The Spiraling Narrative

Column by Jon Gingerich April 26, 2012
Plots shouldn't unfold with cause-and-effect insomuch as careful repetitions of symbolism and theme. Here's one way you can do this without forcing the story to wear symbolism on it sleeve.

Storyville: Revealing Character

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

Honey, I Shrunk the MFA Application Pile: Crafting Your Statement of Purpose

Column by Stephen Graham Jones April 17, 2012
Forget GPA, GRE, and letters of recommendation. Your Statement of Purpose is where you either get into your chosen MFA program or not.

Writing Powerful Descriptions

Column by Jon Gingerich March 22, 2012
Why the best descriptions are the ones that are easily understood, yet leave a lasting impression on readers’ minds.

Short Shorts: Extremely brief prose forms plus LitReactor’s first Short Shorts Contest!

Column by Taylor Houston March 21, 2012
Learn all about how to write the shortest stories possible, plus enter your own 10 word/2 sentence short short for a chance to win some LitReactor swag. Short short = Win win!

False Starts, Dead Ends and Bad Beginnings: A Guide to Successful Storytelling Patterns

Column by Jon Gingerich March 15, 2012
Why failing to establish clear narrative patterns or ignoring a story’s natural capacity to surprise can render an otherwise compelling work into an instant dud.

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 February 1, 2012
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, 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.