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.
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.