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.
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.