Story Development for Pantsers

Column by Jay Wilburn
Pantsers are the wild and wooly improvisational artists of the writing world. Here are some tools and approaches that can help them develop their stories without giving up their preferred style.

I Fell In Love With Reading My Work Out Loud - To Others

Column by Karis Rogerson August 11, 2022
Reading work aloud is a tried-and-true tip for revising, but what about doing it in front of others? A case for reading your WIPs aloud in a safe space.

Writing Advice for Non-Writers

Column by Peter Derk August 4, 2022
So you have to write something. Maybe it's the first thing you've written since high school. Don't worry, it's not that hard. We'll get through it together.

My Plan To Shape Up A 700-Page Manuscript In Less Than a Year

Column by Peter Derk July 20, 2022
If you've got a huge manuscript weighing you down, let's break it down, edit it, and get it finished.
Catriona Ward interview

Catriona Ward: Learning to Fail

Interview by Jena Brown
The author of "The Last House on Needless Street" discusses her latest book, why she loves horror, and why failure is a necessary skill for every writer to learn.

Leave the Fat

Column by Cameron MacKenzie
Open up your writing and let it live.

Revisiting a Work You’ve Already Published: Things to Keep in Mind

Column by Nick Kolakowski November 24, 2021
Nick Kolakowski's revised trio of novellas, now titled "Love & Bullets", is out from Shotgun Honey this month. He has some advice...

How To Write Your Novel in 20 Easy Steps

Column by Gabino Iglesias April 23, 2021
Want to write a novel? Here's the definitive guide, the best guide ever, the only guide you need to get it done!

10 Things Wrong with All My First Drafts

Column by Jay Wilburn January 15, 2021
No first draft is perfect. We all have bad habits and bad habits show up a lot. Here are 10 things Jay Wilburn seems to find in all his first drafts.

Storyville: 10 Tips on How to Be a Good Critique Partner

Column by Richard Thomas
Advice on how to be a good critique partner, no matter what the situation.

Storyville: Advanced Writing Workshop Tips, Tricks, and Techniques

Column by Richard Thomas
Applying edits, pushing yourself, and writing to a specific market. Some additional tips to help you survive the workshop environment.

Welcome the Characters Who Show Up Too Early and Stay Too Late

Column by Margo Orlando Littell
Sometimes the most pivotal characters need to be conjured and coddled into the story, under the shadow of misstarts and dead-end plotlines.

Revisiting Old Works-in-Progress: 5 Ways to Make the Most Out of It

Column by Emmanuel Nataf
Just because a story is old doesn’t automatically mean that it’s terrible. Here are five tips on how to make the most of an ancient manuscript that you might have once forgotten in a drawer somewhere.

Don't Go Back: Avoid Spinning Your Wheels on Old Stories

Column by Justin Hunter
While it's tempting to revisit old stories that never quite got off the ground, it can be harmful to your progress as a writer.

3 Things Critique Groups Are Great For (and 3 Things They Really Aren't)

Column by Susan DeFreitas
A high-quality critique group can help you level up as a writer in a big way——just be aware that there are some things they generally can’t do.

The Second-Draft Slump: How to Get Through Edits

Column by Justin Hunter
The first draft always feels like the hardest part to finish...until you start the second draft. Get through the second-draft slump with these tips.

6 Tips On How To Be Prolific

Column by Eric Beetner February 19, 2018
Eric Beetner on how to increase your writing output.

10 Easy Edits to Improve Your Manuscript Right Now

Column by Repo Kempt August 28, 2017
A list of ten simple edits that can immediately improve whatever writing you're working on.

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly of the Shitty First Draft

Column by Christoph Paul August 15, 2017
Sometimes it will be good, sometimes it will be bad, and sometimes it will be down right ugly, but writing a shitty first draft will give you a finished book.

How to Take Edits 101

Column by Christoph Paul
I explain what editing is (it's not just proofreading!) and how to take edits.

Writing: An (Unfortunate) Exercise in Trust

Column by Annie Neugebauer June 7, 2017
What does trust have to do with writing? Well, unfortunately for those with trust issues, pretty much everything. Love it or hate it, it permeates every facet of the gig.

Storyville: How to Survive a Creative Writing Workshop

Column by Richard Thomas February 22, 2017
A guide to surviving your creative writing workshop.

Three Secrets to a Cleaner First Draft

Column by Riki Cleveland February 8, 2017
If your first drafts are more unfit for public consumption than you’d really like, try these tips for a cleaner, more organized initial pass.

What To Do When Your Book Jumps the Shark

Column by Leah Rhyne October 26, 2016
Sometimes a story can get away from its author, going places it never should have dared. What can the author do to pull it back in and make it (hopefully) good again?

6 Ways Non-Writerly Spouses Help Improve Your Craft

Column by Raine Winters
Because everyone can assist in this whole "writing hobby thing."