James A. McLaughlin

Bearskin: A Fast Read 20 Years in the Making

The story of a fifty-four year old’s debut novel. Twenty-plus years of writing, revising, letting it sit, then rewriting and re-revising some more.
Richard Thomas

Storyville: Creating Tension in Your Fiction

How do you create tension in your fiction? Here are some tips.

Make Your Characters More Interesting With Lies

Ask yourself: When's the last time I had one of my characters tell a real whopper?
Brian Allen Carr

When it's Okay to be Uncertain

A look at when uncertainty can make fiction stronger.
Justin Hunter

Don't Go Back: Avoid Spinning Your Wheels on Old Stories

In: Rewriting
While it's tempting to revisit old stories that never quite got off the ground, it can be harmful to your progress as a writer.
Fred Venturini

The Three Times Your Novel is Finished

In: Rewriting
Ask an author how long it took them to write a book, and the answer is always different. Here are three times a novel is finished, and how they each relate to author mindset.
Joshua Isard

­­Hurdles and a Pyramid: Plotting Your Short Story

In: Structure
Make Freytag's Pyramid work for you, not the other way around.
Repo Kempt

Writing the Crime Scene: Blood

In: Research
A guide to writing realistic crime and horror fiction when your manuscript involves blood.
Justin Hunter

Research Isn't Writing

In: Research
Research is important, but you don't want to become a researcher. Learn how to research as a writer instead of writing as a researcher.
Justin Hunter

The Second-Draft Slump: How to Get Through Edits

In: Rewriting
The first draft always feels like the hardest part to finish...until you start the second draft. Get through the second-draft slump with these tips.
Justin Hunter

How to Hide Exposition Through Action

"Show, don't tell," they say. But telling is necessary. It's just a matter of doing it right. Hide your exposition through action.
Bart Bishop

The Two Lukes: Comparing and Contrasting 'Dark Empire' and 'The Last Jedi'

In: Character
A look back at the portrayal of Luke Skywalker in 'Dark Empire' as compared to 'The Last Jedi.'
Christoph Paul

The 12 Steps for Struggling Writers

If these steps can help alcoholics stay sober, maybe they can also help struggling writers.
Justin Hunter

5 Reasons Why You Should Write a Screenplay

Writers of prose would do well to follow the methods of screenwriters to help immerse readers in their story.
Repo Kempt

10 Easy Ways to Improve Your First Chapter Right Now

In: Rewriting
Learn how to identify and fix common problems in your opening chapter.

So You Want To Write About The Cold

In: Setting
Want to make a reader shiver? Here are a few tips.

Why Microsoft Word's New Grammar and Style Corrections Suck

In: Grammar
Why is the new Microsoft Word trying to boss me around?
Justin Hunter

Why Coming of Age Crime Stories Work So Well

In: Theme
The movie adaptation of 'The November Criminals' reminds us that coming of age crime stories are the best kinds of stories.
Kat Hausler

Write Who You Don’t Know?

In: Character
'Retrograde' author Kat Hausler ponders the question: Should you base your characters on people you know? Well, yes and no...
Trey R. Barker

The Birth of Jace Salome

In: Character
Barker sets his protagonist down in a world peppered predominantly with men; men who bulge with maleness and refuse to stop spraying their eau de testosterone everywhere.
Richard Thomas

Storyville: Horror Story vs. Horror Novel

How do you know if your horror project is a story, novella, or novel? Some quick tips.
Richard Thomas

Storyville: Activities to Feed Your Dark Creative Soul Around Halloween

A few ideas on how to tap into your inner darkness, as we approach Halloween.
Alex Behr

Anatomy of a Mini Flash Novel Experiment: Angel Dust

"Planet Grim" Author Alex Behr turns prompts into experimental prose.
Mike Cooper

Using The *Big* Words: Five Tips On Making Jargon And Tech Work For Your Writing, Rather Than Against It

With his new heist novel "The Downside" on shelves now, Mike Cooper offers some tips on how to prevent tech-heavy prose from making your story screech to a halt.
Justin Hunter

The Inauthenticity of a Fuckless World

People curse. If your stories don't curse too, how authentic are you being to the world you are creating?