Damaged, deformed, and dysfunctional characters—we still have compassion for them. This is the grotesque.
Using particular details brings your lie to life.
In: Character, Cliche, Dialogue, Grammar, INT/EXT, List, Plot, screenwriting, Syd Field, Top 10, Voice
What makes a reader hate a screenplay on sight? Here are 10 pet peeves - and fixes.
One the most widely misunderstood — yet crucial — skills a writer must learn is the ability to put specific actions on the page that transcend into larger, universal concepts.
In: Character, Character, Craft, editing, Plot, Plot, POV, POV, Setting, Setting, Short Stories, Storyville, Voice, Voice
Richard dissects another of his short stories, this time, the contest winning, "Maker of Flight."
Let's face it: the first draft of anything is going to be awful. That's okay. In fact, here's why it's encouraged.
In: Craft, Dialogue, Discourse Analysis, Grammar, Grammar, Linguistics, List, Phrases, Sociolinguistics, Verbs, Voice, Word Play
What's that word doing there? When it comes to spoken language, nothing is accidental. Linguists are working on finding meaning in every 'oh,' 'um,' 'well,' and 'okay.' The results might surprise you.
Writers stress themselves out over the idea of devising a unique, compelling voice in their writing. Here's why a lot of that anxiety is underserved.
What does it take to write a terrifying story? Every tool in your writer's toolbelt.
By Jack Ketchum
Jack Ketchum on violence, pain, and the importance of not looking away.
How utilizing genre can enable you to write strong fiction.
Ten obvious truths about fiction and its relationship with your readers.
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.
Writing authentic, compelling and engaging dialogue is one of the most vital yet misunderstood challenges of the writing process.
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.
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.
Maintaining action is paramount in fiction, but sooner or later we’ll need to deliver expository details for our stories to make sense. So, how do writers engage while providing character depth?
Many writers eschew compelling characters in favor of mannequin tropes that serve as props for preexisting social messages, or characters a reader can “relate to.” Here’s why it’s always bad writing.
Embarking on the quest to find your very own literary voice
A list of the different modes of point of view, with a breakdown of the advantages and disadvantages of each.
Chuck teaches two principal methods for building a narrative voice your readers will believe in. Discover the Heart Method and the Head Method and how to employ each to greatest effect.
Great writing must reach both the mind and the heart of your reader, but to effectively suspend reality in favor of the fictional world, you must communicate on a physical level, as well. Learn to unpack the details of physical sensation.
An interesting character has strong opinions, and voicing them can lend mood and texture to the work, but you can't allow these "Big Voice" rants to eclipse the "Little Voice" needs for descriptive physical action. In this essay, you'll learn to strike that balance.
Lots of things that look smart on the page fall apart in the auditorium. Discover the numerous reasons Chuck writes for the ear as well as the eye, along with how to make the most of live reading opportunities.
All humans are storytellers and every fiction is veiled autobiography. Learn to explore and exhaust your personal issues by creating something bigger than yourself, and don't miss Chuck's ingenious assignment for personalizing your character's perception of time.