How This Pantser Became a Plotter — For Now

Column by Karis Rogerson July 13, 2022
An avowed pantser turns herself into a plotter and falls in love with the journey.

Breaking Worse? The 'Ozark' Pilot Treads Dark Territory

Column by Fred Venturini September 22, 2017
In this breakdown of the "Ozark" pilot, Fred Venturini breaks down how the episode sets milestones for the series, sets an aggressive pace, and uses characterization to build tension.

How Resident Evil 7 Can Make You a Better Horror Writer

Column by Max Booth III March 20, 2017
Prepare to wet your pants.

Write Exciting Stories About Boring Things

Column by Peter Derk
Lessons from 'Arrival', 'The Social Network', and 'This American Life' on how to take a snoozer and make it into a great story.

10 Horror Stories Nobody Wants to Read

Column by Max Booth III September 9, 2016
Here's why your dumb story keeps getting rejected.
A Conversation With Ben H. Winters About Racism, Outlining, and His New Novel 'U

A Conversation With Ben H. Winters About Racism, Outlining, and His New Novel 'Underground Airlines'

Interview by Rob Hart July 8, 2016
Ben H. Winters talks about the controversy related to his new novel (or lack thereof), racial appropriation, outlining, and what he's got coming next...

4 Things the Wild Success of 'Mr. Robot' Can Teach Us About Writing

Column by Cath Murphy
'Mr. Robot' has transformed its parent network USA from sad loser to crowing superstar. How? With superb writing. Here's what we can learn from its success.

The Age of the Unoriginal Idea

Column by Raine Winters
In an era where every story is recycled, how do we as writers strive for originality?

And Then What? 5 Maddeningly Unresolved Plots

Column by BH Shepherd June 26, 2015
We love a good ending, but what happens when a story doesn't have one?

Brainstorm Your Next Novel with Fiasco - Part 2

Column by George Cotronis
We come back to our work in progress, ready to fill in some details about our fictional town and its inhabitants.

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?

Like a Broken Record: Are There Really Only Seven Plots?

Column by Leah Dearborn May 20, 2014
Is any author truly innovative, or are all stories built on one of only seven sets of blueprints?

Screenwriting: Turn Turn Turn

Column by Karina Wilson May 8, 2014
Turning points are essential to a compelling screen narrative. Discover how to liven up your dull "this then that" screenplay with timely swerves in story direction.

Comic Book Plot Developments That Are No Longer Twists

Column by BH Shepherd March 12, 2013
A list of plot twists that have been used and abused so often they have lost their capacity to surprise.

10 Stories We Never Need to See in Workshops Again

Column by Jon Gingerich December 20, 2012
A list of the some of the most predictable, clichéd storylines that somehow continue to appear in fiction workshops again, and again, and again.

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 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.