Getting It Right: Accuracy, Truth, and the Fudge Factor

Column by Ed Sikov
A guide to the responsibilities of biographical writing and how to get around them.

The Path To Publication Part 3: When Is Done, Done?

Column by Rob Hart March 1, 2012
In this installment, I discuss why I haven't been able to meet the self-imposed deadline I set for myself last month!

Writing in the Negative

Column by Jon Gingerich February 22, 2012
Sometimes the most compelling elements of a story are the ideas and themes that are hinted at but aren't placed directly on the page.

Ask The Lit Coach: "Should I Submit Queries To Publishers If My First Novel Isn't Finished?" and More

Column by Erin Reel February 21, 2012
The path to publication and creative focus are the topics this week on Ask The Lit Coach.

Get Off The Dang Computer: The Benefits Of Hands-On Research

Column by Rob Hart February 16, 2012
The internet is a great resource--but it's not the best one. To really understand how the world works, you have to get out there and experience it for yourself. That's what produces good writing.

Storyville: Where Do You Get Your Ideas?

Column by Richard Thomas February 16, 2012
Where do you get your ideas? Turns out, you can get them just about anywhere. But the best stories tap into your personal experiences and emotional truths.

A Real Monster: Writing About People You Know

Column by Phil Jourdan February 15, 2012
A warning to writers eager to turn their lives into material for a book — you have responsibilities to those whose lives you exploit.

What You Can Learn From Ronald Reagan: A Primer On Love Letters

Column by Taylor Houston
Give more than chocolate this V Day--try your hand at writing a love letter with a little help from the pros.

The Myth of Writer’s Block

Column by Jon Gingerich February 9, 2012
An understanding of how the human mind operates proves that a temporary lack of creative ideas is not the result of “writer's block,” but the result of something else entirely.

Un-Building Blocks: What to Do When You Can’t Do It

Column by Ed Sikov February 9, 2012
A humorous look at every writer's worst nightmare: writer's block.

The Period Part 2 - Dot Dearth: Postponing The Period On Purpose

Column by Taylor Houston
A continuation of last month's discussion of short sentence lengths. This month we'll explore the merits of the very long sentences.

20 Common Grammar Mistakes That (Almost) Everyone Makes

Column by Jon Gingerich January 31, 2012
A list of some of the most common grammatical errors that routinely make it into print.

Change the World: Write Your Manifesto

Column by Taylor Houston January 25, 2012
You are a writer— an artiste! A creator of beauty and meaning. A cultural commentator. A revolutionary! It's about damn time you wrote your manifesto!

Write What You Don’t Know

Column by Jon Gingerich January 24, 2012
Of all the rules that apply to fiction writing, perhaps none is more misleading than the common, banal adage that you should “write what you know.”

The Period Part 1--Lots o' dots: How frequent and deliberate use of the humble period can create maximum impact.

Column by Taylor Houston January 18, 2012
It may not seem like much, but that diminutive punctuation symbol at the end of your sentence has a lot of power. This article will focus on how to use the period to create different effects.

Storyville: Research and Duotrope

Column by Richard Thomas January 17, 2012
An in-depth analysis of Duotrope.com, one of the best websites for submitting and tracking your writing.

“Scuse me while I kiss this guy.”: Malaprops, Puns, Spoonerisms, Eggcorns, and other hilarity-inducing word mix-ups.

Column by Taylor Houston January 12, 2012
Words are flexible and a writer can have a lot of fun using these devices.

Down With The Double Tap! (Why You Shouldn't Space Twice After Sentences)

Column by Rob Hart January 5, 2012
Many of us were taught we should insert two spaces after a sentence, but it's the appendix of typography; it serves no purpose and we'd be better off without it. Here's how to break the habit.

Writing Effective Dialogue

Column by Jon Gingerich January 4, 2012
Writing authentic, compelling and engaging dialogue is one of the most vital yet misunderstood challenges of the writing process.

The Changing Character

Column by Jon Gingerich December 29, 2011
Does a character have to “change” during the course of a story? Do they have to evolve? Or can they continue behaving the same as always, even at the end of the narrative?

Merits of Other Mediums: Going Beyond Books to Improve Your Craft

Column by Brandon Tietz December 27, 2011
Many authors will tell you that reading and writing is the key to improving your work and getting published. In this column we examine the merits of three mediums OTHER than books.

Putting An End To Plot Conveniences

Column by Jon Gingerich December 21, 2011
Writers are often faced with the predicament of writing themselves into a plot corner. We know where our stories are supposed to go, but the plot becomes an impasse to resolution instead of a gateway.

That’s So Meta: Writing A Story About Writing A Story

Column by Taylor Houston December 20, 2011
When narrators escape--a discussion of metafiction.

On Dialogue Tags: Why Anything Besides 'Said' And 'Asked' Is Lazy Writing

Column by Rob Hart December 15, 2011
Expressive dialogue tags are the mark of lazy writing, because they break one of the cardinal rules--they tell instead of show. This is why 'said' and 'asked' are all you ever need.

Hashtag Haiku: #funwithshortforms

Column by Taylor Houston December 12, 2011
Take a break from all that serious writing to play with a couple short forms--one old, one new.