Looking to brush up your writing skills or learn a new trick or two? You've come to the right place! Check back weekly for helpful tips and articles that make your writing better. 

a blackboard covered in arrows

Do you have a crowd of characters in your head, each with their own personality and description? Have you played out imaginary scenes for these or some other unknown characters? Have you developed some plot ideas that send them on an adventure, into the arms of a lover, or into a self-reflective journey?

Sounds like you have the start of a novel! 

Oh, wait. What’s that? You… read more

March 27, 2024
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January 14, 2023

When working in the subgenre of cosmic fiction, it is critical to remember that the atmosphere of creeping dread is key.

Real-world issues such as climate change, racial violence, and political upheaval work well in the realm of Lovecraftian horror.

It is the sensation of fear centered on the unknowable that creates this existential panic and madness experienced by characters who… read more

January 14, 2023

In 1921, American author Howard Phillips Lovecraft began publishing the first of his stories in what would later be collectively coined the Cthulhu mythos. Heavily influenced by the tradition of Gothic horror, H. P. Lovecraft found inspiration in the work of such esteemed authors as Edgar Allan Poe, Algernon Blackwood, Bram Stoker, Robert W. Chambers, and Arthur Machen. However, Lovecraft’s… read more

November 28, 2022

Once safely past the harvest season, winter begins, bringing with it a storytelling season that begins in November and runs through the end of the year. The Victorians especially delighted in the tradition of telling spooky tales during the darkest nights of the year, a custom that reaches back hundreds of years. After all, Shakespeare reminds us, “A sad tale’s best for winter” (The… read more

November 18, 2022

Storytellers today are indebted to early scholars who wrote down local stories and preserved them for future audiences. Without these records, many of our most loved stories would have been lost and forgotten.

Through the years, these traditional tales have inspired countless authors, and their structure and themes offer a wealth of ideas for a myriad of story genres and formats.… read more

October 26, 2022

As a genre, horror is deeply rooted in the traditions of Gothic literature. These tales express haunting reminders that there is no escape from the past. They contain a creeping sense of dread that is magnified through setting, one of the hallmarks of the subgenre.

Named after the European, medieval architectural style (characterized by cavernous spaces dominated by vaulted ceilings,… read more

October 13, 2022

The presence of pumpkin spice, fall color, and lengthening shadows heralds the holiday season. Spectacle soon follows with creepy costumes, jack-o’-lanterns, and haunted attractions. It is the beginning and the end, that dreaded time when the dead walk among the living. After all, there’s a reason one of the most successful slasher film franchises in history is named after a day that… read more

September 22, 2022

Horror belongs under a speculative fiction umbrella that also includes fantasy and science fiction, and while horror is identified by its ability to create intense feelings of terror, shock, or disgust in the audience, the genre’s aesthetic often infiltrates its sister genres.

These crossovers—such as dark fantasy and sci-fi horror—have joined the speculative fiction ranks of subgenres… read more

September 10, 2022

One of the three main categories of speculative fiction, horror is a traditional genre of literature and film designed to produce a sense of dread or fear in the audience. Rooted in folk literature, horror stories can feature supernatural elements such as ghosts, witches, demons, ghouls, and monsters. However, horror can also be written in the style of realism (i.e., set in the real… read more