BOGO Sale at Storyville

From now until the end of the year, Storyville’s At your Own Pace Short Story Mechanics class is buy one get one free! Purchase a full class for yourself or someone you love, and get an extra one to gift to someone else. These include the lesson packets with the reading material and exercises including feedback from Richard Thomas (that’s me) and a full critique of a short story! And, it’s at your own pace so you work on your schedule with no classes to attend.

TESTIMONIALS:

“Richard is a tireless and dedicated teacher. Regardless of class size, every lesson feels like a one-on-one meeting with an expert on craft. Every time I’ve worked with him, I’ve moved my writing up a level.” —Sarah Read, author of The Bone Weaver’s Orchard (Winner of the Bram Stoker Award)

“The most positive thing, for me, was how participating in the class, and Richard’s comments encouraged me to write even when I perhaps was not feeling like writing. Thank you!” —R. Schiaffino

“My experience in Richard’s workshop was one hundred percent worth it. Before taking this class, I felt ill-equipped to write those sweet 1,500-5,000 word stories, but that has all changed. Richard teaches a concise method for crafting and developing stories in this word range, and his insight is well worth the tuition price.” —Chris S.

“This class was a shotgun blast to the face of ultimate fiction crafting. He walks you through a story idea, from a bare-bones concept to polished, submittable story. This class elevated my chops to a new level. You can’t beat this combination of low-cost and superior instruction.” —Doug B.

“Richard has a keen eye for the little details that make a story work as well as for the bigger picture that brings together the plot. His professional demeanor and kind manner make working with him a real pleasure. He catches the things that most writers miss, and that’s a real gift.” —Bryan H.

“I have contracted Richard to edit several short stories, and have found that his ability as an editor is a direct reflection of his resume as a writer—impressive to say the very least. I have found his editing to be of tremendous value, and would recommend his services to any emerging writer.” —Nicholas M.

“Go ahead and write the best damn story you can. Edit tirelessly for weeks on end. Have your writer friends critique it and their writer friends, too. Then go back and write that perfect final draft. But I bet that even after all that, give it to Richard Thomas and he’ll still find redundancies, misplaced modifiers, dangling participles, plot holes—you name it. What I’m saying is if you want to sharpen that latest draft, Richard is your man.” —Ryan S.

Kind Words About My Short Story Mechanics Class

If you’ve ever thought about taking my Short Story Mechanics class–either at LitReactor.com—or as is noted here, at Storyville in the “At Your Own Pace” version, you may want to read this blog post by Keily. This thrills me to no end. This is why I teach.

“Personally, I was shocked by how much I’d improved. My settings had more detail, my first lines became actual hooks, I had a nice refresher on conflict and tension, and I finally understood the theme/mood portion of writing. This class allowed me to piece together things that my creative writing instructors have been trying to drill into my head for a long time, and I am thrilled with the results. It doesn’t matter what genre you write in, or what level you’re at. This can be a helpful beginner’s course or a wonderful refresher for the experienced writer.”

Totally made my day, my week—hell, in this environment, quite possibly my year. LOL. Be safe out there!

New Storyville Columns—UPDATE!

 

Boy, I’ve been bad about updating my Storyville columns. So, here is an update, all of the new columns in one list. Enjoy!

Storyville 19 Happy Not Sappy
Storyville 20 Where To Submit Your Stories
Storyville 21 My 10 Favorite Short Stories
Storyville 22 Writing Dialogue
Storyville 23 Best American Short Stories—Resource
Storyville 24 Breaking Hearts
Storyville 25 Top Ten Things Literary Publications Need to Do NOW
Storyville 26 The Grotesque
Storyville 27 Dissecting “Fireflies”
Storyville 28 Avoiding Cliches and Stereotypes
Storyville 29 20 Things I’ve Learned About Writing
Storyville 30 Why Write Short Stories
Storyville 31 10 Ways to Evaluate Fiction Markets
Storyville 32 Growing Your Brand
Storyville 33 Putting Together a Short Story Collection
Storyville 34 When Is a Story Done?
Storyville 35 Best Books in Every Major Genre
Storyville 36 What is Neo-Noir Fiction?

Storyville Column is up – Top Ten Authors You’ve Never Heard Of Before

Where to start, yeah? For this column I talk about ten powerful voices in contemporary literature that you may never have heard of before. Each one of these voices is somebody that has impressed me with their words, destroyed me with the honesty and emotion, and become a name that I will follow for the rest of my life. Head on over to see what I say about them, but here are the names anyway: Matt Bell, Tina May Hall, Craig Davidson, Holly Goddard Jones, Kyle Minor, Roxane Gay, Benjamin Percy, Lindsay Hunter, Alan Heathcock, and xTx. There’s something here for everybody, but know this: they all take risks, and they all hold nothing back.

New Storyville Column is Live – Writing Dynamic Settings

My latest Storyville column is all about writing dynamic settings. I’m a big believer in grounding your work in reality, whether you write literary stories that focus on an internal monologue, or fantastic stories set in distant galaxies. I hate stories with floating heads that don’t tell me where I am. So, here are some tips on how to deliver the goods by revealing character, using all five senses, and painting with broad brush stokes so that you allow your audience to picture the setting while bringing their own history and experiences onto the stage. Hope it helps!

New Storyville Column is Live – Dissecting “Maker of Flight”

My new Storyville column is now up, and in this column, I dissect one of my favorite bits of short fiction, “Maker of Flight.” Why do I love this story? Partly because it has a sweetness at its center—it’s one of the few stories of mine I can actually read to my children. Every once in awhile they’ll quote the last line, “I wonder if the sky is still blue?” back to me and it just melts my heart. I also love it because it was the winner of the 2009 “Enter the world of Filaria” contest over at ChiZine. The contest asked you to write a flash story (under 1,000 words) that was based in the world of one of their titles, Filaria, by Brent Hayward. It’s a fantastic book, and I really enjoyed this challenge. I hope you get something out of the dissection. And pick up some ChiZine titles, they do great work over there. I also loved In the Mean Time by Paul Tremblay and Sarah Court by Craig Davidson.

New Storyville Column is Live – All About Narrative Hooks

New Storyville column is now up, all about writing narrative hooks. I focus on some of the work of southern gothic author Ron Rash. How do get your audience’s attention with one line? Icebergs and red herrings, what are those? In medias res, have you heard that said before? It’s Latin. And which of these are not narrative hooks: descriptions, settings, action, dialogue, back story? One hint: all of them. Hope it helps!

New Storyville Column on Writing Sex is Now Live at Lit Reactor

My latest Storyville column over at Lit Reactor is all about writing sex scenes! What’s the difference between pornography, erotica and simply a powerful sex scene? What words should you use (and avoid)? How do you create sexual tension? Sex is a part of life, and the power it introduces into every intimate relationship will ultimately define that relationship. Hope it helps. ENJOY!

WARNING: There is frank adult language in this article, so if you are underage or sensitive, you have been warned.

New Storyville column on endings is now LIVE

My latest Storyville column over at Lit Reactor is all about endings, twisted and otherwise. What do we talk about? Beginnings, icebergs, fulfillment through resolution, to twist or not twist, deus ex machina, and caring about your characters. Hope it helps. ENJOY!