Joshua Isard

Improve Your Stories By Eliminating Agendas

The agendas with which you approach your story might be holding the narrative back.
Richard Thomas

Storyville: Reading Broadly to Write Better

In: Research
In order to write deep, layered, original fiction you MUST read broadly.
Repo Kempt

Tackling the Dreaded Rewrite

In: Rewriting
Here's five hard questions you need to ask yourself before tackling the dreaded rewrite.
Susan DeFreitas

Dirty Little Secrets, Part Three: Why the Agent Requested—and Then Rejected—the Full

Good news: The agent requested the full! Bad news: The agent said, “Thanks but no thanks.”
Susan DeFreitas

Dirty Little Secrets, Part Two: Why Your Beta Readers Never Finished Your Novel

In: Character
You worked hard on that book, and your beta readers never even finished the damn thing. Why?
Susan DeFreitas

Dirty Little Secrets, Part One: Why No One Cares About Your Protagonist

In: Character
Many an agent has rejected a novel with the phrase, “I’m just not in love with this protagonist.”
Max Booth III

5 Unconventional Methods of Writing a Story

Instead of surrendering to writer's block, give these ideas a try.

10 Must-Know Tips For Outlining Your Novel

If you're struggling to get your novel off of the ground, an outline can potentially rescue you from all of your toils.
BH Shepherd

Narrative Detour: Rediscover Your Novel

A fun exercise to help you push forward when writing your novel becomes a slog.

Instead of Joining a Book Club This Year, Subscribe To a Literary Podcast

In: Research
Make it your New Year's Resolution to find and read more books through the literary world's secret weapon: podcasts.
Richard Thomas

Storyville: Method Writing

What is method writing, and how can it help breathe authenticity into your work?
Susan DeFreitas

Dialogue: The Number One Mistake Newbie Writers Make

There's no lack of online advice about how to write dialogue in fiction. But there’s one issue I see over and over in the dialogue of newbie writers, and I have yet to find one post that tackles it.
Richard Thomas

Storyville: What the 'Best Horror of the Year' Anthology Can Teach Us

In: Research
There is a lot we, as authors, can learn by reading the Best Horror of the Year anthology.

Clarity vs. Experimentation: A Letter To Myself

Does your work have a worthwhile story underneath the experiment? In other words, are you going to pay off the work a reader does to understand what’s going on?
Taylor Houston

Feedback Loop: Revisiting Autobiographical Fiction

In which Taylor revisits her 2012 article about autobiographical fiction and nearly twists herself into a knot trying to explain what the hell she actually meant, if anything...
Richard Thomas

Storyville: Finding Hope in Dark Fiction

In: Theme
It's possible to put hope in your dark fiction, quite possibly leading to a more satisfying experience.
Gabino Iglesias

Why You Shouldn't Ignore Religion in Your Fiction

Religion is a huge part of life. Here are a few reasons why you shouldn't ignore it in your fiction.

Good Oral: Telling Stories Out Loud

Read this before you jump on a stage and launch into your best story.
Gabino Iglesias

Three Exercises for Improved Character Development

If you want your characters to be as deep and nuanced as your narrative, here are three things you can do.
Joshua Isard

Engage Your Readers By Putting Them To Work

As writers, then, we want to ask our readers to do the right kind of work, the kind that helps them engage with our stories as much as possible.
Taylor Houston

10 Things You Didn't Know About Noah Webster, the Inventor of American English

In: Grammar
Happy 260th Birthday to the man whose name is synonymous with “Go Look It Up!” (Which is the pre-cursor to today’s “Google It!”)

Is Crosstalk Killing Your Feedback?

In: Workshop
What is crosstalk, and how is it ruining your workshop?

7 Ways to Prepare for NaNoWriMo Right Now

In: Character
Want to write a novel but don't know where to start? NaNoWriMo 2018 might be the perfect opportunity — here's 7 ways you can prepare for it now.

Analyzing the Three-Act Structure in Tolkien's 'Fellowship of the Ring'

In: Structure
To celebrate the publication of The Fellowship of the Ring on July 29, 1954, we’re looking at how Tolkien used an enduring story structure to create an enduring trilogy.
Nick Kolakowski

Folding Real-Life Detail into a Fictional Narrative

In: Character
Is there an ethical line when it comes to incorporating real-life details into fiction? And if so, where does that line exist?