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.”
emmanuelnataf

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.
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?
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.

Good Oral: Telling Stories Out Loud

Read this before you jump on a stage and launch into your best story.
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!”)
emmanuelnataf

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.
emmanuelnataf

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?
Gabino Iglesias

10 Tips to Help You Write Believable Dialogue

In: Dialogue
Dialogue can make or break a novel. Here are some pointers to help you write better dialogue.
Repo Kempt

Writing Emotions Effectively

In: Character
A guide to portraying emotions in your fiction.
Richard Thomas

Storyville: Creating Tension in Your Fiction

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