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.
Taylor Houston

Lessons from 10 Years of Writing About Grammar

In 10 years, I've given a lot of grammar advice. Some of it is bullshit now, but some of it is truer than ever.
Cina Pelayo

What Tools Do You Use to Edit Your Manuscripts?

Do you use any editing softwares to perfect your writing? Here is a sampling of tools available.
Taylor Houston

2020 Hindsight: 10 Years Worth of Grammar Advice

It's a new decade! Let's look back on 10 years of giving grammar advice.
Taylor Houston

10 Things You Didn't Know About Noah Webster, the Inventor of American English

Happy 260th Birthday to the man whose name is synonymous with “Go Look It Up!” (Which is the pre-cursor to today’s “Google It!”)
Taylor Houston

Ask the Grammarian: How "snuck" sneaked in...

How "snuck" sneaked into the English language and we totally let it.
Taylor Houston

Ask the Grammarian: Missing Semi-colons, Distinguishing Dashes, and Punctuating Quotations

The elusive semi-colon, confusing dashes, and where-oh-where to put the punctuation in quoted material.
Taylor Houston

Ask the Grammarian: Multiple Hopes, Lay vs. Lie, Basically Useless Vocabulary, and a Stumper

In this episode, we will attack the grammatical conundrums in the following sentence: Basically, our hopes have lay with the children.
Taylor Houston

Ask the Grammarian: 'Too' Many Commas, Sentence Fragments, and Rhetoric

Where to put (or not put) commas with the word 'too', my opinion on sentence fragments, and a dicussion of rhetoric that could get me in trouble.
Taylor Houston

Is it the Fourth or the 4th of July?: Formatting Numbers in Your Writing

You may not know it, but there are many rules that govern when you should spell out a number and when you should use the numerals. Here are a few of them.
Taylor Houston

...and ACTION!: The Who, What, When, and Why of Verb Conjugation

Verbs are action words. That seems simple enough, so why are there so many different variables when it comes to conjugating them?
Taylor Houston

10 More Words You Literally Didn't Know You Were Getting Wrong

We hit it out of the park last October by giving you ten words you were probably using wrong. Well, here are ten more.
Stephen Graham Jones

Direct-Address Commafication

Donate now to help save the direct-address comma! Get it off the endangered species list! All it takes is one well-placed keystroke, people. All it takes is a little integrity.
Taylor Houston

10 Words You Literally Didn’t Know You Were Getting Wrong

Thanks to Joe Biden's mega-gaffe last month at the DNC, we were reminded that "literally" literally means you are being "literal". Here are a few more words you might want to revisit.
Taylor Houston

What's Your Style?: Style Guides and How to Use Them

Whether you are actually going back to school this fall, or you just need an excuse to go to the bookstore, we have compiled a list of the most well known style guides and how to use them.
Richard Thomas

Storyville: The Horror of Editing and Revision

It's been said that the difference between a good writer and a great writer is editing. So let's hop to it.
Stephen Graham Jones


Know your weaknesses as a writer, and then cull them, fix them.
Taylor Houston

Sentence, INTERRUPTED! - Five Ways to Interrupt Yourself (Grammatically)

Commas, parentheses, and dashes are just a few ways to interrupt a perfectly good sentence.
Jon Gingerich

20 Common Grammar Mistakes That (Almost) Everyone Makes

A list of some of the most common grammatical errors that routinely make it into print.
Taylor Houston

The Period Part 1—Lots o' dots: How frequent and deliberate use of the humble period can create maximum impact.

It may not seem like much, but that diminutive punctuation symbol at the end of your sentence has a lot of power. This article will focus on how to use the period to create different effects.
Craig Clevenger Photo

Night of the Living Syntax: Disembodied Action

In: Grammar
On giving your characters volition by making their actions deliberate, plus a handy postscript on the erroneous concept of the "passive verb." This essay originally appeared over at The Cult.
Stephen Graham Jones

This Is Not Oklahoma: OK vs. Okay

In: Craft, Grammar
This Is Not Oklahoma: OK vs. Okay. In the Age of the Laze Abbreviation, can we all just agree that it looks stupid?
Chuck Palahniuk

Names Versus Pronouns

How can you replace tired third-person pronouns with proper names without monotonous repetition? In this essay, Chuck challenges you to develop a whole range of names for each character and object in your fiction.