Taylor Houston

Nothing New Under The Sun: The Origins of 5 Common Literary Allusions

In: Phrases
Do you ever feel like you are reading the same things over and over again? Well, you are. Here are five familiar literary allusions explained.
Taylor Houston

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

In: Grammar
We hit it out of the park last October by giving you ten words you were probably using wrong. Well, here are ten more.
Richard Thomas

Storyville: Writing the Grotesque

In: Voice
Damaged, deformed, and dysfunctional characters—we still have compassion for them. This is the grotesque.
Robbie Blair

8 Ways to Flesh Out a Character

In: Character
Looking to develop a character? Here are eight ways you can create a fleshier concept for who your character is and what drives them.
Robbie Blair

Flash Fiction: The Zorro Circle of Storytelling

In: Structure
Flash fiction can help writers answer vital questions: How can you identify which words to cut? How can you use subtlety to increase the power of your prose? And what's at the heart of a story?
Richard Thomas

Storyville: Top Ten Things Literary Journals Need to Do. NOW.

In: Research
There needs to be a symbiosis between the journal and the author. Here are some ways that we can make that happen.
Cath Murphy

How the Superheroes of Literature can save you from the Grammar Nazis

In: Grammar
Who can save the planet from the deadly Grammar Nazis? The Superheroes of Literature, that's who!
Taylor Houston

O-day ou-yay eak-spay ingon-Klay?: Exploring constructed languages

What do the Starship Enterprise, Boonville California, and an Icelandic band all have in common? Their own language! Explore a few unique constructed languages with me.
Richard Thomas

Storyville: Breaking Hearts

In: Character
In order to break a reader's heart, you first must get them to care.
Stephen Graham Jones

This is Not a Checklist: How to Write a Story

In: Narrator, Plot, POV
Some things to have taken into consideration while writing your story. Not rules, just after-the-fact guidelines.
Richard Thomas

Storyville: Researching The Best American Short Stories Anthology

In: Research
When you are looking to do research on literary short fiction, start with the Best American Short Stories anthology.
Taylor Houston

Watching out for Reiterations: Eliminating Redundancy in Your Writing

In: Grammar
Like Sonny & Cher on February 2nd, redundancies in your writing are driving your readers crazy.
Erik Wecks

Info Dumps Aren't Evil

In: Plot
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

Kill Those Modifiers!

The overuse of adjectives and adverbs can ruin sentences and flatten descriptive passages.
Taylor Houston

Phraseology: Groups of Words with a Lot of Jobs

In: Grammar
So I've bored you with lectures on sentences and clauses, now we'll talk about that other group of words-the phrase.
Richard Thomas

Storyville: Writing Dialogue

What is the function of dialogue, and how do you make it sing?
Karina Wilson

Screenwriting: Insert Woman Here - Sidestepping the Sausage Fest

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

The Joys and Perils of Self-Fictionalization as Portrayed in Four Films - or - Why We Write

In: Plot
Four movies that blur the line between artists and their art.
Jon Gingerich

Five Plot Devices That Hurt Your Writing

In: Plot
A list of common storytelling devices writers employ that usually cause far more harm than good.
Robbie Blair

Organic Word-Growing: Why You Should Keep the Shit in Your Writing

In: Rewriting
A look at how accepting the crap you write during early drafts can both accelerate the writing process and feed your story.
Richard Thomas

Storyville: Where to Send Your Stories

In: Research
No idea where to send your writing? Consult this list of the most common genre markets, as well as Richard's BIG LIST, five years in the making.
Taylor Houston

10 Grammar & Usage-Related New Year’s Resolutions

In: Grammar
So you swore off sugar in the new year, but did you resolve to stop using 'they' to refer to a single subject? You should. Here are 10 grammar and usage resolutions for 2013.