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. 

Conveying emotions in your work can be difficult, but it’s an important part of the craft. Offering insight into your characters’ feelings helps your reader develop empathy for them. When a character experiences an event, you want your readers to feel something, too. How you choose to convey your characters' emotional responses can influence the way your readers feel about your characters and… 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

August 29, 2022

In Part One in this series, we talked about folktales being stories stripped of everything but essential human truths. And we asked you to think of a folktale that speaks to the best and oldest part of who you are.

Now, let’s look at the four story elements we discussed last time and use them to reverse engineer our folktales. These elements will help us uncover the frameworks we need to… read more

August 21, 2022

Myths and folktales have an intrinsic power to move us. They seem to have always been around. Why is that?

Why do our hearts open when the glass slipper fits and Cinderella is united with her Prince? Why do we smile when Hansel and Gretel shove the witch into the oven?

As humans, we’ve evolved to consume information through story form. Stories are the best way natural selection… read more

July 25, 2022

Folktales are traditional stories, told by anonymous folk, about ordinary people having extraordinary adventures. Fairy tales are a subset that includes major characters with magical powers such as fairy godmothers, the wee folk, and genies. These days, the boundary between folk and fairy tales has become blurred, as many of the stories we now call fairy tales have very little to do with the… read more

July 13, 2022

Folklore, which includes folk and fairy tales, legends, myths, fables, ballads, rhymes, riddles, jokes, and proverbs, offers a rich menu of ideas to use in your writing. You can retell a traditional tale or include a character from a tale in your own story. Items of folklore are in the public domain, which means that you are able to reuse them without worry (unless you are borrowing from… read more

June 24, 2022

If you’re writing and editing your novel and plan to submit it to an agent or a publisher, there are a few more small things you can do to make sure your manuscript is polished and as professional as possible. Before you begin, note that most publishers only accept submissions through an agent, though there are exceptions, so if you're sending your manuscript directly to a publisher, make sure… read more