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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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Present The Problem

Present The Problem I’ve often felt that the key to drama and anxiety for a lot of people who may be reading your stories, or just from life in general came from something very simple. And that’s the constant idea of ‘choice’. Better yet, a dilemma. The more that I played around with the idea of it all in my own fiction, the more enamored I became by the power of it all. You can use it to put pressure on your audience, and create a much more stressful situation out of a fictional that may se

The Neverending Story

The Neverending Story Last Summer (In late June, early July)...I lost one of the best friends that I’ve ever had before in my life. We had known each other since the fist grade, and shared a life of late nights, movies, video games, and laughing until we fell over holding our stomachs with tears in our eyes. He was the kind of friend that you only make or twice in a lifetime...and one day, he was just...’gone’. Went to bed, heart failure in his sleep, and that was that. A huge part of me was


Catharsis Every now and then, I like to ask my fellow writing colleagues on this website or in my emails this question, because it really does vary from person to person, from age to age, and from culture to culture. And sometimes, depending what era of time we happen to be living in can make a huge difference. Emails and online forums have given way to text messages and social media, hot encounters of fictional sex and shallow beauty has given way to extended and meaningful storytelling and

The Slow Burn

The Slow Burn One of the elements of a really good story that we’ve discussed before on this board had to deal with ‘pacing’. Now, while it seems like such a thing should feel natural and almost effortless to some writers...it’s actually not that way for everybody. In fact, it’s a very delicate balance that I feel should be recognized and respected when it comes to putting a story together in a way that could be considered ‘effective’ when it comes to getting your message and your emotions a


Comicality in Writing Tips - Events

Writing Action

Writing Action Multiple meanings, when talking about ‘action’ in the world of writing of fiction. Something to get readers to lean forward in their chairs, adjust their laptop screens or get a tighter grip on their mobile device. A heightened focus on the moment at hand. And while I’ve definitely written my fair share of chases, fight scenes, and shootouts...that’s not the only kind of action that we’re going to be talking about today. Ask yourselves the question...what is ‘action’? And


Intimacy In order to really connect your readers to the romantic stories that you write, you’ve got to keep in mind that it’s not always some giant swing of the pendulum that brings the mood and the tone from one extreme to the other. I think that it’s important to be able to recognize opportunities for all of those little giddy moments in between that can sometimes come off as being your biggest strengths. In fact, I’ve found that they can end up being the most touching and engaging parts o

Weight And Impact

Weight And Impact As many of you guys already know, I have always been a huge fan of the horror film genre. Even when I was probably way too young to be watching people gutted with a machete, hehehe! I was the kid with the ‘Fangoria’ monthly subscription and the B-Movie fetish growing up! But I loved every minute of it! Those flicks were just plain fun to me, you know? Excessive gore and all! The more blood and guts, the better! Well, it wasn’t until a couple of my college roommates act

Story Endings

Story Endings “A part of the journey...is the end.” - Tony Stark As I’ve been working more and more on finally bringing some of my longest running stories to their grand finale at last, I can say that I’ve actually been pretty proud of taking my time and pretty much taking my time and making sure that it was done right. Or, at least the way that I had originally imagined it from the very beginning, without having to really compromise in terms of how all of the events got wrapped up. Nat

Subverting Expectations

Subverting Expectations You ever see one of those race car lengths on a full track, with everybody is trying to get ahead of their other opponents? And there's more to it all than just slamming your foot on the gas pedal and going faster than everybody else. There's a strategy involved. A little gas here, a little brake there, how you take certain turns, etc. So...you've got somebody ahead of you, and you're trying to find your way around them so you can move up from fourth to third place. A


One of the many pitfalls that a writer might face when taking a more 'organic' approach to writing a story is possibly running into a flurry of decisions that you made in the heat of the moment and may change your mind on those decisions later on. When I talk about an organic approach, I mean having a certain structure and plot in mind...but still giving yourself room to create on the spot as new ideas come to mind. I definitely write that way, and I feel like it connects me to my stories in way

Sexual Pacing

Oh yeah, I'm bringing out the dreaded 'S' word for this one! Hehehe, calm down...take a few breaths...and smile for me, k? I won't make it too painful for you to read. Promise. Loosen up a little bit, geez. Now...I've been writing for over 20 years in the gay erotica genre. And thanks to Myr and the folks at GayAuthors, I KNOW that a vast majority of you guys read the sexy stuff on this site! Polls don't lie! LOL! It was something that I was actually kind of curious about, as trends change

Creating Dread

Now, when I talk about creating a sense of 'dread' in your writing, whether it be drama, thriller, horror, sci-fi, or romance...I'm not always talking about something life threatening or earth shattering every single time. It's not about action. It's not about gore, or heartbreak, or terror. The concept of dread, in my opinion, is much more evident in its subtlety than in its delivery of some major occurrence or surprise twist. The most effective way to use 'dread' in your stories is as a build

Plot Armor

::Old Timey Radio Voice:: "Lois is trapped underground and tied up next to the bomb! Jimmy Olsen is being held captive by the gangsters from the underground syndicate! And Clark Kent can't leave the Daily Bugle in time to rescue them without giving away his secret identity!!! Can Superman possibly HOPE to save the day??? Hehehe...umm, of course he can! He's freakin' Superman! Duh! I remember being in the college dorms with my roommates and some of our friends, discussing which ch

Lost in the Middle

It can be a virtual No Man's Land sometimes when you're writing. A place where you may not be sure or feel quite confident about where your next 'peak' or your next 'valley' may come in terms of telling the story that you wanted to tell. And I feel like it's times like this when you really have your skills and instincts tested in a major way...all for the sake of keeping things moving smoothly. And more importantly...moving forward. For this article, I'd like to bring up the subject of gett

Plot Twists

I believe that one of the best ways to spice up a certain type of story, depending on what you happen to be writing at the moment...is to grab your audience and turn them upside down with an effective plot twist. As many of you have heard me say in past articles...the readers that you are doing your very best to entertain are much more savvy and experienced when it comes to reading fiction these days. This is the information age, and things keep speeding up. You're not speaking to folks with a l

Little Moments

What creates a story? What creates an unexpected thrill? What connects the writer to the readers that they're attempting to entertain? These are all questions that should be lingering in the back of your mind when you're writing your story. NOT in the forefront, because writing a story isn't all about catering to an audience. Instead, it should be about exploring your true self and your deepest emotions. Having an audience enjoy and appreciate what you do is a thrilling side effect to all o


You know, there's a quote that says that jealousy in a loving relationship is a lot like salt in your food. Just enough can enrich and enhance flavor, but too much can bitter the taste. I think that, when it comes to putting cliffhangers in your stories, perhaps from chapter to chapter, or maybe even from completed novel to completed novel...the same rule applies. I mean, sure, you can write cliffhangers all day long if you really wanted to...but it can get tiresome in the long run. In fact, I t


One thing that I've discovered while writing my own stories over the years, is the 'lacking' presence of added depth when I only have one situation going on from beginning to end. Now, this may be just a personal preference of mine...but when I'm focused on two boys and one issue, the theme of the story itself feels really basic and seems to fall 'flat' to me sometimes. Like something is missing. Nothing major, really...but it's similar to a cook tasting their food and thinking, "Hmmmm...I need


Comicality in Writing Tips - Events

Kill The Dog

Hehehe, you know when I was in college, I had a writing teacher that had a somewhat comical, but very true, rule to follow when it came to getting your audience to truly feel a moment of intense emotional pain in your project. Works every time. He used to say, "If you want to make your audience cry...kill the dog!" And, yes, he meant that literally. Script wise, anyway. You can have Rambo gun down an army of enemies in a foreign land, or have Iron Man burn a bunch of terrorists to ashe


It’s the weekend again! So...let’s talk about climaxes! Wait! Not THAT kind of climax! Stay out of the gutter! Geez! We’re talking about story story climaxes. This is the grand finale to your story! This is the big finish! This is where you’re able to give your readers the big pay off that they’ve been waiting for since they got hooked on those first few sentences of your story. A story’s climax can really make or break a wonderfully written project, depending on how well it work

Plot Holes

There are five words that always make me laugh whenever I watch one of the videos from the Youtube series below, hehehe! Because it's SO true for every story and every TV show and every movie that I've ever seen! And it's true for your work too. Can't help but to get a few chuckles out of it! Those five words? "Super easy! Barely an inconvenience!" Don't worry, an explanation is coming. One thing that I hope many of you will take from this week's discussion is the idea that a


Comicality in Writing Tips - Events

Connective Tissue

I can't imagine anything feeling better than finding some level of pride in one of my projects. (Well, there might be a few things that feel better, but I can keep my clothes on for this one! Hehehe!) And that pride doesn't just come from favorable responses and good ratings. In fact, it comes from finishing a new chapter or project before anybody ever even sees it. It's like the planets and stars align, and everything is finally fitting together the way that I pictured it...or at least as close


Comicality in Writing Tips - Events

Story Arcs

Beginning. Middle. End. Setup. Conflict. Resolution. All stories have a certain formula to them. That formula can be played with, rearranged, and altered, in a variety of different ways...but even that has some form of structure, when you sit down and think about it. Straying from a conventional method of telling a story doesn't mean that the original blueprint doesn't exist. We just choose to find a way of subverting expectations concerning the norm. A norm that set the standard for u


Comicality in Writing Tips - Events

Creating and Escalating Tension

Now, while many readers that get truly involved with the stories we write online are mostly involved in the sometimes exaggerated drama of the situations we put our main characters through...I feel that it is often the tension delivered in a few key scenes, sprinkled here and there throughout, that truly captivates a reader's attention and brings them to the edge of their seats. It's this grinding on the nerves, along with a few tugs on the heart strings, that can really allow your audience to l


Comicality in Writing Tips - Events

Peaks and Valleys

Raise your hand if you′ve been on a roller coaster before! Hehehe, I′m just kidding. It′s the internet, I can′t see you raising your hand! Trust me, if I could set up spy cameras around you, it would be in the shower...not next to your laptop! ::Giggles:: Seriously, though...when riding a roller coaster, you experience certain peaks and valleys. You slow down in certain sections of the ride, left anticipating the next big ′dip′ with baited breath...and then everything speeds up and races t


Comicality in Writing Tips - Events

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