Saved By The Supporting Characters

Column by Christine J. Schmidt January 7, 2015
Can a novel be great even if the protagonist isn't?

How to Assemble an Ensemble: Team-Building for Writers

Column by BH Shepherd
A recipe for a good ensemble stock to use in your next literary concoction.

So You Want to Write A Book: Part 0 — Ready, Set, Don't Go Yet

Column by Leah Rhyne August 21, 2014
In this, the first in a new series of columns about the mechanics of writing a book, we'll talk about the prep work that should occur before you even sit down at your computer/notebook/typewriter.

Reconsidering 'True Detective'

Column by John Jarzemsky August 18, 2014
'True Detective' was a smash hit, for lovers of television and literary horror alike, but is it all it's cracked up to be?

Listen Up, Nerds! 5 Lessons from 30 Rock on How to Make Your Characters Down with the In-Crowd

Column by Naturi Thomas-Millard July 31, 2014
"Remember everyone, just don't be yourselves..." and other wisdom from the hit TV show, '30 Rock.'

Bella Swan and the Art of the Audience Surrogate

Column by Leah Dearborn January 24, 2014
Despite being loathed by literate people around the globe, characters like Bella Swan still manage to move copies off the shelves. Is it just bad writing or something more?

Hollywood's Science Fiction Problem

Column by Rajan Khanna September 6, 2013
Hollywood science fiction movies haven't exactly been great lately. We take a look at why that might be.

It's Made Of SCIENCE: Writing Characters That Are Smarter Than You

Column by Nathan Scalia July 25, 2013
You might consider yourself intelligent, perhaps even enlightened, but nobody can know everything. How can you write characters that know more than you do?

Flash Fiction: The Zorro Circle of Storytelling

Column by Robbie Blair March 4, 2013
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?

Screenwriting: Insert Woman Here - Sidestepping the Sausage Fest

Column by Karina Wilson January 11, 2013
Where are all the female characters in your screenplay? Why should you care about adding some? Where can you put them?

Storyville: Happy, Not Sappy

Column by Richard Thomas December 13, 2012
It's not easy to write a happy story that is not melodramatic, but here are some tips on how to get there.

Storyville: Story Dissection - Maker of Flight

Column by Richard Thomas October 4, 2012
Richard dissects another of his short stories, this time, the contest winning, "Maker of Flight."

The Benefits of Free Indirect Discourse

Column by Jon Gingerich August 23, 2012
Writers who find themselves wrestling with point-of-view problems may want to consider a technique that combines the best of two narrative modes.

Top 10 Character Cliches That Drive Me Nuts

Column by Meredith Borders July 20, 2012
See also: the Mary Sue, the brooding rebel, the hooker with a heart of gold, etc.

A Study In Sherlock

Column by Rob Hart May 30, 2012
One of the most popular character templates in literature is the Christ-like figure. But there's another template that's not as enduring and is way more interesting: The Sherlock-like figure.

Storyville: Dissection of "Twenty Reasons to Stay and One to Leave"

Column by Richard Thomas May 2, 2012
Richard Thomas dissects one of his short stories, the Pushcart Prize nominated "Twenty Reasons to Stay and One to Leave."

Storyville: Revealing Character

Column by Richard Thomas April 17, 2012
Here are some tips on how to reveal character through showing, not telling.