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Featuring everything new and experienced authors need to develop creative and technical skills. Check out writing development articles, our Word of the Day, writing prompts, anthology opportunities and more!

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Please, Sir (or ma’am), may I have some more?

Short stories can be many things – a complete story, a character sketch, or an experiment in form. They are, by definition, short, which may leave some readers readying the torches and pitchforks.  @wildone asked a question in our last guest blog about what to do when readers are clamoring for more, and you want to continue the story, but not necessarily at that moment. It’s a great question and one I deal with on a regular basis since I primarily write short stories.  I’ve gotten quite adept at

Guest Blog - Writing Short Stories

Today's blog comes to us courtesy of our resident Coyote Cub, @astone2292.  He's put aside his Ask the Author and Guess the Author hats to give us his thoughts on writing short stories.  Thank you, Aaron for sharing your ideas with us!  I would like to do a series of these blogs, so if there's a particular topic you would like to see addressed, please PM me and let me know.  Now on to our feature presentation!     Only one word comes to mind when I think about short story crafting:  Ex


Monologues Do you guys remember those old James Bond movies, or hell...even the new ones, where our hero has finally been captured and somehow strapped into some super convoluted contraption that is sure to bring about his very slow, very painful, demise? A laser aimed at his penis or whatever...hehehe, something that looks like it took longer to build and test than anything else that our villain had been working on in his dastardly plan to take over the world. You know the ones. Now, of cou


Underwritten The characters that we create with our fiction are meant to be treated with the consistent notion that they all have something to say. That they all have certain motivations, needs and wants, flaws and problems, of their own. At least that’s how I always think of them in my head as I position them in different situations throughout my own stories. Now, it would be impossible, or at the very least...incredibly distracting, for a writer to go through each and every single characte


Violence All stories...or at least the interesting and memorable ones...have one thing in common. And that is an element of conflict. There has to be some sort of motivation for your protagonist to chase after, a goal has to be established, and the conflict is whatever obstacle or antagonist that stands between the two of them. Why did the chicken cross the road? To get to the other side. Ok, but where’s the story in that? Maybe there’s heavy traffic that makes crossing the road a dangerous

Story Intrigue

Story Intrigue I consider it one of the most difficult challenges that I have to face every time my fingers touch this keyboard. I definitely want people to remain invested and keep them riveted as much as I can from beginning to end, but I still want to give some hints, clues, and a touch of foreshadowing along the way. Going along with the principle of Chekhov’s Gun in crafting a story, “If a gun shows up in the first act, then it should come back for use in the third act.” I’m paraphrasin

The Passive Character

The Passive Character Roller coasters can be a lot fun, can’t they? Hehehe! Unless you’re deathly afraid of them like I was when I was a little kid, and then had to try them out and find a love for them a bit later on. That was when I learned to appreciate the twists and turns, the highs and lows, and the overall speed involved with the joy of getting onto one of those massive monsters and being tossed around like a rag doll for a little while. And whenever I’m writing something that I want

Ambiguous Endings

Ambiguous Endings Now, there are many many times that I get razzied by my readers for not having all of my stories wrapped up with a pretty little bow where they’re all finished and done with and folks can read them and then roll over and go to sleep without saying anything or even clicking a ‘like’ button. Hehehe! I’m always writing on all of them as quickly and as often as is humanly possible, and always try to put forth my best effort each and every single time. No shortcuts. I’d rather n

Writing About You

Writing About You As an author, writing can really be a personal activity. It takes time, patience, and tons of emotional energy, to really put together a great story with a good plot and populated with interesting dialogue and engaging characters. However, I have always believed that the one element that holds it all together and provides it with that particular shine is...quite simply...you. You are the adhesive that keeps it all focused and concentrated into a series of moments in time th


Comicality in Writing Tips


Callbacks As I might have mentioned in previous writing articles...I really am a fan of having my stories come full circle at some point in time. Usually, this takes place in the beginning of the story, and then at the very end. But not always. Sometimes you can create an entirely different flavor for some of your previous scenes and interactions, and even redefine the meaning that other characters and hardships that you focused somewhere (anywhere, really) within your fiction. And an effect


Comicality in Writing Tips

Author Bio

Author Bio I fully understand that there are many of you out there reading this right now who might just be writing stories for fun or treating this as a fun hobby, or maybe even as a method of self therapy...but stick around, as this article can be a major win for you too! However, if any of you are looking to make some side hustle money by publishing your work professionally or perhaps self publishing online...there is one part of the process that seems like it should be easy enough


Comicality in Writing Tips

Writing Comedy

Writing Comedy You know...if you were to ask most actors what’s really the most difficult emotions to pull off on screen, you might think that it would be intense anger, or being able to cry on screen during a sad or dramatic moment...but actually, it’s laughing. All blooper reels aside and how fun it looks behind the scenes, finding a way to convincingly laugh in front of the cameras...especially while adhering to a script that you’ve read and memorized a million times, is a true skill amon

Loose Ends

Loose Ends There is one thing that I think can be horrendously frustrating in a story! And I’m guilty of doing it a few times, myself, despite my efforts to avoid it at all costs...because it makes you want to tear your own hair out at the roots! Hehehe, but for one reason or another...I changed my mind on a few major plot points in my story that took me in a different direction, and it left a lot of plot points left to dangle without any answers. Now that I’m re-doing my stories to put them

Character Empathy

Character Empathy So what is the strong adhesive that keeps people glued to a story once they start reading? What can writers do to evoke emotion and conjure up the craving needed to keep reading all the way to the end without stopping? What makes them think about your story during the day when they’re away from the internet, in the car, on the train, or even while they’re hanging out with friends? It is such a powerful skill that you can wield as a writer to have your words and your ideas

Burger, No Burger

Burger, No Burger When I was in college, I got myself a job right there on Michigan Avenue in Chicago, where I packaged up stuff and got it ready to be mailed out to that company’s customers as quickly as possible. It’s not like it was Amazon or anything, but they prided themselves on being rather swift with their deliveries. And I was getting paid, so I had food and groceries and stuff that I needed to survive...and it worked out. However, let me tell you younger guys out there, you don’t k


Generic The thing about writing stories is that we all kind of build on our earliest experiences with the art of storytelling itself. Whether we were writing them ourselves, reading them out of a book, or having long cherished fairy tales read or told to us as children. We absorb it through the movies and TV shows we watch, or hear those particular cues, twists, and turns, in the tales someone might tell us at work about their weekend, or maybe at the family barbecue. We have learned to acc


Lagging Have you ever been writing a new story, or perhaps just a new chapter...and you really want to enrich the characters, or pour some more emotion into the scene, or you feel like you could pack some more detail and dialogue and world building into what you’re doing...but you begin to wonder if maybe you’re doing too much of it? It’s something that I sort of struggle with from time to time, and my decisions on the matter sort of flip and flop back and forth depending on how I plan


Comicality in Writing Tips

Importance Of Continuity

Importance Of Continuity Believe it or not...well, you probably do...hehehe, I used to be MUCH worse about story continuity in my own work! I mean, as hard as I tried, it was always a difficult task trying to keep everything all together the way I really wanted to. And that was while I was working with handwritten NOTES to help guide me and keep me on track. (Keep an eye out for my article on personal story notes soon!) But that’s one of the traps of trying to keep all of your story’s detail


Comicality in Writing Tips

Character Combos

Character Combos As many of you guys already know...I absolutely LOVE to work with ensemble casts in my own work! It gives me so much freedom and extra room to build characters up (or tear them down) without having to resort to long bouts of exposition to do it. I’ve always thought that the true identity of a character was more impactful by centering on their positive or negative interactions with the other characters in my stories then just talking about them, second-hand. It says soooo muc


Comicality in Writing Tips


Endgame There was a time when a majority of people saw the world in black and white. Well, some still do...but, for the most part...we’ve all grown to realize that things aren’t always that simple. The days of some mad scientist doing awful things simply because he’s crazy and terrible are kind of coming to an end. There are reasons for people that do the things that they do. Sometimes they’re selfish reasons, yes...but it’s not just a matter of good and evil all the time. Everything can’t b


Comicality in Writing Tips

Invoking Nostalgia

Invoking Nostalgia Our lives, more often than not, come down to our ability to connect our current selves to our previous selves from the past. Being younger, more naive, more eager and energetic...remembering the lessons that we’ve learned, and the sometimes tragic mistakes we made that we’ve learned them from. Whenever you look at a younger photograph of yourself...you have to replay a ‘story’ in your head that will somehow cause you feel as though you and that person in the photograph are


Comicality in Writing Tips

A Writer’s Fuel

A Writer’s Fuel I think that many of us would probably be absolutely terrified to realize how much of our lives are constantly operating on autopilot on a daily basis. Honestly. Have you ever really thought about it? Some of these automatic actions are pretty harmless. You lock your car doors when you get out to run into the store. You hold the door open for someone with their hands full of groceries. You feel the urge to say ‘bless you’ when someone sneezes, even if they’re a total stranger


Comicality in Writing Tips

The Secret To Writing Horror

The Secret To Writing Horror Something that I always found funny whenever I see people online or even my own friends and family when watching horror movies...is what it brings out of them. Hehehe! Like, be honest...how many times have you seen someone get a lucky shot in on one of the killers or slashers or monsters...and they scream, “YES!!! Now do it again! Stab them! Stab them! Stab them! Beat them! Rip their guts out! Yes!!!!” Which seems like a ‘normal’ reaction to most people in these


Comicality in Writing Tips

Subtext In Dialogue

Subtext In Dialogue It’s something that we all do, and often on a daily basis. We LIE! Hehehe! It’s true! It might be quick and automatic and usually pretty much harmless for the most part...but we all do it. People ask us how we’re doing, and we say, “I’m fine” or “I’m ok”...when nothing could be further from the truth. We go to jobs that we hate and stay in relationships that don’t make us happy and pretend that life is as good as it gets. We interact with people that we, literally, can’t


Comicality in Writing Tips

Story Recaps

Story Recaps As many of you guys know...I write a bunch of different stories all at once, and it really depends on on my mood, my life, my time restraints, and whatever it is that I have to say at that particular. I mean...I really wish I could bottle my emotions up for you guys and sell them to ya cheap, so you could see how much turmoil I go through from time to time, just trying to pour as much of myself into every single short story and short story that and put out there. Most of the tim


Comicality in Writing Tips

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