Jay Wilburn

Writing Lessons Learned from 80s Horror Movies

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.
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.
Jessica Marie Baumgartner

Stop Being Lazy and Write Different Types of Characters

Stereotypes are played out. It's time to get REAL and write people the way they actually are.
Raine Winters

Five Situations Horror Characters Get Themselves Into (and What Would Happen in Real Life)

Among the lessons you will learn: Karma's a bitch, don't piss off serial killers, and never under any circumstances enter a basement.
Leah Dearborn

The Butler Did It: Why We Always Blame the Servants

The guilty butler trope appears to damn servants by their employment status alone. After all, they know everything about the victim’s daily routine, and they’re always suspiciously nearby.
Raine Winters

The Age of the Unoriginal Idea

In an era where every story is recycled, how do we as writers strive for originality?
Leah Dearborn

Hide Your Mistletoe: The Bizarre Tradition of Holiday Romance

Since it’s the season of generosity, I figured I would give the internet a present: Puritan sex.
Nathan Scalia

It's Made Of SCIENCE: Guns And Bullet Ballistics

Everything you need to know about firearms, the physics of bullets, and SCIENCE!
Troy Farah

Dystropia: No More Mr. Vice Guy!

In this month's Dystropia, we look at Mr. Vice Guy, a character with obvious flaws, addictions and weaknesses. Mr. Vice guy is more dimensional, sure, but as you'll learn, it's not always that easy.
Nathan Scalia

It's Made Of SCIENCE: Amnesia

Everything you need to know about memory loss, amnesia, and SCIENCE!
Troy Farah

Dystropia: How The Damsel in Distress Has Evolved

From ancient Greek myths to Snow White to today, Dystropia looks at the trope of the Damsel in Distress.
Nathan Scalia

It's Made Of SCIENCE: Multiple Personalities

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

It's Made Of SCIENCE: The Speed Of Light

What you need to know about the speed of light, faster-than-light travel, and SCIENCE.
Troy Farah

Dystropia: All Hail The Magnificent Bastard

In this episode of Dystropia, we look at the Magnificent Bastard, who is cunning, charming and crafty. What makes him tick and why are we all of a sudden so attracted to him?
Troy Farah

Dystropia: Examining the Trope of the Manic Pixie Dream Girl

A column in which we explore the various misgivings and strengths of girls that are Manic, Pixie and Dreamy.
Rob Hart

Top 10 Storytelling Cliches Writers Need To Stop Using

There are certain storytelling clichés writers go back to again and again. And they shouldn't. Because they are terrible, and they need to be destroyed.
Karina Wilson

Screenwriting: Insert Woman Here - Sidestepping the Sausage Fest

Where are all the female characters in your screenplay? Why should you care about adding some? Where can you put them?
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

Cliche, the Literary Default

Stories start from a default position of cliché: readers go into stories with expectations, and if too many are fulfilled the spell is broken. So, how do writers engage when the odds are against them?
Chuck Palahniuk

Learning from Clichés… then Leaving them Behind

In: Cliche
To achieve excellence, a writer must learn to identify and eliminate clichés. Chuck demonstrates the use of placeholders where more inventive language is needed, while counter-intuitively recommending style mimicry as a positive stage of learning.