Richard Thomas

Storyville: The DOs and DONTs of Running a Successful Kickstarter Campaign

In: Research
Advice on how to run a successful Kickstarter campaign from someone who's done it.
Rob Hart

Finding Story Inspiration in Strip Clubs

In: Research
If you want to get the feel for a town, strip clubs are a good place to start. Rob Hart shares his strip club experiences and how they've influenced his new novel, CITY OF ROSE.
Leah Dearborn

The Architecture of Fantasy: How Authors Use Real Places To Build Imaginary Ones

In: Setting
Sometimes our world and others overlap, like the center of a Venn diagram. These new worlds that still retain vestiges of our own offer a unique angle; they allow the author to make comparisons.
BH Shepherd

Words Mightier Than Bullets: Tarantino on Story

In: Theme
A look at the theme of storytelling throughout Quentin Tarantino's filmography.
Richard Thomas

Storyville: Love in Fiction

How to write about love in your fiction.

Making A Murderer: How Good Storytelling Made It So Damn Compelling

'Making A Murderer' was a fascinating story, but good storytelling made it truly excellent.
JS Breukelaar

Five Literary Sex Scenes You Wish You'd Written

In: Structure
Unearned sex scenes are hard to swallow. Here are five writers that get to the guts of what's at stake when we get naked.
Taylor Houston

The Dreaded R-Word: The Goods and Evils of Rhetoric

In: Grammar
Seems like "rhetoric" is always in the news lately. And it's never good. But why?
George Cotronis

Self-Editing For Dummies

In: Rewriting
You want to edit your own writing. Here's how to get started.
Christine J. Schmidt

Advice From A Literary Character: Bridget Jones

In: Character
One of your favorite literary characters takes on life's big questions.
Leah Rhyne

Jessica Jones vs. Sansa Stark: Rape Culture in Entertainment, and Why We Should Talk About It

Trigger warning: We are going to talk about rape, and our reactions to the loss of innocence vs. the thirst for revenge.
Cath Murphy

How Backstory Almost Totally Fucked Up the Star Wars Franchise: A Lesson for Writers

In: Character
The Star Wars prequels almost killed the Star Wars franchise and it wasn't just because of Hayden Christensen's acting. The toxic element was an overdose of backstory.
Brandon Tietz

NaNoWriMo Hangover: 8 Steps to Recovery

In: Rewriting
You've just completed NaNoWriMo and have a messy first draft to show for it. Now what?
Christopher Shultz

American Horror Backstory: The Use of Flashbacks in "AHS: Hotel"

In: Character
This FX TV series may not always concern itself with plot, but it always loves its characters. But how much is too much?
Suzy Vitello, LitReactor Instructor

Book Launches, Portland Style

Suzy Vitello, aka "the den mom," knows how to throw a great book party. After all, she was taught by the master of the literary festivus, Chuck Palahniuk. Need some ideas for your own launch? Read on.
JS Breukelaar

Five Ray Bradbury Stories That Tell Us Everything We Need to Know About Writing.

In: Structure
No writer stalked the inherent tensions in fiction with more guts and style than Ray Bradbury. Here are five lessons in conflict from the master of wonder.
Taylor Houston

5 Easy Ways to Make Your Writing Gender-Neutral

In: Grammar
It's actually not that hard to write more inclusively, but it's more important now than ever to TRY.
Max Booth III

Everybody Hates You: Using Empathy to Write Realistic Characters

In: Character
If you want any chance of writing believable characters and stories worth reading, then being able to empathize with all of your characters must be your top priority.
Richard Thomas

Storyville: How to Write Flash Fiction

Tips and tricks for writing powerful flash fiction.
Melissa F. Olson

Writing the Unknown Setting: 8 Tips on Conducting a Research Trip for your WIP

What happens if you need to set a story in a place you've never seen? Melissa F. Olson, author of the Boundary Magic series, walks you through how to plan a location research trip.
Richard Thomas

Storyville: Playing With Point of View

Perspective and point of view in fiction is often slippery and elusive.
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.
Riki Cleveland

Polishing the All-Important First Fives

In: Rewriting
Focusing on the first five pages, sentences, or even words of your manuscript can help you get noticed amid the piles of slush.
Cath Murphy

4 Things the Wild Success of 'Mr. Robot' Can Teach Us About Writing

In: Character
'Mr. Robot' has transformed its parent network USA from sad loser to crowing superstar. How? With superb writing. Here's what we can learn from its success.
Robbie Blair

Fiction Shmiction: The Complex Question of Writing as Activism

In: Theme
If we're all creating a broader social narrative and constructing damaging roles, does that mean we should portray the world as it should be rather than as it is? Tough question. Let's unpackage it.