Troy Farah

Dystropia: Examining the Trope of the Manic Pixie Dream Girl

In: Cliche
A column in which we explore the various misgivings and strengths of girls that are Manic, Pixie and Dreamy.
Richard Thomas

Storyville: Dramatic Structure and Freytag's Triangle

In: Structure
Is your dramatic structure intact? Study Freytag's Triangle to see if it is.
Robbie Blair

7 Things Dungeons & Dragons Taught Me About Storytelling

In: Plot
A nerdy confessional where I go back through some tabletop RPG experiences that taught me valuable storytelling truths.
Richard Thomas

Storyville: What is Neo-Noir Fiction?

In: Voice
Neo-noir fiction is literally defined as "new-black," but what exactly does that mean?
Richard Thomas

Storyville: How Do You Know When Your Story is Done?

In: Research
It's hard to tell when a story is done. Here are some tips for figuring it out.
Richard Thomas

Storyville: 3 Essential Books You Should Read in Every Major Genre

In: Research
Here are three essential books you should read in every major genre.
Taylor Houston

...and ACTION!: The Who, What, When, and Why of Verb Conjugation

In: Grammar
Verbs are action words. That seems simple enough, so why are there so many different variables when it comes to conjugating them?
Robbie Blair

6 Ways You're Botching Your Dialogue

In: Dialogue
Want to improve your dialogue skills? This article looks at the mistakes writers commonly make.
Richard Thomas

Storyville: Tips on Putting Together a Short Story Collection

In: Research
Are you ready to put together a short story collection? Here are some tips to help you make it shine.
Richard Thomas

Storyville: 8 Tips For Growing Your Brand

In: Research
Here are some quick tips for growing your brand and enhancing your image.
Jon Gingerich

Rejection: A Critical Device

Got a story that keeps getting turned down for publication? Here's how you can use industry rejection as a critical tool to improve your work.
Robbie Blair

Do or Dialect: 6 Tips for Building a Believable Voice

Six tips on creating a sense of a character's voice and dialect without resorting to painful phonetic representations.
Richard Thomas

Storyville: Ten Ways to Evaluate Fiction Markets

In: Research
Here are ten ways to evaluate fiction markets, so you can place your stories with confidence.
Taylor Houston

Put a Cap on It: Learning the Rules of Capitalization

In: Grammar
Do You feel Compelled to Capitalize every other Word? If so, you are an OverCapitalizer. There is help—read on...
Erik Wecks

The Best Writers Break the Rules

In: Structure
Young writers shouldn't be afraid to challenge the conventions of storytelling if they have a plot-driven reason for doing so.
Richard Thomas

Storyville: Why Write Short Stories At All?

In: Research
Why should you even bother with stories, novels are where it's at, right? No--walk before you can run.
Taylor Houston

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

In: Plot
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: 20 Things I've Learned About Writing

Over the past five years I've learned a lot of things about writing — here are 20 of them.
Richard Thomas

Storyville: Ten Ways to Avoid Cliches and Stereotypes

Ten tips to avoid clichés and stereotypes in your fiction.
Taylor Houston

Talk It Out: How To Punctuate Dialogue In Your Prose

In: Dialogue
Quotations marks, italics, em dashes, or none of the above: these are a few different ways to punctuate dialogue in your prose.
Rob Hart

Top 10 Storytelling Cliches Writers Need To Stop Using

There are certain storytelling clichés writers go back to again and again. And they shouldn't. Because they are terrible, and they need to be destroyed.
Dana Fredsti

On Writer's Constipation, The Sophomore Slump and Zombies

Author Dana Fredsti talks about the trials and tribulations of writing the sequel to her hit book, 'Plague Town,' and all the anxiety and lessons that came with it.
Robbie Blair

Cut!: 4 Strategies for Trimming Your Content

In: Rewriting
Struggling to make effective cuts? This article walks you through four strategies for trimming, tightening, and focusing your work.
Richard Thomas

Storyville: Dissecting "Fireflies"

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