mentioned often. Whether this is meant as criticism, compliment, or some tangle of the two, the following problem remains whenever this point is raised: I don’t believe in the unreliable narrator.
Jon Gingerich

The Escaping Character

A unique, compelling character must always possess the ability to confront — and ultimately confuse — readers’ expectations at every turn.
Richard Thomas

Storyville: Writing Horror Stories

What does it take to write a terrifying story? Every tool in your writer's toolbelt.
Cath Murphy

Keeping it Real: A Rough Guide to Using Real People As Fictional Characters

Ebeneezer Scrooge, Tintin and Alice in Wonderland are all said to be based on real people. Is using your boss or neighbor as a ready made character a stroke of genius, or a fast route to a lawsuit?
Cath Murphy

The Third Character: A (Very) Rough Guide to Settings

Choosing the right setting for your fiction can be as tricky as giving a turtle a haircut. Here's my Rough Guide to what I think of as the 'third character'.
Richard Thomas

Storyville: Revealing Character

Here are some tips on how to reveal character through showing, not telling.
Kelly Thompson

The Long & Winding Road: Part 1- Writing The Novel

The 1st in a series chronicling my experiences with my novel, including finding an agent and submitting to publishers. Part 1 details writing my novel and my first partial request from "ideal agent"
Richard Thomas

Storyville: Where Do You Get Your Ideas?

Where do you get your ideas? Turns out, you can get them just about anywhere. But the best stories tap into your personal experiences and emotional truths.
Jon Gingerich

Writing Effective Dialogue

Writing authentic, compelling and engaging dialogue is one of the most vital yet misunderstood challenges of the writing process.
Jon Gingerich

The Changing Character

Does a character have to “change” during the course of a story? Do they have to evolve? Or can they continue behaving the same as always, even at the end of the narrative?
Brandon Tietz

Merits of Other Mediums: Going Beyond Books to Improve Your Craft

Many authors will tell you that reading and writing is the key to improving your work and getting published. In this column we examine the merits of three mediums OTHER than books.
Jon Gingerich

Putting An End To Plot Conveniences

Writers are often faced with the predicament of writing themselves into a plot corner. We know where our stories are supposed to go, but the plot becomes an impasse to resolution instead of a gateway.
Taylor Houston

“I tell the truth, even when I lie.”: A Discussion of Unreliable Narrators

Can your narrator be trusted?? Reliable narrators are the norm, but unreliable narrators are great to read and fun to write.
Chuck Palahniuk

Stocking Stuffers: 13 Writing Tips From Chuck Palahniuk

Christmas comes early today! In this essay Chuck provides a grab-bag of incredibly useful ideas that don't require too much individual elaboration. From delineating the three types of speech, to simple maxims for the writing life.