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.
Chris Rosales

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

In: Plot
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.
Jon Gingerich

10 Stories We Never Need to See in Workshops Again

A list of the some of the most predictable, clichéd storylines that somehow continue to appear in fiction workshops again, and again, and again.
Taylor Houston

Ghostly Doppelgangers, Bell-Ringing Goblins, and More Cranky Old Rich Jerks: Get in the Holiday Spirit With Some Lesser Known Dickens

In: Theme
Can't get enough Dickens at Christmas time? Check out his lesser-known holiday-themed works.
Robbie Blair

6 Ways You're Molesting Your Metaphors

Including mixed metaphors, cliche metaphors, ambiguous implications, too close to literal, referencing outside the common experience, and over-extending your metaphors.
Richard Thomas

Storyville: Happy, Not Sappy

In: Theme
It's not easy to write a happy story that is not melodramatic, but here are some tips on how to get there.
Taylor Houston

UPDATED WITH WINNER: Workout Your Brain: Write a Sonnet (& Win!)

In: Poetry
Is your brain getting flabby from too much science fiction writing? Shake up your writing routine by trying out one of the oldest forms in the book. That's right--write a sonnet!
Robbie Blair

Why Netflix Makes You a Better Writer

In: Research
Today's world of online streaming technology provides a powerful learning environment for hopeful writers. This article explores ways Netflix can educate writers and why you should care.
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.
Jon Gingerich

Writing Beyond the Good/Bad Character Dichotomy

In: Character
Crafting unique characters is a delicate process. Here’s a few tips to help writers bring life and color to the people in their stories.
Jacey Cockrobin

Etymological Evolution: 12 Words Altered By Historical Misuse

Does the widespread misuse of certain words get your goat? Well suck it up, because that's one of the ways the English language evolves.
Robbie Blair

8 Signs It's Time to Scrap Your Writing Project

In: Rewriting
8 warning signs that you may want to throw your latest manuscript under the lawnmower.
Taylor Houston

10 Things You Should Know About Plurals

In: Grammar
When you have more than one, sometimes just adding an "s" doesn't cut it. Here are few things you should know about plural nouns.
Robbie Blair

8 Words to Seek and Destroy in Your Writing

In: Phrases
8 frequently abused words or phrases that gum up your content. Stars of the show include "suddenly," "then," "is," "started," "very," "that," "like," and "in order to."
Kimberly Turner

Technology: Help Or Hindrance To Writers?

In: Workshop
Is technology increasing your productivity as a writer or distracting your muse?
Richard Thomas

Storyville: Dynamic Settings

Setting is one of the most important aspects of your story; don't overlook it.
Jon Gingerich

Understanding the Objective Correlative

One way to embed a central theme in a story is with the use of a literary device commonly referred to as the Objective Correlative.
Erin Reel

The 3 Most Popular Editorial Services and Do You Need Them?

In: Rewriting
Writers have more professional support available to them now than ever before. Erin Reel, The Lit Coach, breaks down the 3 most popular editorial services, giving you the benefits, red flags and more.
Taylor Houston

Up Close and Personal: A Personality Expose of the Personal Essay

Get to know the Personal Essay by reading this article. Get to know yourself by writing one.
Jon Gingerich

Big ‘A’ Little ‘a’: Writing Between the Concrete and Abstract

In: Voice
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.
Stephen Graham Jones

Direct-Address Commafication

In: Grammar
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.
Kimberly Turner

Seven Badass Authors And Their Potentially Deadly Research Methods

In: Research
New rule: You can't call the research for your book "grueling" unless it involves a gun to your head, beatings from Hells Angels members, feigning madness, or eating someone in the jungles of Peru.
Richard Thomas

Storyville: Story Dissection - Maker of Flight

Richard dissects another of his short stories, this time, the contest winning, "Maker of Flight."