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.
Taylor Houston

Updated With Winners: LitReactor's Flash Fiction Smackdown: September Edition (...and another chance to win Chuck Palahniuk's new book!)

Get another chance to win one of three copies we are giving away of Chuck Palahniuk's next book Doomed by writing a metaphor for Purgatory in 25 words or less.
Joshua Mohr

Joshua Mohr and Anisse Gross Talk Plot

LitReactor instructor and 'Fight Song' author Joshua Mohr talks writing plots with The Rumpus film editor Anisse Gross. You should probably listen.
Robbie Blair

7 Things Dungeons & Dragons Taught Me About Storytelling

A nerdy confessional where I go back through some tabletop RPG experiences that taught me valuable storytelling truths.
Taylor Houston

Life-Changers and Soul-Crushers: 3 Books I Feel Blessed to Have Read & 3 I Wish I Could Obliterate from My Memory

Let the debates begin! Three books that made me want to be a better writer and better person, and three books that made me want to gouge my eyes out.
Richard Thomas

Storyville: Dissecting "Fireflies"

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

This is Not a Checklist: How to Write a Story

Some things to have taken into consideration while writing your story. Not rules, just after-the-fact guidelines.
Erik Wecks

Info Dumps Aren't Evil

Writers are often told to avoid information dumps at all costs, but this can leave a story feeling clipped and lacking necessary description.
Jon Gingerich

Five Plot Devices That Hurt Your Writing

In: Endings, List, Plot
A list of common storytelling devices writers employ that usually cause far more harm than good.
Chris Rosales

Dramatic Situation Vs. Dramatic Scene: Win the Fight Against Poor Form

There is a symbiotic "formal" relationship between situation and scene. A clearly defined dramatic-situation enhances the tension of your scenes, and more scenes ensure deeper exploration of premise.
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.
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: 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.
Richard Thomas

Storyville: Endings, Twisted and Otherwise

A beginning, a middle, and an end. Let's talk about the end. Make it resonate.
Taylor Houston

App-tacular: Writing on Phones, Smart Phones, and Tablets

We're moving on from the land of computers to writing on tablets and smart phones. Here are a few ways that writing is happening with these new implements.
Stephen Graham Jones

Ten Obvious Truths About Fiction

Ten obvious truths about fiction and its relationship with your readers.
Taylor Houston

Short Shorts: Extremely brief prose forms plus LitReactor’s first Short Shorts Contest!

Learn all about how to write the shortest stories possible, plus enter your own 10 word/2 sentence short short for a chance to win some LitReactor swag. Short short = Win win!
Taylor Houston

Autobiographical Fiction: Using Your Real Life To Craft Great Fiction

When crafting fiction from your real life, tread lightly and follow these tips.
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

Write What You Don’t Know

Of all the rules that apply to fiction writing, perhaps none is more misleading than the common, banal adage that you should “write what you know.”
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?